Led by core members Gary Rossington (guitar), Johnny Van Zant (vocals) and Rickey Medlocke (guitar), along with longtime drummer Michael Cartellone, Lynyrd Skynyrd has maintained a tremendous legacy that began over 40 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, and continues with the recently released Last Of A Dying Breed (Roadrunner). The band's career was halted for a decade after the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members, including Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, and then subsequently faced adversity through the losses of Billy Powell, Ean Evans, Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson and Huey Thomasson, yet they rock on. With a catalog of over 60 albums, sales beyond 30 million worldwide and their beloved classic American rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” having over two million downloaded ringtones, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to all generations. The current line-up features Gary Rossington (Guitar), Johnny Van Zant (Vocals), Rickey Medlocke (Guitar), Mark "Sparky" Matejka (Guitar), Michael Cartellone (Drums), Johnny Colt (Bass), Peter Keys (Keyboards), Dale Krantz Rossington- Honkettes (Backing Vocals) and Carol Chase-Honkettes (Backing Vocals).
Bad Company were dubbed a super-group upon the band's formation due to the union of Free's Paul Rodgers (Vocals / Multi-Instrumentalist) with Mott The Hoople's Mick Ralphs (Guitar) plus King Crimson's Boz Burrell (Bass) and Free's Simon Kirke (Drums). Over the next nine years, the band released a string of six albums, yielding international hits "Can't Get Enough," "Bad Company," "Feel Like Makin' Love," and many others penned by the main songwriters Paul Rodgers and Mick Ralphs. Original members Rodgers, Ralphs, and Kirke will be joined by guitarist Howard Leese and bassist Todd Ronning (from Paul Rodgers solo band). Original bassist Boz Burrell passed away in 2006.
Bad Company has inspired many of today's musicians. Most notably, Metal band Five Finger Death Punch who scored a #1 Active Rock hit with a cover of the song "Bad Company". Since 2001, the band has only played 11 isolated performances, and has not staged a tour of The United States until now. In front of the run, Rodgers shares, "When Mick and I formed the band in the 70's we were amazed at the instant success. It didn't hurt to have Led Zeppelin behind us, and we wrote some decent songs that still resonate. This one is for fans."
Lynyrd Skynyrd's Johnny Van Zant offers, "Every member of Skynyrd has been fans of Bad Company from the get go. Personally, Paul is one of my favorite rock singers. We have a deep appreciation for Bad Company’s music and look forward to being on the road with them and sharing the stage.” Paul Rodgers reveals, "The Skynyrds and I go back to the 70's and the days and nights at the Hyatt House on Sunset in LA aka the Riot House. In the 90's the band introduced me to my wife Cynthia, and that's why I am so damned happy and healthy these years."
Special guests and Kentucky-bred hard rockers, Black Stone Cherry were the openers on The 40 Tour. Their music has been described as Southern-fried hard rock about everything from being proud of where you come from and true to who you are.
Lynyrd Skynyrd images (www.lynyrdskynyrd.com)
Bad Company images (www.badcompany.com)
Black Stone Cherry images (www.blackstonecherry.com)