‘I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours Of Lynyrd ‘Skynyrd’ Has First-Hand Accounts
Fans could think of nothing to say as they were mostly in shock. It was a dark day throughout the region that day in 1977.
And while the band lives on to this day, it has never been the same as when its plane went down in the Louisiana woods that took the life of Van Zant, long with Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.
A new documentary, I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours of Lynyrd Skynyrd, chronicles the story of three survivors: security guard Gene Odom, lead backup singer Leslie Hawkins, and guitar tech Craig Reed. These survivors give their firsthand accounts of the wild times of the band, the 72 hours leading to the crash, the harrowing crash itself and its aftermath.
The documentary features original behind-the-scenes film footage of life with the band before the crash, dramatic reenactments illustrating key dramatic scenes, and high-end CG animations–including a simulation of the plane crash that matches the NTSB report. Rare interviews with four first responders were also captured, filmed on location at the crash site in Gillsburg, Mississippi.
Based on Gene’s book, I’ll Never Forget You, this documentary offers the fond remembrance of one man’s journey with this legendary band, but more importantly, the loss of his dearest friend. Gene’s unique perspective and down-to-earth sensibility grants unique access to the behind-the-scenes story, the celebration and the tragedy.
The film weaves the three survivors’ stories together to paint a picture of what might have been and the web of tragic decisions leading to the plane crash that forever altered their lives — and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s place in history.