Rickey Medlocke Reveals What He Promised Gary Rossington Before His Death
via Golden Celebs / Youtube
Lynyrd Skynyrd, a band with an enduring legacy, has continued to make its mark on the music scene over the years. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, and landing at No. 95 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s influence has been felt for decades with iconic hits like “Free Bird.” As the band geared up for a performance at the New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash event, guitarist Rickey Medlocke took a moment to discuss the recent loss of original member Gary Rossington and the promise he made to him before his passing.
Gary Rossington, an integral part of Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away in March at the age of 71 at his home in Milton, Georgia.
His health had been a concern for many years, marked by a heart attack in 2015 and emergency heart surgery in 2021. Reflecting on Rossington’s death, Medlocke expressed his deep sorrow, stating,
“That really broke my heart. And I don’t think that I’ve quite—still right now, after all this time, I don’t think I’ve quite settled with it, because we were such really good friends ever since we were teenagers.”
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Amid speculations that Lynyrd Skynyrd might conclude after Rossington’s passing, Medlocke emphasized how the fans played a crucial role in their decision to carry on.
“The outcry of the fans were such that they said, ‘Please don’t let this be the end of it.’ And so we decided, along with the former bandmembers’ estates and relatives, that we were gonna go back out and take the great music to the fans.”
However, at the heart of their decision was a promise made by Medlocke to Rossington.
Medlocke pledged to Rossington that he would remain with Lynyrd Skynyrd until the “final note” of the band was played. Beyond fulfilling a promise, Medlocke expressed his genuine love for the band’s music, stating,
“It’s all about the music. Those are such iconic and great songs, and I feel very honored and very proud that I’ve been able to be there and play those songs all this time. And God bless Gary for getting me back into this, and I promised him that I would stay in this band till the final note in ‘Free Bird’ was struck.”
As Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to honor its legacy and bring their timeless music to fans, Medlocke remains committed to keeping the promise he made to his dear friend and bandmate, Gary Rossington.