In 2018, Southern Rock icons, Lynyrd Skynyrd, announced that, after a career that has spanned more than 40 years and includes a catalog of more than 60 albums with more than 30 million units sold, they would embark on their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour. Produced by Live Nation, the career-concluding farewell tour logged over 50 stops by the end of 2018.
In 2019 Johnny Van Zant, Gary Rossington, and Rickey Medlocke sat down with Dan Rather for a candid conversation on The Big Interview during the first leg of their farewell tour. Reflecting on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s enduring legacy and their fans around the world, Rossington told Rather, “It takes a long time to finish a farewell tour when you’re like us, ‘cause we’ve played everywhere… I keep jokin’ it’d take ten years to do the farewell tour.”
However, like many things since COVID hit last year, their Farewell tour has been put on pause. Lead singer, Johnny Van Zant said, ‘this past year has been very difficult on so many people, including us and our families. I think you realize once something is taken away from you, you truly realize how important it is and such a part of your life.’
Original member and guitarist Gary Rossington added, ‘you know, we were in the last part of the Farewell Tour when COVID turned our world upside down. And since that time, we have been talking amongst the band, and realized that music has such a way of healing. Maybe it’s not our time to go? And maybe it’s our time to lift people’s spirits and lives and bring back some joy and happiness after so much turmoil this past year. This country and the world have been through a lot this past year with COVID. We’re still standing, still keeping the music going. We want to do the guys who aren’t with us any more proud, and keep the name proud, too.”
The legendary rockers are best known for the RIAA Platinum-certified “Sweet Home Alabama” and self-proclaimed signature song, “Free Bird,” that Rolling Stone said was “easily the most requested live song in existence.” With everlasting hits such as “Simple Man,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “What’s Your Name,” “Call Me The Breeze,” “You Got that Right,” and more, it is easy to see why Rolling Stone named Lynyrd Skynyrd one of its 100 Greatest Bands of All Time.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band that USA Today called the “whiskey-soaked genre's most popular and influential crew,” is ready to return to live music and rock Billy Bob’s for the first time as a band. Original member Gary Rossington will be joined by Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Michael Cartellone, Keith Christopher, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington, and Carol Chase.