The Lynyrd Skynyrd Song Ronnie Van Zant Wrote About Keith Moon’s Feet


Various themes can be explored in song lyrics, and the sources of inspiration vary. While sometimes a classic novel can inspire a musician, other artistic works, including songs and paintings, can also influence rockers during their creation process. On the other hand, some songwriters have been inspired to write memorable songs with emotional or humorous lyrics about their bandmates or fellow musicians.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the bands that have thematized many subjects in their lyrics. For instance, the band wrote one of their most well-known tracks, ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ in response to Neil Young’s ‘Southern Man.’ In fact, the band’s primary lyricist, Ronnie Van Zant, once wrote a song about Who’s Keith Moon, inspired by the drummer’s smelly feet.

Ronnie Van Zant Wrote ‘That Smell’ For Keith Moon’s Feet


Lynyrd Skynyrd released its fifth album ‘Street Survivors’ in 1977, and it was the final record featuring original members Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins. The band was involved in a plane crash three days after the album came out. Van Zant passed away during the accident, while most survived severely injured, including Collins. On the other hand, the record became an instant success in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Although the single ‘That Smell’ failed to achieve chart success, its lyrics had an interesting meaning. In a 1977 interview with Madhouse Magazine, Van Zant expressed how proud he was of ‘Street Survivors,’ saying it included many excellent songs and could be their best-selling record.

The singer revealed that he wrote the lyrics of ‘That Smell’ about Keith Moon’s feet as they smelled horrible. He humorously stated that the drummer put his feet on his face while sleeping, and that’s why he got hoof and mouth disease. Despite all this, Van Zant did not forget to express his love for his friend, Moon.

Ronnie Van Zant said the following while talking about ‘Street Survivors’:

“I am proud of that album and think there is a lot of good stuff on there. I see potentially our biggest-selling album and a bunch of singles. Did you know I wrote ‘That Smell’ about Keith Moon’s feet? He had the worst-smelling feet.

They were like death warmed over, and whenever you fell asleep, he would stick them in your face and in your mouth. I ended up with hoof and mouth disease from that guy, but I love him.”

You can check out the song below.