Believe it or not, Jacksonville, FL's Randall Hall has the Monkees to thank for his gritty guitar playing. In his younger days Hall attended the infamous Monkees tour where the legendary Jimi Hendrix was the opening act. While most attendees were busy booing Hendrix off-stage, former Monkees fan Hall was entranced and decided heavy riffing was the way to go. Add the Southern flavor of the Allman Brothers and you have the sound of Hall's first band, Running Easy, which he formed in 1971 with future .38 Special bassist Ken Lyons.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's leader, Ronnie Van Zant, became one of Running Easy's biggest supporters when the band opened a show for Skynyrd in 1972. The next few years found the two bands touring together but despite their high-profile friends, Running Easy never made it big. Hall would go on to play with Melanie and write songs for the Skynyrd side project the Allen Collins Band. In 1987 he was asked by guitarist Allen Collins to take his place in Lynyrd Skynyrd after Collins' paralyzing car accident. Hall remained a member of the band until 1994 and appeared on the albums Southern by the Grace of God, Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991, and The Last Rebel. The early 2000s found the guitarist fronting and touring with his own project, the Randall Hall Band. ~ David Jeffries