GARY ROSSINGTON's Widow Gave Her Blessing For LYNYRD SKYNYRD To Continue After His Death

July 28, 2023

Speaking exclusively to Rock Candy magazine as part of an in-depth 18-page LYNYRD SKYNYRD story, lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant explains exactly how and why the band has decided to continue after the untimely death of founding member and guitarist Gary Rossington back in March.

"Gary's wife really sealed the deal," Johnny outlined to Rock Candy editor Howard Johnson. "Dale has been singing backing vocals with SKYNYRD for years and years, ever since the tribute tour that brought the band back together in 1987. And when Gary died, Dale said to me, 'This is what Gary did and he would want you guys to carry on.' So now more than ever I want to continue. Gary was out there carrying the legacy for the original guys — for Ronnie and Allen, for Billy and Leon — for so many years out of respect for what they did. Now I think he deserves the same kind of respect from us."

With SKYNYRD currently hitting the road for shows with ZZ TOP, guitarist Rickey Medlocke is also quick to explain his desire to keep the band's legacy alive.

"When Gary passed, it broke my heart," says Medlocke. "It really did. It's only now that I've got to the point where I can talk about it and think about the good old days and all the good times we had together. So it's very emotional for me to get up on stage and play, and to look across and not see Gary doing his thing. But I believe it's important to keep SKYNYRD's music alive and not let it just fade away. It's important for all of us to honor the memories of all the other guys who went before us in this band. I'm just very proud and very honored to be doing that."

Van Zant also says that live performance has always been at the very core of LYNYRD SKYNYRD's work.

"The records SKYNYRD made were great, but Gary felt that in truth SKYNYRD had always been about the live performance," he explains. "Now we're no young turkeys, no spring chickens. But what I do know is that everyone still loves getting out there and playing the music. We feel like a family when we're out there together, and we all want to go out there again and really give Gary his due."

You can read our 18-page LYNYRD SKYNYRD special, together with many other fascinating stories about RATT, JETHRO TULL, FASTER PUSSYCAT and Ronnie Montrose in issue 39 of Rock Candy.

For more details, visit

Rock Candy is a 100-page, full-color bi-monthly rock mag, created in the U.K. It covers the sights, sounds and smells from the greatest era in hard rock music, the '70s and '80s. It is the brainchild of respected U.K. rock journalists Derek Oliver, Howard Johnson and Malcolm Dome — all frontline writers for the legendary Kerrang! magazine in the golden era.

Find more on Lynyrd skynyrd
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).