Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd Remembers Gary Rossington’s Farewell Performance

Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd has left his bandmate Rickey Medlocke with a memory that he will always treasure. In November 2022, the band performed in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, rocking the crowd with favorites like “Free Bird,” “Simple Man,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and more. This would be Rossington’s last show before he passed away in March 2023. Marcus King, John Osborne of Brothers Osborne, Jelly Roll, and other celebrities made appearances during the concert, making it a star-studded farewell.

“That was his last performance with us, so I’ll always cherish that one very special,” Medlocke says to American Songwriter. Tuesday’s Gone was performed by Jelly Roll, “Workin’ for MCA” by Osborne, “Saturday Night Special” by King, “Simple Man” by Shinedown lead singer Brent Smith, and “Red White & Blue,” the band’s post-9/11 tribute song performed by Donnie Van Zant, brother of the late Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant, were performed live. “It was really a lot of fun and we had a lot of people with us,” says Medlocke.

For many years, Medlocke and Rossington collaborated on guitar songs with Lynyrd Skynyrd. The last co-founder of the original Skynyrd lineup to die was Rossington. In 1977, he was a part of the catastrophic plane disaster that claimed the lives of bandmates Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and Van Zant. He was left with multiple fractured limbs, including his arms, legs, and pelvis.

In addition, Rossington co-wrote a number of the band’s hits, including the well-known “Sweet Home Alabama.” “I thought his work was excellent as a musician in general. Medlocke tells American Songwriter, “That’s his distinctive guitar and leads in a lot of those Lynyrd Skynyrd tunes. “Therefore, the individual truly branded Lynyrd Skynyrd.”

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