Lynyrd Skynyrd Is Bringing Farewell Tour Home To Jacksonville

Apr 19, 2018

Jacksonville will be saying goodbye to its most famous hometown band on Sunday, Sept. 2.

On Thursday the Jaguars and Lynyrd Skynryd lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, along with guitarist Ricky Medlocke, announced the homecoming at the team’s annual State of the Franchise meeting.

Van Zant said, “I’ve lived in Jacksonville my whole life… Tom [Coughlin], it’s good to see you back with the team.”

He added, “We’re going to rock the house.”

They’ll be playing at EverBank Field, which is being renamed TIAA Bank Field.

Kid Rock and Jason Aldean will also be joining Lynyrd Skynryd for what is being billed as “their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour.”

“It’ll probably be our last time here,” lead singer Johnny Van Zant said Wednesday, according to our Florida Times-Union news partner. “Gary’s health, to be honest with you, is not the best. Skynyrd will never go away, the music’s here forever,” Van Zant added.

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 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." 

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s farewell tour kicks off on May 4 in West Palm Beach.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

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