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Music at the Crossroads: Lynyrd Skynyrd

JULIAN CAVAZOS

By JULIAN CAVAZOS
April 21, 2010 at midnight
Updated April 21, 2010 at 11:22 p.m.

By Julian Cavazos

Hey, music fans,

Are you a fan of good, ol' time southern rock?

Try a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. I grew up on this stuff thanks to my dad, and as kid, even went to their concerts twice. I love their stuff.

As a kid at their concerts, I experienced culture shock being surrounded by smoking and drinking hippies out having a good time.

But one thing's for sure: the band's songs really took these fans back to when they were in their prime.

Skynyrd, especially the original members, were more than just a group of school buddies who thought it would be funny to name their band after their physical education coach, Leonard Skinner.

They went on to become legends.

Fans were heartbroken some of the band members, including lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, died in a plane crash en route from a concert in South Carolina to Louisiana in 1977. The plane ran out of fuel.

The band came up with some of the greatest songs ever written, like "Free Bird," and of course, "Sweet Home Alabama." I'm a big fan of "Simple Man," lyrics of which we should all live by to keep ourselves grounded on the things most important.

Today, the only surviving member of the original group is guitarist Gary Rossington. Ronnie's little brother, Johnny Van Zant, is the current lead vocalist.

Skynyrd released its latest album, "God and Guns," in September and peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard charts.

But as the band continues to reunite and sing the songs that made them a household name, its spirit lives on in the reverent opening lines of "Free Bird:"

"If I leave here tomorrow/ Would you still remember me?/ For I must be traveling on now/ 'Cause there's too many places I've got to see."

Lynyrd Skynyrd God & Guns Tour with Bret Michaels of Poison & 38 Special, June 13. Tickets went on sale April 17 at Ticketmaster.com, $25-$59.50.

The Bangles & Tonic, Moody Gardens Outdoor Amphitheater, Galveston, May 29. Tickets went on sale April 17 at Ticketmaster.com, $15-$75.

Pitbull - Mr. Worldwide's Carnaval Tour, Club Escapade, Houston, June 10. Tickets on sale April 23 at Ticketmaster.com, $35.

Aventura, July 2, AT&T Center, San Antonio. Tickets on sale April 23 at Livenation.com.

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