Previous names for the band included the Noble Five, My Backyard and One Percent.
The band finally got their name from the basketball coach at their Jacksonville High School, Forby Leonard Skinner, after he sent them to the Principle's office for having hair that was too long. At first they spelt it, Leonard Skinnerd, which then changed to their more distinctive spelling on their first album.
They established their trademark three guitar attack on their first big hit Free Bird which was a tribute to the recently deceased Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman.
1974 hit Sweet Home Alabama was written as a tribute to the celebrated R& B studios Muscle Shoals, but after Neil Young's criticisms of the South in his songs Alabama and Southern Man they rewrote the third verse to rebuke him. But the band and Young were on good terms and the Canadian originally wrote Powderfinger for Lynryrd Skynyrd although they never recorded it.
Gimme Back My Bullets was a reference to Rolling Stone magazine's rating system. They had to stop playing it live because fans threw real bullets on stage.