Great Rock Albums of 1982: Johnny Van Zant Band- The Last of the Wild Ones
Owing to the fact that I spent two thirds of 1982 overseas combined with the expectations of the military, I only managed to attend one concert in 1982. It was at a local club in Jacksonville, North Carolina called the Chateau Madrid. It’s not there any more and unlike the Driftwood, I couldn’t find any pictures of it on line. Anyway, there are no prizes for guessing who it was I saw that night as I am visiting the album from that tour of the Johnny Van Zant band right now. I remember it being a good night and Johnny and Co were on form and I loved when they played Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “I Ain’t the One.” However, what could have ruined that night was the fact it was in a club full of drunk marines, yes I was one of them but I didn’t get involved in any scraps that night. No kidding, while I was enjoying the show, two marines to my right suddenly went to the floor in a heap and started hooking and jabbing. A few minutes after the bouncers broke up that fight and ejected the participants, two more guys on my left engaged in similar festivities. Those weren’t the only two bouts on the card that night but I didn’t let it spoil my enjoyment of the evening.
“The Last of the Wild Ones” is the third album from the Johnny Van Zant Band and it is definitely a power Southern Rock album. Some of the tracks are almost metal such as the opener and “Can’t Live Without Your Love.” Both of these are some very heavy songs where Robbie Gay and Erik Lundgren show what they are capable of with a guitar in their hands. The track “Inside Looking Out” sounds like what I think Boston would have sounded like if they had come from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The power ballad, “Still Hold On” is the one song of such genre that comes closest to the bar set by April Wine the previous year as to what a power ballad should sound like. “It’s You” is the one song I remember getting air play at the time and it’s not your standard made for radio single. This song rocks and I can’t believe how much I had forgotten of the song, shame on me I know. My question is why this album didn’t break the band out of the Southeast as had it gotten more notice up North, it would have done well.
1. Good Girls Gone Bad
2. It’s You
3. The Last of the Wild Ones
4. Still Hold On
5. Can’t Live Without Your Love
6. Danger Zone
7. Together Forever
8. Inside Looking Out
9. The One and Only
Johnny Van Zant- vocals
Robbie Gay- lead guitar
Erik- Lundgren- lead guitar
Danny Clausman- bass
Robbie Morris- drums
Maybe it was because the corporate record companies had made their millions out of Southern Rock the previous year the reason for why this album seems virtually unknown outside the Southeast of the USA. This is a shame because they alone got to enjoy what a great album “The Last of the Wild Ones” really is and many got to do it without having drunk marines fighting around them.
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This entry was posted on February 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm and is filed under 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Americans, April Wine, Classic Rock, hard rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, Johnny Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Southern Rock, The 1980s, The Last of the Wild Ones. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.