Today, fans recognize Rickey Medlocke as one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's three talented guitarists, along with Gary Rossington and Sparky Matejka. But diehard Skynyrd fans know that Rickey's connection to the band is so much more than that.
After graduating from high school in Jacksonville, Rickey formed his first band, called Blackfoot, for which he served as the lead singer and guitarist. Skynyrd's home turf was also in Jacksonville, and eventually Rickey found himself helping out the band by playing drums and singing for them.
During this early era of Skynyrd's history, Rickey played alongside founding drummer Bob Burns. But Rickey found himself desiring a change of pace, and felt more drawn to playing guitar. So in 1972 he decided to reform Blackfoot, and experienced a successful career with them.
Rickey was considering other careers in the 1990s when he got a call from Gary asking him to join Skynyrd again, this time as a guitarist. Rickey said "yes" and has been with Skynyrd ever since.
Reflecting on his experience with Skynyrd during an August 2016 interview, Rickey said there was always something about the group that drew him to it.
"You never know what's gonna happen when you're young, but you knew they were gonna do something," he said. "From the moment we started doing rehearsals, it felt right. I felt like this is where I should've been all along. The ride has been incredible."
After being with the band for so long, Rickey has learned all of their classic hits as well as their newer material. With such an extensive musical history, Rickey said it's hard for him to pick a favorite song, but he did name a few he has a particular fondness for.
"I'd be really hard-pressed to choose one that's a favorite,"he said. "I love 'Simple Man' and 'Needle and the Spoon,' but everyone always asks me my favorite, and I always say, 'all of them.'"
We would have to agree! How in the world could you ever pick just one Skynyrd song as your favorite? The same applies to Rickey's many performances with the group. He brings so much passion to the stage that he makes every show a thrill to watch. You can see the magic that Rickey brings to the group by watching the clip below.
Thanks for everything you've done for Skynyrd Rickey! Keep on rockin'!
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