Credit: Jim Belmont
Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Johnny Van Zant and guitarists Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke are the guests on the latest episode of the PBS interview series Speakeasy, which premieres on select TV stations this week.
Filmed in New York City last year at The Triad theater, the Southern rockers chatted with music journalist Rob Tannenbaum about a variety of topics, including the 1977 plane crash that killed three of the band’s members, what their fans mean to them and their ongoing Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour.
Regarding the band members lost in the crash, Rossington, who’s Lynyrd Skynyrd’s sole remaining original member, says in the episode, “[I]t was such a heavy thing. They never got a chance to know classic rock, and that we’d be on there and ‘Free Bird’ would become one of the biggest songs played.”
As for the band’s loyal followers, Van Zant maintains, “People who love Skynyrd music are not fans to us. You’re family…It’s a big family.”
Adds Medlocke, “It’s an interesting deal when you look out…and you see everybody there…and you know what the music means to ’em and what the band means to ’em…You’re the best. We love you guys.”
Meanwhile, Van Zant suggests that Skynyrd’s farewell trek may not be the last time that the band hits the road. He points out with a laugh, “I was talking to the guys and they said, ‘You know what the best part about a farewell tour?’ And I said, ‘No, what’s that?” And they said, ‘The reunion tour.’”
You can check out preview clips of the show at the Front and Center YouTube channel.
Find out when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s installment of Speakeasy airs on your local stations by visiting SpeakeasyTalks.com. The website also features previous episodes.
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