Lynyrd Skynyrd Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide
From humble beginnings in the swamps of Florida, to the biggest stages on the planet, to perhaps the greatest tragedy to befall a popular band, to resurrection and renewal, Lynyrd Skynyrd have not just seen it all, but lived it, died from and for it and risen from nothing to take it all on again.
Their recorded output could be the soundtrack to any given evening at a honky-tonk, any backyard barbecue, any extended session with a bottle or any late night on the road, when the lights are few and the path shows off its collection of ghosts.
More than a few men have served duty in the Skynyrd ranks; Gary Rossington is the only member that's been in every incarnation of the band. There have been 18 of those lineups, beginning with $10 gigs out in the sticks and leading up to what the band promises will be their farewell tour (already extended past the end of their "final" date). Some were short-lived; others lasted years.
In all, those who spent time in the band were brothers of the road, brothers by virtue of their proximity to the magic of the songs that have done so much for so many listeners over the decades. It's not just "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama" that resonate. It's the swaggering "Tuesday's Gone" from the first record and the spooky "That Smell" from Street Survivors. It's the enduring anthemic qualities of "Simple Man" and the hard-as-steel riff of "Homegrown" and bluesy stomp of "Mississippi Blood," from their last studio record, Last of a Dyin' Breed, which proved them to be a creative force, even today. The brothers in the band at this moment fly the flag for Southern rock and for the legacy of those who pretty much created it, their forebears in the family.
Here's a definitive look at Lynyrd Skynyrd's lineup changes from 1965 to today.