Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant said in a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock that the band is not thinking about retiring now and wants to fulfill the wishes of the late guitarist Gary Rossington and “see what the future brings.”
Van Zant spoke about the band’s 2018 announcement that it was embarking on a farewell tour and then backing away from those plans.
“I want to be upfront with you. We were on our last year – 2020 was really going to be our last year. It was like, okay, we’ll go out and maybe do two or three shows after that or do some charity work. We were [in our] last year and COVID hit. We were, like, ‘Well, sh*t. This is great.’ We sat at home for 15 months and when those months were up, we were obligated to finish off the dates that we had booked. So we said, ‘Okay, well, let’s reform and get back out there and put everybody back to work,” Van Zant said in the interview.
He added, “We got back out there and went, ‘You know what? We really missed this.’ We missed seeing our fans. [Late guitarist] Gary [Rossington] was a big part of that. He was, like, ‘I don’t want to sit at home. COVID retired me for 15 months and I didn’t like it.’ [Laughs] That’s all he’s ever done. That’s all any of us have ever done. So we said, ‘Okay, maybe we were wrong about that’”.
He concluded, saying, “Musicians never retire; they just play less shows. We’ll see where the heck the future goes. There isn’t a thing happening right now that Gary didn’t know about, and he wanted it to happen. So we’re going to fulfill those wishes and we’ll see what the future brings.”
In early March this year, the band posted a statement on their social media to announce the death of Rossington, who was the last surviving founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
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