According to blabbermouth.net last Sunday evening Lynyrd Skynyrd performed their first concert since the death of founding guitarist Gary Rossington at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida.
During a performance of performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s song “Tuesday’s Gone”, images of Rossington played on the giant screen behind the band. Also singer Johnny Van Zant paid tribute to his late bandmate while introducing Damon Johnson, who has been filling in for Rossington at live shows since 2021.
While introducing Johnson Van Zant told the audience “Damon Johnson playing it pretty for Mr. Gary Rossington, up in rock ‘n’ roll heaven.”
During an interview with the Tampa Bay Times five years ago Rossington mentioned how his doctors urged him to quit touring.
“I’ve had heart attacks on stage. That’s why I was calling it a farewell tour. I don’t know if I’ll be here [much longer]. I don’t want to just say, ‘Well, we’re never going to end,’ because I don’t want to die and then it end that way — which is a heavy thing to talk about, but I have to.”
Rossington survived the 1977 plane crash which killed singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines. The band reunited with Van Zant as the singer in 1987 and has been on the road ever since. Also the late guitarist was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006, along with other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Last December Rossington told Rolling Stone Magazine about Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s relevance in the music world.
“It’s a tribute band right now, and everybody knows it’s not the original. Everybody who comes to see us is told that during the show, and probably knows before they even get there. But people still come to hear it live.”