Lynyrd Skynyrd Cancel Gigs, Guitarist Tests Positive for COVID-19
Lynyrd Skynyrd canceled a string of concerts after learning guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for COVID-19.
“Rickey is home resting and responding well to treatment,” the band wrote Saturday on Facebook. “We will continue to update you on his condition.”
The four affected dates are Canton, Ohio (Aug. 9); Jackson, Miss. (Aug. 10); Atlanta (Aug. 13) and Cullman, Ala. (Aug. 14). The Atlanta date is “being rescheduled” for Oct. 23, and the group’s next show is currently booked for Aug. 19 in Canandaigua, N.Y.
The Southern rockers were already touring without guitarist Gary Rossington, whom they announced in late July was recovering from “emergency heart surgery.” They wrote on Facebook that their last original member — who has battled numerous heart issues in the past — “expects a full recovery.”
The band recruited Damon Johnson, who previously played with Alice Cooper and Thin Lizzy, as a temporary live substitute for their Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’ trek. “One of our original members, Mr. Gary Rossington, had to have an emergency stent put in his heart,” frontman Johnny Van Zant told the audience during a July 22 show in Minnesota. “We talked it out. Gary said, ‘Go up to Minnesota. Kick some ass in my honor.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd are now the latest of several acts to shift 2021 touring plans due to the lingering pandemic. On Sunday, Tesla tweeted, "Attn: Fans TESLA to postpone their next few engagements due to members of the touring party contracting COVID. The band look forward to returning to the road soon. Please check the official website ... for updates."
Among many others altering dates, Foo Fighters postponed a July 17 concert in Los Angeles after a member of their organization tested positive, and James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt pulled the plug on a co-headlining tour of Canada due to “COVID-19 challenges and restrictions.”