Live at the Ryman
Special PBS Television Taping
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In 2022, lead singer Johnny Van Zant of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Lynyrd Skynyrd announced that the iconic classic Southern rock act is set to retire from the road after a career that has spanned more than 40 years and includes a catalog of 60 plus albums and over 30 million units sold.
“We’re still looking at hanging it up in the next year or so,” Van Zant noted to the Florida Times-Union. “We’re going to retire from touring.”
In 2018, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced the Last of the Street Survivors Farewell tour, a trek that was intended to span two-to-three years. However, the pandemic drastically altered those plans. The group played just two shows in 2020, but returned in 2021 with the Big Wheels Keep on Turnin’ tour, which will continue through 2022.
Though Van Zant didn’t give an exact timeline, he inferred that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s touring days are numbered. The waning health of guitarist Gary Rossington, the band’s lone remaining founding member, is one of the reasons for retirement.
“Gary is doing better,” Van Zant admitted. “He said he is getting a lot more energy from this new medicine. He’s come out and played two or three shows with us. As far as playing a whole set, I don’t know. People think we don’t put out a lot of energy, but two hours is a lot of work. We told him to come out when he wants, save yourself.”
The legendary rockers are best known for the RIAA Platinum-certified “Sweet Home Alabama” and self-proclaimed signature song, “Free Bird,” that Rolling Stone said was “easily the most requested live song in existence.” With everlasting hits such as “Simple Man,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “What’s Your Name,” “Call Me The Breeze,” “You Got that Right,” and more, it is easy to see why Rolling Stone named Lynyrd Skynyrd one of its 100 Greatest Bands of All Time.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band that USA Today called the “whiskey-soaked genre’s most popular and influential crew,” is still the high energy band with all the hits that fans have come to expect. Original member Gary Rossington will be appearing at as many shows as possible joined by Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Michael Cartellone, Keith Christopher, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase.
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