Rock Reads: Turn it Up by Ron Eckerman

Reviewed by Kevin Wierzbicki

.
Eckerman is a concert tour manager and he was handling Lynyrd Skynyrd around the time of the release of their Gimme Back My Bullets album. In Turn it Up! (a reference to the beginning of "Sweet Home Alabama") Eckerman reveals that he didn't really want the job; he was aware of the band's reputation for being difficult and he didn't even (at the time) particularly care for their music. Against his better judgment Eckerman signed on for a six-week stint where besides handling the business of tour management he had to basically baby sit the booze and coked-up band, sometimes heading off the brawls they were trying to start and other times just picking up the pieces afterwards. About the time his initial stint ended Eckerman was starting to like the band, particularly singer Ronnie Van Zant, and he had earned their respect too. So he re-upped, essentially agreeing to road manage Skynyrd permanently, and that meant that he was with them when their plane crashed in 1977, killing Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, back-up singer Cassie Gaines, fellow band employee Dean Kilpatrick and the plane's 2-man crew. So really Eckerman tells two stories here; the plane crash plays out via each chapter's introductory paragraphs while a very detailed description of life on the road with the southern rock hellions comprises most of the book. Eckerman's marriage was hanging on by a thread during this entire period, another factor that was sucking the sanity out of his life but that adds flavor to a story already packed with outrageous personalities and situations. By book's end, where Eckerman wakes up in the hospital and groggily hears of the crash carnage, he's told his story in such a way that the reader feels the loss as their own. A bit sadly though, in the final pages Eckerman states that as Skynyrd's tour manager he feels that he was the only one who could've prevented the tragedy by canceling the ill-fated flight, suspecting that the backfiring of the plane's engines on a previous flight indicated a lack of airworthiness. Turn it Up! though is definitely not written with the relief of guilt in mind; Eckerman clearly loves rock'n'roll and the men and women who make it and it shows on every page here.

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article

tell a friend about this article

.



advertisement

advertisement

News Reports
Day in Rock:
Metallica Announce Another Rare Club Show- Dio, Lemmy and Randy RhoadsLead Metal Hall Inductees- Megadeth To Rock Late Night TV and Mustaine Unplugging For Charity- more

Ritchie Blackmore Announces New Rainbow Tour Dates- Megadeth's Mustaine Calls For Big Four Tour in 2017- Circle II Circle and Into Eternity's Adam Sagan Dead At 36- more

Guns N' Roses Announce 2017 American and Euro Tours- Bon Jovi's Father Threatened To Kill Sebastian Bach?- Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Animated 'Sick Love' Video- more

Day in Pop:
Avenged Sevenfold Has 'A Lot Of Similarities' To Kanye West- Rock and Metal Grammy Nominations Named- Drake 'Views' Reaches Quadruple-Platinum Status- more

Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody Re-Imagined As A Violent Crime Drama- Patti Smith To Play Bob Dylan Song At Nobel Prize Ceremony- Aaliyah Collaboration With Drake- more

Steven Adler Jams UYI Songs With Guns N' Roses Cover Band- Psychostick Release Christmas Themed System Of A Down Cover- Queen Classic Given Classical Makeover- more

advertisement


Reviews

TBT: The Cult, Stabbing Westward, Monster Magnet and Bird3 Live

Holiday Gift Guide: Pop Culture Edition

Rahm - Between the Lines

Fall Out Boy: The Boys of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago

Holiday Gift Guide: Vinyl Edition

TBT - Korn's Live & Rare

Road Trip: Sea Life Arizona Aquarium

Panic In Eden - In the Company of Vultures

Holiday Gift Guide: Rock Reads Edition

Thirsty - Albatross

The Slang - Night and Day

Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions

TBT Interview: Nickelback's Chad Kroeger

Holiday Gift Guide: Kris Kristofferson- Van Morrison- Human League Box Sets

John Mellencamp Live In Chicago

MorleyView: Dee Snider

In Tribute: Leonard Cohen Live

TBT: Anthrax - Among the Living

Tilted Axes - Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

Pink Floyd - The Early Years

TBT: Don Felder Interview Flashback

Scattered Hamlet - Swamp Rebel Machine more

Rock News Stories
Metallica Announce Another Rare Club Show

Dio, Lemmy and Randy Rhoads Lead Metal Hall Inductees

Megadeth To Rock Late Night TV and Mustaine Unplugging For Charity

Red Hot Chili Peppers Star Turns Table On Fans At Recent Show

Celebrating David Bowie Concert Set For Terminal 5

Journey Announce Vegas Residency And Tour With Asia

Superjoint Announce Headline Tour With Battlecross and Child Bite

Amity Affliction Member Drops Off Tour Due To 'Ongoing Mental Demons'

Apple Music Attracts 20 Million Subscribers In First 18 Months

Skindred Tour Bus Ransacked By 'Thieving Bastards'

Black Spiders Announce Their Final Tour

Mogwai Announce North American Tour

Special An Evening With Primus Concert Announced

Mayhem Announce Live Release And American Tour

Gone Is Gone Release 'Dublin' Video

Bad Religion's Greg Graffin Streams 'Lincoln's Funeral Train'

Trivium's Matt Heafy on Ember To Inferno's Curse

Opeth Surprised By Fans Reaction To Sorceress Songs On Tour

Creeper Plan 'Immersive And Theatrical Stage Show' On Upcoming Tour

Shaman Elephant Stream New Album 'Crystals' Online

more

B-Side Stories
Avenged Sevenfold Has 'A Lot Of Similarities' To Kanye West

Rock and Metal Grammy Nominations Named

Drake 'Views' Reaches Quadruple-Platinum Status

'Westworld' Soundtrack Featuring Radiohead, Rolling Stones Streaming

OneRepublic Release 'Let's Hurt Tonight' Video

Adele's 'Carpool Karaoke' the Most Popular Viral Video of 2016

LeAnn Rimes Announces New Album 'Remnants'

Spice Girl Posts Topless Photo Online

Ryan Adams Announces New Album 'Prisoner'

Alan Jackson Announces Honky Tonk Highway Tour

Clutch's Neil Fallon Has No Regrets Over Not So Great Songs

Halestorm Explore Different Ways Of Discovering New Music

Nicki Minaj's New App Features New Song 'Ain't Gone Do It''

Jay-Z Tried To Obtain Rights Prince's Catalog Following His Death

'The Circle' Trailer Features Haunting Hall and Oates Cover

Singled Out: Mungbean's Am Your Eyes

more



Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.