(Left) YouTube via Lynyrd Skynyrd on MV/(Right) We Are SKYNYRD NATION! YouTube Channel
Johnny Van Zant put it best…if it hadn’t been for two people by the names of Lacy and Marion Van Zant, there wouldn’t be any Van Zant children. That means that without them, there would be no Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Zant, or .38 Special, at least not as we know them.
Lacy and Marion were dearly beloved by their children, and as a result, came to be loved by their extended family of Skynyrd Nation as well, who knew them as “Papa V” and “Sister.” Marion passed away in 2000 and Lacy died four years later in 2004. The band was broken at the loss of their matriarch and patriarch, as was the rest of Skynyrd nation.
But while Lacy and Marion were still alive, Johnny and the rest of the band decided to pay tribute to them in the best way they knew how…through music. Addressing the crowd at a packed Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, Johnny said he wanted to dedicate the next song to his mother and father, because Skynyrd wouldn’t exist without them.
“There’s only one one Papa V and there’s only one one Sister,” he said.
The crowd cheered as Skynyrd moved into their tribute song to Lacy and Marion, “Born to Run,” a track from their 1993 album, The Last Rebel. Opening with the wail of the guitars, Johnny made his entrance a little while later with a burst of power. He maintained that same colorful energy throughout the rest of the performance.
One member of the band who was really on fire that night was keyboardist Billy Powell, who is featured predominantly toward the end of the song. The amount of enthusiasm he put into his part showed, and you could tell whenever the camera cut to him that he was having a blast.
But overall, everyone in Skynyrd was on point with their tribute to Lacy and Marion. We’re sure they were proud.
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