Following Gary Rossington’s passing, Johnny Van Zant recently appeared in an interview with Goldmine to discuss maintaining Lynyrd Skynyrd’s legacy. Zant talked about the band’s lineup changes as well. When asked if joining Lynyrd Skynyrd intimidates new members, Johnny responded as follows:
“I’m sure, but we’re all brothers. A lot of us have been here for a long time, and I’m sure it’s intimidating for someone new. They’re all nervous when they come in because it is Lynyrd Skynyrd, and that’s an iconic band. And, hey, I can tell you they feel no different than I did back in ’87.”
The singer also mentioned that he used to feel nervous about his performance and added:
“I was scared sh*tless. I was like, Oh my God, what am I doing here? You know, big mistake. What am I doing? It took me probably a good five years to feel that the fans are coming back. So I must be doing an OK job. And I gotta tell you, I don’t know if this nervousness or anxiety or whatever will ever go away. Every night before the show, it’s like, ‘Don’t talk to me. Let me get my head in the game because I got to be Johnny, the guy singing with Lynyrd Skynyrd.’”
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Decision To Continue With New Members After Gary Rossington’s Passing
Throughout their history, Lynyrd Skynyrd suffered a great deal of loss, yet they always managed to bounce back. Following the passing of its final original member, the band said in a statement that they will carry on with live performances in memory of their departed friend. According to the official statement:
“The current members of the band, led by Johnny Van Zant, the singer for the past 36 years, were unsure if they would continue following Gary’s untimely passing. After much discussion with the band, the families of Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, and Dale Rossington, the collective has reached unified support and feel that continuing to perform live and keeping the music alive is in the best interest of the fans and everyone involved.”
The Sharp Dressed Simple Man concert, a co-headlining concert between Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top, was announced last year. 36 gigs are scheduled for the tour, which runs from March through September of 2024.
The announcement of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour and the dates of its concerts via X are displayed below.
Skynyrd Nation!! We heard ya! We're bringing the Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour with @ZZTop to a city near you in 2024! We can’t wait to celebrate 50 Years of Skynyrd with you! Presale starts tomorrow with code SKYNYRD50 pic.twitter.com/NytmnDz3qx
— Lynyrd Skynyrd (@Skynyrd) October 30, 2023