Lynyrd Skynyrd- Street Survivors

Lynyrd Skynyrd had to cancel several shows last year due to a heart attack of OG guitarist Gary Rossington, the latest in his dozen-year saga which began in 2003 with a quintuple bypass operation followed by a stent since then. With the marking of Gary’s birthday (4th), you could focus on the obvious fact that guitarists  Rossington and past & current member Rick Medlocke are the sole survivors of the Jacksonville kids who met on the baseball field, practiced in a carport, and wrote rock history. Yet if you attach too much anxiety to this last set back, you risk missing the point of every Lynyrd Skynyrd release and tour (counting the Rossington-Collins Band) for the last 35 years. 

In May 1980 when I asked a visibly scarred and emotionally traumatized Gary Rossington why he chose to soldier on after their tragic 1977 plane crash killed three band members, Rossington replied,”Because I don’t know how to do anything else, except pick strawberries. And I’d rather play music.” The core of Lynyrd Skynyrd always has been the ageless bond among boyhood friends from the wrong side of the tracks in Jacksonville. Eventually nature  will impose its own “stop loss policy” on the band, but it appears unlikely as long as original members Rossington and Medlocke are the last men standing.– Redbeard



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