Rickey Medlocke Explains Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Future Amid ‘Tribute Band’ Controversy

Rickey Medlocke stood by the current Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup amid ‘tribute band’ criticism.

The guitarist recently sat down with Real Music With Gary Stuckey for an interview and  talked about why the band is still going after Gary Rossington’s death:

“We hear a lot of, ‘Oh, it’s nothing but a tribute band.’ Well, they even said that when Gary was still alive. But here’s the way I look at it. You’ve got the original singer’s youngest brother [Johnny Van Zant] that has been in there almost 37 years. You’ve got me. That’s my second go-round with the band, and I was in the original group, the formidable group. And you had Gary, an original founding member. Well, to us, us three guys standing upfront, we were, like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no.'”

Rickey Further Criticizes Tribute Band References

Then Medlocke reflected on the difference between his band and a tribute band:

“A tribute band is a band of all strangers that love to play cover songs and decide one day they’re gonna be a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band. There’s a ton of ’em on YouTube. When you come to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, when you come to see us, it’s full-on tilt original-sounding, as close as you could ever possibly get. So the people sitting there behind their little computer keyboards and talking sh*t, they can talk that sh*t all they want to. My word is if you can do better than me, step up. You know what I mean? Come on. Come on with it.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd Wants To Keep Their Legacy Alive

The rocker also shared what he and Johnny Van Zant promised to do to Rossington:

“Because Johnny and I right now promised Gary — Gary made us promise that we would never, ever let the integrity of the band and the music history of the band, never let it be forgotten. Just all of a sudden, he’s gone, the band’s gone, and you might hear it on radio every once in a while, or people get together for a barbecue and they play the music or whatever. We got so much corresponding comments, letters, notes, e-mail, text messages, and the one deciding factor was, ‘Please, don’t let this be the end of it.’ Well, okay.”

After Gary passed away In March 2023, fans’ messages encouraged them to continue playing as a band. Rickey previously said he believes they’ll keep going as long as they can. The guitarist also revealed last month that he and Johnny are planning to work on a new album.

You can watch Medlocke’s full interview below.