Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man Cruise 2009

(38 Special onboard The Simple Man Cruise '09 - Photography by Will Byington)

January is here and for me that means cruise season. One of the most innovative companies I have had the pleasure to work with is Sixthman. They are an affinity travel company based out of Atlanta who created travel events and lasting experiences with your favorite bands. Over the past decade they have done all kinds of events including ski trips and such... but they have now shifted almost fully into cruises and they host five of these a year. If you are looking for a unique and different adventure outside of the norm.... check out to see a listing of their events. You will not be disappointed. Not only are they a company that does cool events... the staff is some of the best and most fun people you can get to know. They only hire the best... and the bonds within the staff are one of a kind. Each of them loves what they do and they actually enjoy hanging out with each other also. The first one of these cruises each year has been the Lynyrd Skynyrd "Simple Man Cruise". This year is a southern rock explosion with Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special, Molly Hatchet, Marshall Tucker, Blackberry Smoke, Chicago's own Hello Dave and more. A friend of mine, J-Mo - the biggest rock star I know who is not a musician - a few years back coined the perfect name for this cruise.... "The redneck rowboat". They wear the bands t-shirts, they know every song, and they really do love them some Freebird. Of all the cruises, I would say this one is the one with the most passionate fans... they live the music. They have the tattoos. Awesome. It is a good time and you can feel it from the moment they get on the boat. The fans on this cruise have saved all year, and this is the one vacation they get all year. It is a whisky drinkin, throw down good time. It was great to be able to hang out with Mike Himebaugh and the rest of Hello Dave. Much better than hanging out in Chicago I must say huh?

(Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd during his last performance onboard The Simple Man Cruise '09 - Photography by Will Byington)

On a sad note, just a few short weeks after the boat... Billy Powell, the legendary keyboardist and one of the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd passed away. He was an amazing musician and nice as could be to get to know. I hate to say, I believe I photographed his last show... on the Lido Deck of the ship... as they walked off stage after singing "Sweet Home Alabama" one more time. It is a memory I will not forget.

1 comment:

  1. I too have a few pictures of Billy on the Lido deck of the Carnival cruise ship Detiny.I had a photo taken with the band just before they played their accustic set.I was hopeing to get to talk with Billy but I wasn't able to.I was so close.I am one of thousands to be able to have seen him play for the last tyme.R.I.P. Billy and thank you for your gifted hands.