Allen Collins

Allen Collins

About Allen Collins

Allen Collins

Allen Collins

July 19, 1952 - January 23, 1990

Place of Birth    :   Jacksonville, FL
Imdb Profile    :   IMDB Profile

Allen Collins joined Skynyrd in Jacksonville, Florida just two weeks after Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington, along with Bob Burns and Larry Junstrom. So came the birth of Lynyrd Skynyrd in the summer of 1964. Allen Collins and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant co-wrote many of the biggest Skynyrd hits, including "Free Bird", "Gimme Three Steps", and "That Smell". The band received national success beginning in 1973 while opening for The Who on their Quadrophenia tour. In 1970, Allen married Kathy Johns. All of his band mates were in his wedding party, but Kathy worried that the band's long haired appearance would disturb her parents. To solve this problem it required all the band member's to keep their rock and roll image under wigs at the wedding ceremony. The wedding reception was one of the first public performances of "Freebird" complete with the trademark extended guitar jam at the end. Allen's family grew with the birth of his daughter Amie and, followed quickly by Allison. On October 20, 1977, the Skynyrd plane crashed into a forest in Mississippi killing three band members, including Van Zant. Collins was seriously injured in the crash, suffering two broken vertebrae in his neck and severe damage to his right arm. While amputation was recommended, Collins' father refused and Allen eventually recovered. In 1986, Collins was involved in a car accident, claiming the life of his girlfriend and leaving the guitarist paralyzed from the waist down, with limited use of his arms and hands. Collins pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter as well as driving under the influence of alcohol. He would never play guitar on-stage again. In 1986, Collins was involved in a car accident, claiming the life of his girlfriend and leaving the guitarist paralyzed from the waist down, with limited use of his arms and hands. Collins pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter as well as driving under the influence of alcohol. He would never play guitar on-stage again. Allen Collins died January 23, 1990 from chronic pneumonia, a complication of the paralysis. He is buried beside his wife in Jacksonville, Florida.