Lynyrd Skynyrd – What’s Your Name

I always thought this was one of the most commercial songs they ever released. It is a fun tight song but yes it has been played to death.

Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington wrote this one night when they were in Miami with Steve Cropper and producer Tom Dowd. Cropper, the guitarist for the Stax Records band Booker T. & the MG’s, gave them some ideas.

They had a well-deserved reputation for being a hard-partying band. This song is based on a true story. One night while they were on tour, the band was drinking at their hotel bar when one of the roadies got in a fight. They all got kicked out, went to a room, ordered champagne, and continued the party.

The incident also really didn’t happen in Boise, Idaho. The first line was originally, “It’s 8 o’clock and boys it’s time to go,” but Ronnie Van Zant changed it when he found out his brother, Donnie, was opening his first national tour with his band .38 Special in Boise. The first line became It’s 8 o’clock in Boise, Idaho.

The song was on the album Street Survivors…their last studio album with the original band. They were in a plane crash just days after the release of the album.

The song peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 and #6 in Canada in 1978.

Street Survivors peaked at #5 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1977.

From Songfacts

Three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a plane crash just three days after this album was released. The album had to be given a new cover because the original one portrayed the group surrounded by flames.

This was released as a single in January 1978, a few months after the plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines.

The B-52s reached #74 in 1980 with “Private Idaho,” but “What’s Your Name” is the biggest hit song to mention the state in the lyric.

What’s Your Name

Well, its eight o’clock in Boise, Idaho
I’ll find my limo driver
Mister, take us to the show
I done made some plans for later on tonight
I’ll find a little queen
And I know I can treat her right

What’s your name, little girl?
What’s your name?
Shootin’ you straight, little girl?
Won’t you do the same?

Back at the hotel
Lord we got such a mess
It seems that one of the crew
Had a go with one of the guests, oh yes
Well, the police said we can’t drink in the bar, what a shame
Won’t you come upstairs girl
And have a drink of champagne

What’s your name, little girl?
What’s your name?
Shootin’ you straight, little girl?
For there ain’t no shame

What’s your name, little girl?
What’s your name?
Shootin’ you straight, little girl?
Won’t you do the same? Awh yeah

What’s your name, little girl?
What’s your name?
Shootin’ you straight, little girl?
Won’t you do the same?

Nine o’clock the next day
And I’m ready to go
I got six hundred miles to ride
To do one more show, oh no
Can I get you a taxi home
It sure was grand
When I come back here next year
I want to see you again

What was your name, little girl?
What’s your name?
Shootin’ you straight, little girl?
Well there ain’t no shame
What was your name, little girl?
What’s your name?
Shootin’ you straight, little girl?
Won’t you do the same? Woo

 

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

33 thoughts on “Lynyrd Skynyrd – What’s Your Name”

    1. We played this song and I got a whole new appreciation of the music. It’s a tough little number to master. Always moving.
      I never paid attention but yea you are right.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That tune is a Skynyrd classic, in my opinion. I agree with the first commentator that the lyrics aren’t exactly politically correct. One can add they are also pretty cliche. But it’s also important to keep in mind the ’70s were very different times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The guys that I play with learned this song a while back…My appreciation for their music grew. The song is connected by riffs. It keeps moving and is really tight.
      The lyrics are so ingrained in my head I hadn’t thought of them…but yes I can see that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No kidding. It was a fun phase for me – I got the two-disc Greatest Hits album when I was in high school, listened to it to death, and haven’t gone back to them since, but they get played to death regardless. The plane crash story is still very haunting…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes it is very sad. They were on their way up and that happened. A movie is coming out about the plane crash this fall. It’s sad but rock is full of sad stories, unfortunately….like the band Badfinger…probably the most tragic.

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      3. Wow, you opened a door for me there. Paul McCartney and Harry Nilsson connections, legal issues galore, suicide…I have a lot to catch up on with them. So far, I like their sound! Are you connected to them through your name?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Not connected with them but I am a huge fan of them…suicides plural…it was just plain awful. Cheated and swindled by a manager. Bernie I don’t like pushing my posts but I had a short piece on them…just ignore the album reviews but it sums it up quickly…
        https://powerpop.blog/2018/05/15/badfinger/

        They are interesting to read about.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I will read this for sure. No worries on “pushing posts.” Everyone comes into a new blog for different reasons at different times, and it’s only now that I’ve started to dig into this band, so I look forward to it! A year ago, I found your blog through a post you wrote about Best Movie Villains, haha! I’ll get back to you. Lately, I’ve been on a “William Joel” binge, including three biographies. Love classic rock! (and movies).

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I love biographies….I just read a book about John Entwistle and I’m starting on one about Bruce Springsteen. Billy is an interesting guy. I need to read something about him.

        Yea Badfinger had some great music…even their non-hits were good for the most part.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Just tragic. Heartbreaking. I am still so curious. I’m interested in that “Beatles and Wales: The Long and Winding Road” book for more info. Polley really was a bastard all the way to his death when he still didn’t fully pay back the mostly dead band. And, “Baby Blue” is perfection. I can’t wait to keep revisiting it. Orchestrated to the perfect arch form, including guitar solo, and those harmonies! This stuff is rich!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Their story is like a huge depressing novel except for the music. Pete Ham had talent to burn…plus he was supposedly one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. George Harrison would use him for projects…

        Yea Baby Blue is the most perfect powerpop song of all time to me anyway.

        Thanks for reading Bernie.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Last quick connection…Do you ever listen to A.C. Newman? The lyrics in “Baby Blue” just make me tear up and remind me of “I’m Not Talking.” Looking forward to reading and listening more on Badfinger. I’ll ask my dad about them too. Just extraordinary.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not a bad track, certainly has played its share of times on FM radio but I was surprised it was actually a single. didn’t know that.
    It’s morbid but a valid question – wonder how many of the original album with flame covers are out there and how much they sell for?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got me curious…I looked some up on ebay…original still sealed for 475 bucks. That is what they are asking anyway. Most were between 20-75 bucks.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. lol…this one is commercial. I will admit…it’s fun to play. I appreciate them much more after playing this one.

      Like

      1. Now you picked one that I’m tired of…completely. Try one called “I Never Dreamed”…it was written by the new member at the time…a guy that was so talented…it’s really good.

        Like

      2. Yes…he was an incredible musician. Even Van Zant said “we will be in his shadow one day”…he was that good. He brought a sophistication to their song melodies they never had before.

        Like

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