The legend of Rossington Collins and 'Don't Misunderstand Me'
On this day in rock history in 1977, tragedy stuck when the plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in Mississippi on its way to Baton Rouge only three days after releasing their latest album. Six people perished in the accident including two members of Skynyrd including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. Amazingly, six other members of Skynyrd survived and from the ashes of the plane crash emerged Rossington Collins with their forgotten '80 tune, Don't Misunderstand Me.
Four of the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd decided to resume making music but didn't want to call themselves Lynyrd Skynyrd out of respect for their fallen band mates. Instead they became the Rossington Collins Band named after guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. One big change was the addition of a female lead singer - Dale Krantz. Their 1980 debut album went gold, and its lead single Don't Misunderstand Me reached No. 55 on the singles chart.
I admit the video for Don't Misunderstand Me is a cheat as no video for single was produced. However, today's video sounds great and captures the sexy appeal of Krantz and the musicianship of the band. The video was probably filmed in the '90s with Travis Tritt on male vocals and the absence of Allen Collins on stage. While Collins survived the 1977 plane crash, his story did not end well. Days after Rossington Collins started to tour as a new band, Collins' wife died of a hemorrhage and the rest of the tour was cancelled. By 1986, Collins had gotten the band back together and was back in a relationship, but tragedy would strike again when the car he was driving (while intoxicated) crashed killing his girlfriend and paralyzing Collins, leaving the man who played one of rock's most iconic solos on Free Bird, unable to play the guitar. Collins would pass away in 1990 at the age of 37 due to pneumonia.
More drama followed the band as both Rossington and Collins would battle for the affections of Dale Krantz, but it was Gary Rossington who won her heart and the two were married in 1982. These days, the "new" Lynyrd Skynyrd tours although Rossington is the only original member still left in the band.