Happy Birthday today (Feb. 27) to Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant. He's 59. Other rockers celebrating include guitarist Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden (62) and guitarist Neal Schon of Journey (65).
Johnny Van Zant is the younger brother of the late Ronnie Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd's former singer and co-founder, and 38 Special founder Donnie Van Zant. Lynyrd Skynyrd formed out of Jacksonville, Florida and came up with the Lynyrd Skynyrd name in 1969. The band rose to fame with signature songs like "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Freebird", and gained notoriety for their live performances. At the peak of their success, a plane crash took the lives of three band members, putting an end to the band's classic lineup. The surviving band members reunited in 1987 with original singer Ronnie Van's Zant's younger brother Johnny on vocals. Johnny Van Zant has kept Lynyrd Skynyrd going ever since, keeping the memory of his brother alive. I’ve seen Lynyrd Skynyrd several times over the years and it;s always good time. One great show was the Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company some years back at Bethel Woods in Bethel, NY (site of the 1969 Woodstock festival). We did a radio station bus trip for that one and it was wild. The beer was flowin as was the Jack Daniel’s. Everyone got hammered. It was a loud and rowdy bunch for sure but good times! Catch Lynyrd Skynyrd on their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour when they play SPAC (Saratoga Springs, NY) on Aug. 31. Cheers to Johnny Van Zant on his birthday today!
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