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Rickey Medlocke explains why Lynyrd Skynyrd is not a tribute band

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Classic Rock

Rickey Medlocke explains why Lynyrd Skynyrd is not a tribute band

Lynyrd Skynyrd was formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1964 but was able to release their debut album only in 1973. They became one of the most influential bands from the 70s in the United States and tragically in 1977 the band’s airplane crashed killing the band’s vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and several other original members.


In 1987 the band was activated with the surviving members Gary Rossington (Guitar), Leon Wilkeson (Bass), Artimus Pyle (Drums) and Billy Powell (Keyboards). They were accompanied by the guitarist Ed King and the singer Johnny Van Zant, who is Ronnie’s younger brother. The group continued active during the next decades with Rossington being the only constant original member in the line-up. Although the musician passed away in 2023, the band announced the decision to continue without original or classic members.

So obviously, there is a lot of criticism of many fans who said they are just a tribute band nowadays. In an interview with Gary Stuckey (Transcribed by Blabbermouth), the guitarist Rickey Medlocke gave his point of view about that and explained why he believes they are not a tribute band. Medlocke was a member of Skynyrd from 1971 to 1972 (Playing the drums) and returned to the line-up in 1996 as a guitarist.

Rickey Medlocke explained why Lynyrd Skynyrd is not a tribute band

Medlock who also was a famous member of the band Blackfoot, said:

“We hear a lot of, ‘Oh, it’s nothing but a tribute band.’ Well, they even said that when Gary was still alive. But here’s the way I look at it. You’ve got the original singer’s youngest brother (Johnny) who has been in there for almost 37 years. You’ve got me.”

“That’s my second go-round with the band, and I was in the original group, the formidable group. And you had Gary, an original founding member. Well, to us, us three guys standing up front, we were, like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no.'”

He continued:

“A tribute band is a band of all strangers that love to play cover songs and decide one day they’re gonna be a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band. There’s a ton of ’em on YouTube. When you come to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, when you come to see us. It’s full-on tilt original-sounding, as close as you could ever possibly get.”

“So the people sitting there behind their little computer keyboards and talking shit, they can talk that shit all they want to. My word is if you can do better than me, step up. You know what I mean? Come on. Come on with it. Because Johnny and I right now promised Gary. Gary made us promise that we would never, ever let the integrity of the band and the music history of the band, never let it be forgotten.”

“Just all of a sudden, he’s gone, the band’s gone, and you might hear it on the radio every once in a while. Or people get together for a barbecue and they play the music or whatever. We got so many corresponding comments, letters, notes, e-mails, text messages. The one deciding factor was, ‘Please, don’t let this be the end of it.’ Well, okay,” Rickey Medlocke said.

The band has many scheduled tour dates in 2024. They even will tour with ZZ Top across the United States.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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