Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash, the new biopic about the tragic 1977 accident that killed Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant and several other people, gets released today as a DVD/Blu-ray/CD set, DVD and digital download, and via video-on-demand.
The movie was based on former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle‘s firsthand account of the crash. Pyle admits that finishing the project was challenging because of legal action that Van Zant’s widow, Judy, and founding Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington launched to try to stop the flick.
“The difficulty with Judy and Gary…and these bloodsucking weasel attorneys coming at us, it was very hard to do a film,” the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer tells ABC Audio. “But we did it. On the budget that we had and the way that we had to do the film, I am very proud of [it].”
He adds, “[T]he director, Jared Cohn…put his heart and soul into this movie, as well as the actors and actresses that played…the band members, our backup singers, management…I think everybody did a great job.”
Artimus notes that because of budgetary restraints, the cast was made up of unknown actors. In addition, he points out that Judy Van Zant wouldn’t allow any original Lynyrd Skynyrd music to be part of the movie, although they were able to license the J.J. Cale-penned, Skynyrd-covered “Call Me the Breeze” for the flick.
The soundtrack, which was released on multiple formats on Friday, also includes music composed by Pyle and his sons Chris and Marshall.
“[W]e wrote what I think is a Grammy Award-winning original soundtrack to…a live-action film about the plane crash of Lynyrd Skynyrd,” Pyle says. “I’m very proud of it.”