See Lynyrd Skynyrd First Show Since Gary Rossington’s Death – Rolling Stone

If you thought the death of Gary Rossington, the only surviving member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, this past Sunday would end the Southern rock band’s 52-year career, that’s all. You should be at the Plant City Strawberry Festival in Florida on Sunday night. Lynyrd Skynyrd took the stage a week after their lead guitarist died at 71 to play all the hits, from “What’s Your Name” and “Gimme Three Steps” to a one-two punch show ending “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free. Birds.”

But the group also paid tribute to Rossington in the middle of a performance of “Tuesday’s Gone,” peppering the song with footage of the late guitarist, who, in 1964, formed the band’s original Lynyrd Skynyrd and singer Ronnie Van O Zant and drummer Bob Burns. Rossington would go on to survive the 1977 plane crash that killed Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and singer Cassie Gaines and eventually broke up the band. After a 10-year hiatus, the group reformed in 1987 with Ronnie’s younger brother Johnny Van Zant as lead singer, beginning a 36-year (and counting) second career that saw There are different members who are mixed in line.

Rossington’s health has kept him off the road for the past few months — his last performance with Lynyrd Skynyrd was a PBS taping at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium last November — and the group played guitarist Damon Johnson to fill. Johnson and Skynyrd played in Florida on Sunday night, rounding out the three-guitar attack of the band opposite Rickey Medlocke (a member since 1996) and Mark Matejka (who joined in 2006) . When the band performed “Free Bird,” Rossington’s first name appeared on the screen next to the other Skynyrd members who had fallen.

Move on

Last fall, Rossington spoke Car Battery about traditional bands that continue with only a few, if any, original members. “I look outside and I don’t see the first band – it’s different. Then I looked outside and saw a replacement for me, it was a strange thing. Just hearing the songs without me playing them live is so different,” he said. “There are 101 strange things happening. But seeing the little people enjoying it warms my heart.”

Lynyrd Synyrd’s next show is scheduled for April 29 in Brandon, Mississippi. This summer, they will join ZZ Top – who also battled a replacement after founding member Dusty Hill died in 2021 – on a joint tour. The Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour kicks off July 21st in West Palm Beach, Florida, and runs through September.

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