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The legacy began some 41 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, and halted for a decade by the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members, including Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines. Since then, the band tragically lost Allen Collins, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Hughie Thomasson, yet Lynyrd Skynyrd rocks on with original member Gary Rossington joined by Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Michael Cartellone, Johnny Colt, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase.
The rock and roll powerhouse continually tours, this summer heading out on their second run with Bad Company. 2014 marks the 8th year for their annual Simple Man Cruise, a four day voyage filled with the best music in Southern Rock including an outdoor beach show featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd for the first time in the cruise’s history.
And so Skynyrd stands, “still unbroken.” “People may say, ‘they need the money,’ well I don’t think any of us need the money,” Van Zant says. “It’s just that we love the music, it’s bigger than the money, it’s not even about that any more. We have to make a living, sure, but it’s about the legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and what it stands for, what the fans are all about. There’s nothing like getting out there playing a great show with Skynyrd and seeing people love this music.”
Adds Rossington, “We’re still standing, still keeping the music going. We wanted to do the guys who aren’t with us any more proud, and keep the name proud, too.”
With a catalog of over 60 albums, sales beyond 30 million worldwide and their beloved classic American rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” having over two million downloaded ringtones, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to all generations.