Lynyrd Skynyrd To ‘Retire From Touring’ Over ‘The Next Year or So’ Says Johnny Van Zant
Though Skynyrd's most recent album Last of a Dyin' Breed came out in 2012, they've toured tirelessly for over three decades now, performing at least a small handful of shows every year since 1987 [via Setlist.fm], which is also the year that Van Zant assumed the role as lead vocalist.
"We’re still looking at hanging it up in the next year or so," the singer told the Florida-Times Union. "We're going to retire from touring."
Aside from the band's rigorous touring schedule, Gary Rossington, who's the only founding member remaining in the group, has had several heart procedures over the last few years, including an emergency operation in July of 2021. In a statement, Lynyrd Skynyrd revealed that the Rossington family implored them to continue touring, albeit without the guitarist, but he's played some shows with them since he recovered.
Van Zant assured that Rossington has been doing better, especially thanks to his medication, but that they don't pressure him to play the full two-hour shows they usually put on so that he doesn't tire himself out.
"Musicians never retire, you just do less shows. You really miss it. You miss your fans. I’ll probably always do something," the frontman continued. "I think I could only mow so much grass and take out so much garbage and catch so many fish... I’ve worked my whole life. It’s just in my nature to get out and do something. I love music and I’ve been blessed, but I can’t think of me turning my back. As long as I can write a song, I’m definitely doing that."
Following a fatal plane crash that the band endured in 1977 — which killed several members, including original vocalist Ronnie Van Zant — they reformed in 1987 with his younger brother, Johnny Van Zant, behind the mic. The rockers have put out nine studio albums since then.
Their next scheduled performance is set to take place Sept. 9 in Lafayette, La. See all of the dates listed on their website.