Rickey Medlocke Reveals His Final Promise To Gary Rossington

Rickey Medlocke returned to Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1996 after leaving his one-year run in 1972. He is now one of the longest running members in the lineup and feels responsible with continuing the band. The drummer recently shared with the ‘Jay Jay French Connection’ podcast:

“I made a promise to Gary Rossington when I got back in the band. I told Gary, I said, ‘Gary, no matter what, from this day forward, I’ll be with you in this band until the last note in ‘Free Bird’ is played.’ I wish he was with me. It hurt me to the core of my heart when he passed away.”

His words went on:

“It’s very important for Johnny and I, because Gary never wanted to let the legacy and the music die with him. It’s very important for Johnny and I to keep that standard up, to go out there every night and give it 110 percent for the fans. It’s all for them. And we’re proud to do it.”

The Remaining Members Had Rossington’s Blessing To Stay Together

Gary Rossington was the last founding member in Lynyrd Skynyrd until he passed away last year. So, Rickey Medlocke and Johnny Van Zant’s decision to keep the band going after his death caused some discussions.

But Medlocke told Ultimate Classic Rock that they had Rossington’s blessing to go on:

“With [Rossington’s] blessing, we [realized] it was time to get someone to cover for him – you know, because we had obligations. Now, from this point, going forward, it’s going to be interesting. We’re [carrying on] with the blessings of everybody, Dale [Rossington] and the estates – all of the people that are involved. They want to see the music continue.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s current lineup features Michael Cartellone, Mark Matejka, Peter Keys, Keith Christopher, and Damon Johnson along with Van Zant and Medlocke. This lineup will start touring the US on June 6.