LYNYRD SKYNYRD (kind of) headlines First Niagara Pavilion this evening. I consider Skynyrd to be Southern-fried Led Zep. I mean that as high praise.
I saw Skynyrd in December, 1976 at the Civic Arena. I don't remember much because I was a kid, and I was drinking. Skynyrd's plane crashed the next year. I never saw the classic lineup again. Lesson learned. No more boozing before concerts.
Only one guy remains from the glory years: Gary Rossington on guitar. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines died in the plane crash in '77, and Skynyrd members just kept dying. Sad. One of rock n' roll's great tragedies.
It's not the same without Ronnie. I respect his brother Johnny. The rest of Skynyrd, too. But Ronnie, in bare feet, the stage electric, his voice on edge...
That's what made Lynyrd Skynyrd one of America's classic bands. It's been a tribute tour ever since.