If you’ve ever been at the edge of town in that bar where nothing good ever happens, you’ve heard genius storytelling.
The drunk playing pool has wisdom he wants to share with anyone who will buy him a beer.
The bartender talks about shenanigans of the night past.
The genius is in the jukebox.
Ronnie is one of my faves. If you don’t know who Ronnie is, you definitely know his music. I’ll even bet, you’ve belted a few of his lines in that shady beer-stenched bar with a jukebox and a couple Harleys out front.
Ronnie died the same way as other geniuses, Buddy, Ritchie, Janice, Kurt, Jimmy, and Jim – Too soon. His light extinguished as we yearned for more. Or maybe it was just right, as we didn’t get bored of what he had to say.
Ronnie famously said, “We use simple words because that’s how normal people talk”.
Ronnie was a great storyteller. He wrote in simple, everyday words. Moved his fans to dance, fight and start all kinds of trouble in the dark corners of the bar.
Simple words moved an entire generation of misfits, partyers, drunks, and everyday folk.
And be a simple kind of man
Oh be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh won’t you do this for me son if you can
Ronnie didn’t use big words to connect to his audience.
He wrote the way he spoke.
He wrote the way he thought.
Deep, thought-provoking, yet simple.
If there’s anything to learn from the great Ronnie Van Zant from Lynyrd Skynyrd, it’s the ability to use simple words in your advertising.
Appeal to your audience by speaking to them in their language.
I was cutting the rug
Down at place called The Jug
With a girl named Linda Lou
When in walked a man
With a gun in his hand
And he was looking for you know who
-Gimme Three Steps
Not only does he use simple words and rhythm, but he also uses another technique called anapestic tetrameter. Google anapestic meter. Or read the words of the Wizard of Ads in his trilogy.
He is much wiser than I and can explain it to a fly.
Ronnie’s words flow like those of another genius – Dr. Seuss.
And that’s why we magically remember his most famous songs – simplicity, rhythm, and three guitars dueling for our attention in those rat-infested joints we dare not take a lady.