Gary Rossington & Rickey Medlocke Open Up About How They Conquered Skynyrd’s Tragic Past

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Lynyrd Skynyrd has a long history, but it’s a history that is filled with tragedy and sadness. Despite all of the hard times the group has been through, they have stayed strong, and manage to continue their tradition of making rockin’ music. 

As the only founding member of Skynyrd still in the band, guitarist Gary Rossington carries much of the group’s history on his shoulders. A great portion of that history also rests within Rickey Medlocke, who was Skynyrd’s drummer from 1971-1972 and later rejoined the band as a guitarist in 1996. 

During a 2009 radio interview in New York, Gary and Rickey sat down to talk about the band’s history. Rickey mentioned how even after all these years, they continue to be amazed whenever they reach a new accomplishment. He specifically mentioned “Sweet Home Alabama,” which remains one of the group’s most popular songs. 

What’s really cool is several years ago it crossed over the million mark of downloaded ringtones,” he said.

After all of the tragedy Skynyrd has experienced, especially following the plane crash of 1977, many wondered how they would be able to go on. But Gary said the key is simple…it’s all in the music:

“The music’s been here in all of us. When we had a dream when we were all little kids and teenagers when The Beatles came out to get in a band that was famous, and write songs, that was just a dream, but it came true. We’re just keeping the music going for the guy’s that aren’t here any more…we’re just keeping it alive.”

Since Rickey and Gary know all too well how precious every moment is, they make sure they always give it their all whenever they step out on stage.

Every night we go up there I play it like it’s going to be my last,” said Rickey.

You can watch Rickey and Gary’s full interview below.

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