Following in the wake of Elton John's recent retirement announcement — Southern Rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd have posted the dates to the initial leg of their final trek. "The Last Of The Street Survivors Farewell Tour" kicks off on May 4th in West Palm Beach at Coral Sky Amphitheatre and, as of now, stretches through September 1st when the band hits Atlanta's Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood. Opening for the band along the way will be .38 Special, Blackfoot, the Marshall Tucker Band, Blackberry Smoke, and the Charlie Daniels Band.

Skynyrd co-founder and guitarist Gary Rossington, said in the tour announcement: "It's hard to imagine, after all these years, the band that Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and myself started back in Jacksonville, would resonate for this long and to so many generations of fans. I’m certain they are looking down from above, amazed that the music has touched so many." Current frontman Johnny Van Zant added: "We've been blessed by these great songs and the messages they carry to the fans. It’s been a true honor to try and fill in my brother’s footsteps for the past 31 years, keeping the music and his spirit alive."

We asked Garry Rossington why the band finally decided to ride off into the sunset: ["We've been doing this a long time and we're getting older — and it's really hard touring and traveling. And this farewell tour will take a year or two to go all the places we've been, y'know, and play one more time. And so, it's not like we're goin' away. And we're gonna do a new CD and just kinda do our last thing. I'm in bad health. My health isn't really great, so it's harder for me to tour these days. Everybody's got, y'know, kids, and families and (laughs) grandkids now. I don't know, we just wanted to wind this down a little bit."] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . . a little bit)
We asked Skynyrd's current frontman Johnny Van Zant — who was only 14 when the Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd album was released — if he can remember the first time his big brother Ronnie played the record for the family: [“Wow! Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album! Y’know, I know it exactly. There used to be a department store, it was called Montgomery Ward, and my parents — me, my mom and dad and Ronnie — actually went down to the department store and bought one of the old, the real long turntables. . .  It was kind like a big, huge, God, I don’t know what the heck it could be, but it had two speakers on the end of it with a turntable in the middle. And actually, Ronnie brought the record over and we sat and listened to it on this (laughs) brand new stereo (laughs)! And I thought it was the coolest thing, I was, like, ‘Wow! They really made a record!’”] SOUNDCUE (:40 OC: . . . made a record)
Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke is amazed at how the band's music has lasted through the years and become so ingrained in popular culture: ["I think the music is never-ending. The original guys, they wrote some very, very great songs, and I think the songs will probably be around a lot longer than we are. It's almost like now, every time you turn on a radio, or a TV, or you're in a movie or something, you hear the songs, so it's. . . I think it's all about the music."] SOUNDCUE (:15 OC: . . . about the music)

JUST ANNOUNCED: Lynyrd Skynyrd tour dates (subject to change):
May 4 – West Palm Beach, FL – Coral Sky Amphitheatre
May 5 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
May 11 – Dallas, TX – Starplex Pavilion
May 12 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 18 – Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
May 19 – Chula Vista, CA – Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
May 25 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
May 26 – San Bernardino, CA – Glen Helen Amphitheater
June 22 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
June 23 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre
June 29 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park
June 30 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
July 6 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
July 7 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
July 13 – Darien, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater
July 14 – Hartford, CT – Xfinity Theatre
July 20 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center
July 21 – Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
July 27 – Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center
July 28 – Hershey, PA – Hersheypark Stadium
August 3 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
August 4 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
August 10 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
August 11 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
August 17 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
August 18 – St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
August 24 – Syracuse, NY – Lakeview Amphitheatre
August 25 – Burgettstown, PA – KeyBank Pavilion
August 31 – Pelham, AL – Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
September 1 – Atlanta, GA – Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood

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