This song 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 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."
Van Zant and Gary Rossington 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.