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Larry Steele

  • As a direct result of the Beatles' arrival in early 1964, Steele was among hundreds of thousands of young Americans who began putting together his own band, the first of which was co-founded with future Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins. While possessing a deep appreciation for music of all genres, Steele's preference for rock has never diminished. Following sixteen years of performing with various acts throughout North Florida and South Georgia, Steele was employed by 38 Special in January, 1980, as their Stage Manager, becoming a co-writer for the band later that same year. After the completion of 5 North American Tours and 3 World Tours, Steele's employment with 38 came to an end in 1987, coinciding with the departure of guitarist/vocalist Don Barnes. After 27 years in the wholesale electronics industry, Larry is now retired in Jacksonville, where he resides with his wife and three dogs.

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Book Blurb

Former 38 Special stage manager and co-writer, Larry Steele, gives a first-hand account of growing up on the Westside of Jacksonville, of forming his first band with Allen Collins, and of the journey they each pursued, where scores of novice musicians sought a better way of life. Steele describes his own experience as a musician, along with the friendships that would endure the rivalry which existed between his own band and those who would eventually become Lynyrd Skynyrd. After years of performing with various bands in the North Florida area, including a brief stint with Skynyrd in 1973, Steele would begin his employment with 38 Special in January, 1980. From here is chronicled the 38 story from its very beginning: the frustrations of living in the shadow of Skynyrd while trying to perfect a sound of their own, and the decision to push forward after the tragic loss of their friend, brother and mentor, Ronnie Van Zant.

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