Further to my post on Monday I have received word from the publishers of the Lynyrd Skynyrd biography Whiskey Bottles and Brand New Cars, and also its author Mark Ribowsky. Both have apologised for misquoting me on the matter of allegations that Pete Rudge’s penny-pinching was an indirect cause of the 1977 plane crash insofar as this false economy resulted in his hiring a cheap and therefore defective plane. They have also agreed to remove this citation from further printings of the book.
I think it’s worth adding here that these allegations would only really hold water if the cost of the plane rental came directly from Rudge’s own pocket, but this is highly unlikely to have been the case. It is the custom in the music industry for an act to pay tour costs such as staging, transportation, hotels, together with the wages and expenses of additional musicians and road crew. At the end of a tour these costs, together with advertising, agency and management fees are deducted from the gross takings and the remainder goes to the act. (Since these costs, which are often exorbitant, do not escalate in direct proportion to the size of the audience, it is easy to understand how financially important it is for an act to graduate to bigger and bigger venues.)
So thank you Chicago Review Press and Mark Ribowsky for agreeing to amend the book. And while you’re at it, remember to spell Townshend with an ‘h’.