Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Last Of The Street Survivors Farewell Tour 2020” adds Indiana stops

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Even though Lynyrd Skynyrd’s farewell tour “Last Of The Street Survivors” actually began in 2018 and was scheduled to end in 2019. However, new dates have been added for 2020, and they include stops in Indiana.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has proven itself to be one of the hardest working bands in rock ‘n’ roll history. Overcoming tragedy, changing personnel, and facing public backlash would have derailed a lesser band. However, if a person learns anything from the story of Lynyrd Skynyrd it should probably be that adversity makes people stronger. The members of Lynyrd Skynyrd (in its various iterations) seem to possess a toughness and tenacity that allows them to keep playing music and representing what some people would call their “brand.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd: the band and its legend

Armed with a guitar army, and capable of telling stories while demonstrating mind-blowing rhythms and riffs, Lynyrd Skynyrd redefined 1970s Southern rock. Almost 50 years after the group debuted, the influence of Lynyrd Skynyrd can be heard in country and rock groups that came along after the tragedy that has become part of the band’s story from 1977 and onward.

Most fans of classic rock, regardless of generation are aware of the plane crash that turned the story of Lynyrd Skynyrd into a near-tragedy. Three of the band’s members were killed, including lead singer Ronnie VanZant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backup singer (and Steve’s sister) Cassie Gaines. The crash site has been preserved in a way, but that might not be the best way to remember the band. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s legacy involves songs that tell stories of virtue and self-definition while also being a bit rough around the edges. With songs like “Simple Man,” “That Smell,” “Saturday Night Special,” “Workin’ For MCA,” Lynyrd Skynyrd put a spin on Southern Rock that is as original today as it must have been almost five decades ago.

Since the plane crash in 1977, the band has formed in different versions of itself. There was a hiatus from 1977 until 1987, but after that, the band has been working steadily. Singers that have filled in for VanZant include his brothers, Johnny and Donnie, the latter of the band .38 Special. In the 21st century, Kid Rock has even sung in Lynyrd Skynyrd.

There have been more deaths and illnesses in the band since its original formation and since its re-formation in the 1980s. At this point, only lead and rhythm guitarist Gary Rossington is the only original member.

In 2012, the band courted controversy by making the decision to remove their trademark Confederate flag from their stage, due to its association with racists. Members went on cable news to announce the decision. However, fans did not approve. The band replaced the flag with the understanding that its presence was for Southern pride and states’ rights.

The band continues in 2019. They recently finished recording their 15th album, but ultimately, it looks as though Lynyrd Skynyrd is poised to say goodbye to the public.

Tickets for the 2020 Farewell Tour go on sale Dec. 6, 2019. The band is scheduled to appear in Fort Wayne, Indiana April 25, 2020. The Indianapolis stop will be July 31, 2020. For more information visit https://www.ticketmaster.com/lynyrd-skynyrd-tickets/artist/735560.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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