What's Your Name

Album: Street Survivors (1977)
Charted: 13
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Songfacts®:

  • "What's Your Name" 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 in this song did not happen in Boise, Idaho. The first line was originally, "It's 8 o'clock and boys it's time to go," but lead singer 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."
  • According to Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington (in an interview with Paul Ingles), he and Ronnie Van Zant wrote this one night when they were in Miami with Steve Cropper and producer Tom Dowd. Cropper, the guitarist for the legendary Stax Records band Booker T. & the MG's, gave them some ideas.
  • 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.

Comments: 16

  • X Hades Stamps from Nebraska, UsI was today years old when I found out that three members of the band were killed (the rest surviving, but being seriously injured) in a plane crash just three days after.
  • Brian from Ringoes NjI was there when the fight broke out I was 17. They were trying to pickup my girlfriend and Dickey Betts got into a fight with one of the show , we got kicked out of the bar. We then went up to their rooms and continued to party. We got no limo ride home that was in Philly PA
  • Bart from Boise, IdI saw Lynrd Skynrd reunion tour June 1988 in Boise, Id. When they played What's Your Name they told the audience they had been waiting a long time to finally play that song in Boise, Id.
  • Patrick from Brimfield, MaThis song was also featured in the 2004 ESPN Film 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story, during the scene where Dale Earnhardt celebrates his 1979 NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Rich from Portsmouth, NhAs a 'boomer' growing up in the 1950's, this is the memorable, simple question sung out by Don & Juan!
    I'm surprised that it's not on your list.
  • Cory from Nashville, TnFor some reason I always used to think Ronnie said "Shouldn't you stay" instead of "Shooting you straight" haha. Great song.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaThe irony of this song is the lryic"If we come back here next year I wanna see you again"..That yea was the fatal plane crash. They didn't tour until 1987 with a revamped line up..
  • Mike from Lincoln Park, MiSomehow, just by listening to it, this song sounds more like a country song than a classic rock song.
  • Jon from Chilliwack, CanadaThis song rocks. So does the band. You all know it... so shut and admit it's greatness!
  • Zap from Norwalk, CtIt was Roadie Craig Reed who is referenced in the song. Craig was on the plane when it went down, but survived. At the time of the crash, he was a guitar tech. Unfortunately, Craig has recently been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and is in failing health.
  • Steve from Hartselle, AlActually it was the drummer Artimus Pyle who got them kicked out for comming on to one of the guests.
    Steve,Alabama
  • Jj from Jacksonville, FlActually the song was about some action they got into in a hotel bar in Newcastle, England. Ronnie, Billy, Gary and a reporter where sat in the bar when a group of bucket salesmen got rowdy and accosted a young lady, ronnie being the southern gentleman he was, decided to wade in and help the girl, billy and gary then picked up bottles and told the reporter youre either with us or youre not, the four of them got into a real barn burner barn burner and got banned from the bar, boise idahop was added cos newcastle england just dont have the same ring
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnWhat brought it on?...Oh... maybe three decades of hearing yet another song that sounds like it was written at a Hyatt Regency ABOUT being at a Hyatt Regency played over and over and over and over and over.... Maybe that in part.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaGregmon, not a roadie who travels with the band. dirk, what brought that on?
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnIf you had one wish that you could make a song disappear from the airwaves forever, would it be this one?
  • Gregmon from Intelbuquerque, NmOther than the roadie fighting a guest in the hotel bar, it's certainly about groupies offering themselves to musicians.
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