What does Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Lynyrd Skynyrd

Hardly any other band embodies the stereotypical Southern American way of thinking like Lynyrd Skynyrd. For decades they have celebrated the values ​​of the honest, hard-working US citizen who comes home in the evening, has food on the table, drinks a beer in front of the television and is the head of the family. As a set there are groovy riffs and rock arrangements.

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The band was formed in 1964 at a high school in Jacksonville, Florida. The line-up is provided by Ronnie Van Zant on the microphone and Gary Rossington and Allen Collins on the guitars. They change the name from that of their sports teacher Leonard Skinner. As an energetic live band they gain local acquaintance, in 1970 they recorded their first demo, in 1973 their debut album "(pronounced 'leh-nerd skin'-nerd)" was released.

Although commercial success is a long time coming, they are quickly becoming an insider tip. Pete Townshend of The Who is so impressed by them that he hires them as the opening act for the US performances of his rock opera "Quadrophenia".

The big success came in 1974 with the single "Sweet Home Alabama", an answer to Neil Young's socially critical "Southern Man". "I saw cotton and I saw black, tall white mansions and little shacks. Southern man, when will you pay them back?"The Canadian writes, among other things, to which Van Zant threateningly throws back:"Well, I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don't need him around anyhow. Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue."The single reached position eight in the charts, the riff and chorus should still be among the best known.

In the years that followed, they confirmed their reputation as a rock band with a solid rock bottom and hard drinking, with several studio albums and practically uninterrupted tours. Significantly, they landed their greatest commercial success with the live album "One More From The Road" (1976).

A week after "Street Survivor" was released in October 1977, her plane crashed on the way from one gig to the next. Ronnie Van Zant, the guitarist Steve Gaines, who has now joined, and his sister Cassie are killed, other band members only survive with serious injuries. Lynyrd Skynyrd literally crashed at the height of their career.

Apart from a few appearances at gala events, the band no longer existed until the end of the 80s. Collins survived the plane crash but not a car accident in 1986. The other members disperse and keep themselves afloat with the old material.

For the tenth anniversary, Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother Johnny and guitarist Rossington put together a live band for an anniversary concert, enjoyed it and then went on tour. The first studio record of the second Lynyrd Skynyrd generation appeared in 1991, followed by further irregular releases and up to 300 live performances per year.

Keyboardist Billy Powell dies in early 2009, presumably of heart failure. From now on guitarist Gary Rossington is the only surviving member of the original formation. To make matters worse, bassist Donald Evans also succumbed to cancer in 2009.

In the same year the band released the album "Gods & Guns" on Roadrunner Records and catapulted themselves back into the public eye after a long dry spell. With "Last Of A Dyin 'Breed" follows the no less rocking successor three years later: "For me this is the loosest and most fun-loaded album I've ever made"said Rossington."We hardly had any problems, it was just great fun going to work every day."

Also in 2012, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced that they no longer want to show themselves with the Confederate flag in the future, as it has been captured by racists.

At some point it has to come to an end anyway: For 2018 the Southern rockers have announced their farewell tour, which they titled "Street Surviver" after their successful record.

"I never thought that the band that Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and I formed in Jacksonville would still delight generations of fans after all these years"explains Rossington, the only remaining founding member."I'm sure they look down from above and are thrilled that the music touches so many people."