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Lynyrd Skynyrd has both one of the longest and most tragedy-ridden histories in all of rock music. After the release of their first few studio albums produced hit songs such as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Simple Man,” the future seemed bright for the shinning stars of Southern Rock.
But one day in 1977 changed everything, when lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and band members Steve and Cassie Gaines were killed in a plane crash. The band went on hiatus for a while, with its remaining members pursuing other projects.
Finally, in 1987 Skynyrd reunited for what was intended to be a one-time tribute tour, with Ronnie’s brother Johnny Van Zant taking over as lead vocalist. The band eventually decided to reunite for good, since going on constant tours and recording multiple new albums.
For the release of their newest album, called Last of a Dyin’ Breed in 2012, some of the band members sat down for exclusive, behind the scenes interviews about the band and their history. Guitarist Gary Rossington, who is the only founding member still in the band, spoke about how the band finds a balance between keeping traditions and trying new things.
“New life goes on and new ideas go on…it’s really important to us not to just know the old songs and never try to learn any more…I guess we don’t have to do it but it sure is fun doing it.”
As for what Rossington believes is the reason behind Skynyrd being able to continue on after all these years, he says all the credit goes to the fans.
“To all our fans, we love you guys, and y’all are the reason we’re still here of course,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here without you. We couldn’t be.“
You can watch the full interview in the video below.
Old music or new, we love anything by Skynyrd, and we’re looking forward to what they have for us in the years to come!