Jacksonville's Lynyrd Skynryd Announces Farewell Tour
Lynyrd Skynyrd has announced a farewell tour that will kick off on May 4 in West Palm Beach.
The band was originally formed more than 40 years ago on the First Coast.
"It's hard to imagine, after all these years, the band that Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and myself started back in Jacksonville, would resonate for this long and to so many generations of fans. I’m certain they are looking down from above, amazed that the music has touched so many," said Gary Rossington, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, on the band’s website.
The band picked its name as a mock tribute to the late Leonard Skinner, who was a P.E. teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, according to multiple sources that include The Florida Times-Union and Washington Post.
The music almost came to an end in 1977 when a plane crash killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines and several members of the road crew.
The band was reformed in 1987 with Ronnie’s brother, Johnny Van Zant, taking over lead vocals of such classics as "Sweet Home Alabama," "Simple Man" and "Free Bird" (videos below).
“We’ve been blessed by these great songs and the messages they carry to the fans. It’s been a true honor to try and fill in my brother’s footsteps for the past 31 years, keeping the music and his spirit alive," said Johnny Van Zant.
Since then, the band has also lost Allen Collins, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Hughie Thomasson, according to the band's website.
Despite the setbacks, the sound has endured. Lynyrd Skynyrd has produced more than 60 albums.
One of the band’s recent projects marked a return to Jacksonville. In 2015 the band returned home to record a Blu-ray DVD at the Florida Theatre.
No Jacksonville or First Coast-area tour date has been announced for the Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour Presented by SiriusXM at the time of this story’s posting. But the band does say to check its website for tour updates.
Here are the dates and locations for the first leg of the tour that we have received as of January 25:
Friday, May 4 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach, Florida
Saturday, May 5 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida
Friday, May 11 – Starplex Pavilion, Dallas, Texas
Saturday, May 12 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman, Houston, Texas
Friday, May 18 – Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, Arizona
Saturday, May 19 – Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, California
Friday, May 25 – Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California
Saturday, May 26 – Glen Helen Amphitheater, San Bernadino, California
Friday, June 22 – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, New Jersey
Saturday, June 23 – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre, Wantagh, New York
Friday, June 29 – Coastal Credit Union Music Park, Raleigh, North Carolina
Saturday, June 30 – PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, North Carolina
Friday, July 6 – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Saturday, July 7 – Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Virginia
Friday, July 13 – Darien Lake Amphitheater, Darien, New York
Saturday, July 14 – Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut
Friday, July 20 – Xfinity Center, Mansfield, Massachusetts*
Saturday, July 21 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, New York
Friday, July 27 – Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Saturday, July 28 – Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Friday, August 3 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, Illinois
Saturday, August 4 – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, Noblesville, Indiana
Friday, August 10 – DTE Energy Music Theatre, Detroit, Michigan+
Saturday, August 11 – Budweiser Stage, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Friday, August 17 – Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Saturday, August 18 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, St. Louis, Missouri
Friday, August 24 – Lakeview Amphitheatre, Syracuse, New York
Saturday, August 25 – KeyBank Pavilion, Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
Friday, August 31 – Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Pelham, AL
Saturday, September 1 – Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, Georgia
You can check for updates and additional information at http://lynyrdskynyrd.com.