Artimus Pyle

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Artimus Pyle
Artimus Pyle - Lynyrd Skynyrd.jpg
Background information
Birth name Thomas Delmer Pyle
Born (1948-07-15) 15 July 1948 (age 68)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Genres Southern rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums
Years active 1974–present
Associated acts Lynyrd Skynyrd, Artimus Pyle Band

Thomas Delmer "Artimus" Pyle (born July 15, 1948) is an American musician best known for playing drums with Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1974 to 1977 and from 1987 to 1991, for which he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.[1][2]


Early life and career[edit]

Pyle was born in Louisville, Kentucky and was raised and went to school in Jamestown, Tennessee. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1967 to 1971 as a sergeant in aviation. He joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1974.[3] He survived the 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant, Cassie Gaines and Steve Gaines.[1][4] Pyle suffered several broken ribs, but he and other survivors walked several hundred yards to a farmhouse to try to get help.[4] The appearance of Pyle and his companions alarmed the residents of the farmhouse, who greeted them with guns and demanded they leave the premises. Eventually the Gillsburg Volunteer Fire Department arrived and assured the occupants that the men were survivors of a plane crash.[4][5]

After the crash[edit]

In 1982, Pyle began touring with the Artimus Pyle Band (A.P.B.),[6] including Darryl Otis Smith, John Boerstler, Steve Brewington, and Steve Lockhart.[7] A.P.B.'s albums include A.P.B. (1981), Nightcaller (1983) and Live from Planet Earth (2000).[7]

Pyle took part in the Skynyrd Tribute tour and joined the reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd in recording Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 before departing the band during a show in Toronto on August 2, 1991.[8] In a radio interview with Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax on The FOX in Denver, Colorado on the 20th anniversary of the crash, Pyle said, "I left the band in 1991 basically because there was a problem with drugs and alcohol and I felt as though we should have put all that stuff behind us years and years ago."

Artimus toured with the band Those Guys during the 1990s. Often playing venues from St. Augustine to Gainesville, Florida.

Pyle called in to The Howard Stern Show on October 16, 1997 and discussed the plane crash and the story of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

In 2004, Pyle recorded four studio tracks on Southern Rock band Rambler's album "First Things First" with vocalist Pat Terranova, guitarist Mitch Farber, bassist Willy Lussier and acoustic guitarist and vocalist Rikki Cuccia. In 2007, he toured with the band Deep South.

Pyle currently lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina, playing solo and with various musicians, including previous members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute bands.[9] He also plays with his own band, the Artimus Pyle Band, which released Artimus Venomous in 2007 on Storm Dog Records Group/Cleopatra Records.[7] He also appears with the Floyd County Rangers.

On November 22, 2010, Pyle appeared at the Another One For Woody benefit concert at New York's Roseland Ballroom, performing the Skynyrd song "Simple Man" with Gov't Mule. On June 16, 2012, he appeared at the annual Winthrop Days celebration in Winthrop, Iowa.

On September 21, 2012, Pyle called into The Nick & Artie Show and recounted Lynyrd Skynyrd's fateful plane crash of October 20, 1977. He gave bone-chilling details about being shot at by a farmer as he walked for help after the crash. In his words, he was "covered in blood and looked like Charles Manson."[citation needed]

In 2014, Pyle was a guest performer on Eli Cook's album, Primitive Son.[10]

Sex offender[edit]

In 1993, Pyle was arrested for attempted capital sexual battery and lewd assault on two female children to which he eventually pled no contest, causing him to be registered as a sexual offender.[11][12] Pyle denies the allegations and claims he accepted a plea to spare the children a trial.[11][13] In 2007, Pyle was arrested for failure to register as a sexual offender in St. Johns County, Florida. For this charge, he was acquitted by a jury in 2009.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

Sludge metal band Artimus Pyledriver based their band name on Pyle.[14]


Lynyrd Skynyrd[edit]

Artimus Pyle Band[edit]

  • A.P.B. (1981)
  • Nightcaller (1983)
  • Live from Planet Earth (2000)
  • Artimus Venomous (2007)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Vrabel, Jeff. (November 29, 2005). Rock the Hall The Florida Times-Union. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  2. ^ Vrable, Jeff. (November 29, 2005) All who have played in the band won't be inducted The Florida Times-Union. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  3. ^ Lynyrd Skynyrd Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Pettus, Gary. (October 20, 2002). The day 'Free Bird' fell from the sky[permanent dead link] Clarion Ledger. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  5. ^ Boston, John. (September 7, 2006) The heart and soul of redneck American. The Signal. Accessed September 24, 2007.
  6. ^ "Lynyrd Skynyrd" The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001). Reprinted at Accessed September 24, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c Artimus Pyle at AllMusic
  8. ^ Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 at AllMusic
  9. ^ Flans, Robyn. Artimus Pyle: Venemous after Lynyrd Skynyrd Modern Drummer Online. Accessed August 5, 2012.
  10. ^ "Primitive Son - Eli Cook | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-04. 
  11. ^ a b c
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Artimus Pyledriver". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 

External links[edit]