Lynyrd Skynyrd – Whiskey Rock-A-Roller

I thought of this song because a vendor I deal with asked me if I wanted to be in a whisky tasting event. I told him I rarely if ever drink but he convinced me! I was sent two bottles of whiskey and I have to log on and tell them what I think of the two different brands.

The song was written by Billy Powell, Edward King, and Ronnie Van Zant, this song is about Lynyrd Skynyrd’s touring life which was interesting. Ronnie Van Zant  ran into a writer who asked him “what are you man?” Ronnie Van Zant responded to the writer, saying he is a “Whiskey Rock a Roller.”

The song was on their 3rd album Nuthin’ Fancy. This is a great bar song. It was their last album produced by Al Kooper. The sound just wasn’t coming together and it was a mutual understanding that Kooper would leave after the album was finished.

Guitar player Ed King would quit and leave in May while on tour in Pittsburgh for this album. It would be the last album he would play on by the original band. It’s also Artimus Pyle’s first album on drums with the band. Bob Burns the original drummer had left shortly before after seeing the Exorcist and thinking he was possessed by the devil.

The album peaked at #9 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1975.

From Songfacts

This song was released on the Nuthin’ Fancy album on March 24, 1975. There are also two other recordings of this song that are on Skynyrd’s live album One More From the Road. In one if these recordings, Ronnie Van Zant forgets the song, and has to ask the back up singers (the Honketts) what the song is. On the other live version. Ronnie changes the opening lyrics to “I’m traveling down a highway, got a blue sky on my head, movin’ down this highway 500 miles away.”

Whiskey Rock-A-Roller

I’m headed down a highway got a suitcase by my side
Blue skies hangin’ over my head I got five hundred miles to ride
I’m goin’ down to Memphis town to play a late night show
I hope the people are ready there ’cause the boys are all ready to go

Well, I’m a whiskey rock-a-roller
That’s what I am
Women, whiskey and miles of travelin’
Is all I understand

I was born a travelin’ man and my feets do burn the ground
I don’t care for fancy music if your shoes can’t shuffle around
I got a hundred women or more and there’s no place I call home
The only time I’m satisfied is when I’m on the road

Sometimes I wonder where will we go

Lord don’t take my whiskey, rock and roll
Take me down to Memphis town, bus driver get me there
I got me a queenie she got long brown curly hair
She likes to drink old grandad and her shoes do shuffle around
And every time I see that gal
Lord she wants to take me down


Sometimes I wonder where will we go
Lord don’t take my whiskey, rock and roll

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

38 thoughts on “Lynyrd Skynyrd – Whiskey Rock-A-Roller”

  1. I have tasted Old Grand-Dad and it has caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, corn, nutmeg, and pepper in it to make an interesting flavor and sometimes candied nuts, cherries, and a hint of fruit are added to this bourbon.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Cheap scotch is nasty. High dollar, single-malt, 25 year old highland scotch is not nasty. Ken is a scotch man but, he drinks cheap, blended scotch. I tried it…once. I wanted to lick my ass to get the taste out of my mouth. Only Gin tastes worse.

        My ex-Marine was into 20 & 25 year old scotch…and expensive cigars.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. My paternal GF bought it. It was supposed to be cracked open when I turned 18 for a toast. By the time I turned 18, the legal drinking age had been raised to 19. By the time I got to 19 (1985), the gubment had raised it to 21. My paternal GF passed in 1986 and I was still 19. There was no “old enough to drink, legally” toast. I’ve been toting the bottle around for 35 years, now. I’m not sure what to do with it. Contact the company and tell them about it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is really cool. Well you still could toast but that would be cool to call the company and tell them.


  2. That’s about as southern rock as it comes!
    Wow, kind of neat being given those bottles and the invite to take part (although I’m not much on whisky). Back in ontario, for awhile I used to get asked to take part in a lot of surveys and tests – a consulting company (I guess) had offices near where I worked, and I’d often be stopped and asked to watch commercials, taste test products etc. Usually they gave me $5 or a lotto ticket in return, occasionally they’d give away a case of soft drink or something like tht to test. Never whisky though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The vendor and I were talking and he asked about our companies situation right now…I told him I’m an IT Director with no one to direct because my 9 man department is now 1 and I’m running everywhere…He said…I think you need this! lol

      That is cool…I would love to take part in things like that. I would love to try things out and give my opinion. I would have loved also to be part of the Neilson ratings…not sure how you get into that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well…that could push somebody over. I’ve never seen the whole film…I’ve seen clips, of course and I know all about it…Angel Heart really bothered me…and was clean and sober, thank God. If I’d seen it a year or so earlier…Yikes. Ha!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. New song for me. Good rock n’ roller and a good one to sip some good whisky to! Are they labeled with the actual name or with a number? Sounds like a fun one to do. They have a whisky school at the Irish pub in town (when Covid hasn’t shut everything down.) Not my drink of choice but I had a few sips of a honey whisky a few years ago that went down real smooth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they are and when I get home I’ll post the name…it’s something Buffalo…it’s Bourbon and Scotch. I never had either. I have had Jack Daniels before because…hey I’m southern…that was a must lol. Actually Jack Daneils make great hot totties. It will clear a cold in a heartbeat.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Cool! Thanks Vic…it looks good and I’ve read things about both…the reviews are good. I’m not an expert on tasting booze but I’ll give it a try


      1. Yeah. I’m not much of a drinker, either. I drank enough in my teens to float a battleship. My dad never wanted alcohol to be a forbidden thing as his paternal GM just went nuts railing on it.

        Growing up, my dad watched his father suffer the effects of a mouthy mama and he wound up an alcoholic in retaliation and dispair. That turned him into a bad father and my dad & his younger brother hated him.

        When I came along, my dad made sure I understood that alcohol was not a terrible thing. I would get small amounts of wine when I was little and my maternal GM made her own wine. She took it medicinally, daily, with a tablespoon.

        My dad was always of the mindset…”If you want to take a drink, you can come drink with me, safely.” I got drunk at parties with my friends but, I never went nuts. Beach trips were where most of the drinking took place. 😄😎🍷🍹🍺⛱🌊🎡🎢🏖🏄‍♀️🏊‍♀️🤽‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your dad made a lot of sense about it…especially about the safety part. If you strictly forbid something from a child…they will want it more…at least I would have.

        My dad was a pill person. He hardly ever would take a drink…I had an uncle that was the opposite and I was happy about about dad doing pills instead of drink…of course NONE would have been better…but dad functioned as a working human being…my uncle…not so much….I’m not saying one is better than the other…just in those cases it was better.

        My drinking was at bars with free beer playing and we would sweat it out before a buzz hit.


    1. Christian the last time I drank a beer was in 2016 when I saw The Who… that is how little I drink lol.

      When I was a kid my mom would make me a hot Tottie for a cold… it clears a cold away. Whiskey, lemon, and honey.

      Liked by 1 person

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