Ed Rode via CMT
As a part of Lynyrd Skynyrd since day one, Gary Rossington has had the opportunity to play alongside some of the greatest guitarists in rock history. Over the years, Gary has shared the stage with the talents of Allen Collins, Ed King, and Steve Gaines, among others.
Today, Gary is the only founding member of Skynyrd still in the group. After many years of playing guitar, Gary has become known as an icon himself, and he’s helped teach Skynyrd’s new guitarists the ropes.
Skynyrd’s current triple guitar lineup consists of Gary, Rickey Medlocke, and Sparky Matejka, and man is there a lot of talent in that trio! During an interview with Guitar World, Gary spoke about the distinct roles that each of them play in the band:
“Live, Rickey plays all of Allen’s parts, and on the new stuff he still plays a little like him. Because we all grew up playing together; Rickey was in the very first version of the band. So he saw how we were playing and he was playing right along with us. And then Sparky adds the Steve Gaines or Ed King part to it—that faster style of playing on a Strat. With the old stuff he’ll cover those parts, and on the new stuff he’s so good he can do anything.”
Since Gary lives and breathes guitar playing, you could say he knows a thing or two about how it should be done. After he described the roles that he, Rickey, and Sparky play in the band, the interviewer asked him what he felt about Sparky in particular, since he is the newest addition to the guitar lineup.
Gary had nothing but praise for Sparky, saying how his talent is like something from out of this world.
“I’d say he’s one of the best guitar players I’ve ever seen,” Gary revealed. “We actually have to kind of tell him to slow down here and there…But he’s a freak. He plays every style, and he’s a really good picker.“
We would have to agree with Gary, because Sparky definitely knows how to rock! You can see him, Gary, and Rickey in action during one of Skynyrd’s live performances in the clip below.
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