Lynyrd Skynyrd Announce Farewell Tour 40 Years After Fatal Plane Crash Nearly Silenced Band For Good

Lynyrd Skynyrd will give fans one more for the road. The iconic Southern rock band will hit the road for a farewell tour that will include guest appearances from a long list of Southern rock and country music friends. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s final tour will be called “Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour,” and it starts in May, according to Taste of Country. Lynyrd Skynyrd will be joined by Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels Band, Bad Company, Marshall Tucker Band, 38 Special, Blackfoot, and more big names during the tour.

Lynyrd Skynyrd released their self-titled debut album in 1973. The album included the future classic “Simple Man,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and the radio anthem “Free Bird.” Four years later, on October 20, 1977, a tragic plane crash in Mississippi took the lives of frontman Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, as well as two members of the airplane crew and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s road manager, Dean Kilpatrick. The fatal crash took place three days after the release of the band’s fifth album, Street Survivors, which gives even more special meaning to the group’s farewell tour title.

After the plane crash, the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd made the decision to disband while several of them, including Artimus Pyle and Gary Rossington, recovered from extensive injuries, according to Yahoo Music.

Fans thought the band was silenced for good, but 10 years later, Ronnie Van Zant’s little brother, Johnny, stepped in as lead singer for a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute tour. Since 1987, Skynyrd has recorded and toured in several different incarnations with the younger Van Zant on vocals. Guitarist Gary Rossington is the only Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder still playing with the band, and Artimus Pyle is the only other living former band member who walked away from the crash 40 years ago.

In a statement about the farewell tour, Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder Gary Rossington said he still can’t believe the band has survived more than 40 years later.

“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,” Rossington said. “I’m certain they are looking down from above, amazed that the music has touched so many.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour” kicks off May 4, in West Palm Beach, Florida, and wraps September 1 in Atlanta, Georgia. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 2 at 10 a.m. via LiveNation.

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