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CruCon Cruise Outlet Main StageThe Morning Buzz and Rock 101 Welcome
LYNYRD SKYNYRD & BAD COMPANY
ONLY NEW ENGLAND SHOW!
MAGIC HAT STAGE:
Red Sky Mary (5:30 PM)
Extra InformationParking Opens: 3:30 PM
Doors Open: 5:30 PM
Audio Recording: No
Video Recording: No
Flash Photography: No
Food & Drink: No
*Non-Professional photography / no zoom lenses larger than 2 inches / no detachable lenses
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|Reserved Seating (Covered Pavilion)-P1||$79.00||$10.75||$89.75|
|Reserved Seating (Covered Pavilion)-P2||$59.00||$9.00||$68.00|
|The Beringer Club (Covered Including Cocktail Service)||$84.00||$11.25||$95.25|
|Moxie Energy Lawn Seating (Uncovered-General Admission)||$33.25||$6.50||$39.75|
Mention the term “Southern rock” and two bands instantly leap to mind: the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. They defined the genre in its Seventies heyday and beyond, and both bands are still active entities. Lynyrd Skynyrd freely embraced rock. Their three-guitar lineup gave them an uncommon musical muscle, while their down-to-earth songs spoke plainly and honestly from a working-class Southerner’s perspective. Theirs is one of the most dramatic tales in rock history. The saga of Lynyrd Skynyrd has unfolded in an almost mythical series of ups and downs, from being in the vanguard of a musical movement to the tragic 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of three band members. From the ashes, the survivors re-formed a decade later, and what started as a tribute turned into a full-fledged renaissance.
By 1970, Lynyrd Skynyrd was a veteran bar band with a pile of original songs but had no recording contract. They cut some demos at producer Quin Ivy’s studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and returned in 1971 to make a proper album at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. By this time, bassist Leon Wilkeson had replaced Junstrom in the group. The album was rejected by numerous labels. By then they’d begun playing regularly in Atlanta, where producer Al Kooper signed them to his Sounds of the South label (an MCA subsidiary) in 1972. Some personnel shuffles ensued: Wilkeson left for a half-year and was replaced by Ed King (late of Strawberry Alarm Clark), who moved from bass back to guitar when Wilkeson rejoined. Billy Powell, their piano-playing roadie, had become a full-fledged member, too. Now Lynyrd Skynyrd was a seven-man monster with three guitarists.
Kooper produced their first three albums: “pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd” (1973), Second Helping (1974) and Nuthin’ Fancy (1975). Kooper’s innate musicality and studio know-how helped capture the seemingly incongruous elements in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s sound. They were raucous but tight, rowdy but smart, and down-home Southern with a twist of bluesy British rock. Having cut their teeth in rough Jacksonville bars, they were a red-hot, jukin’ rock band. Pete Townshend was sufficiently impressed to offer Lynyrd Skynyrd the opening slot on the Who’s Quadrophenia tour.
Though their debut album had just been released, Lynyrd Skynyrd was a veteran band ready for bigger stages. Fame came quickly, propelling them to the status of headliners and establishing Southern rock as the Seventies’ hottest musical trend. The movement also included such fellow travelers as Wet Willie, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Outlaws and Molly Hatchet.
Each of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first three albums contains its share of classics. From “pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd” came “Down South Jukin’,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “Simple Man,” “Tuesday’s Gone” and the immortal “Free Bird.” The last of these had been a fixture of Skynyrd’s live repertoire, and they’d recorded a demo version as far back as October 1970. The song was initially conceived as a tribute to Duane Allman, and onstage they would dedicate it to the late guitarist. After the death of Ronnie Van Zant, the song served as an homage to Van Zant himself.
Second Helping, an album that was every bit as solid as the debut, yielded “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Workin’ for MCA,” “Call Me the Breeze,” “Swamp Music,” “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” and “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe.” Nuthin’ Fancy, the third album in a row produced by Kooper, contained the classics “Saturday Night Special” and “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller.”
In its own way, the uncompromising lyrical stance of vocalist Van Zant was as much a band signature as their three-guitar attack. As John Swenson wrote, “Many of Van Zant’s lyrics were about betrayal, paranoia and the certainty of evil. He articulated the never-forgotten rage of a beaten South. Violence and death walked constantly through his writing.” What redeemed it all was the unified show of power by the band, who rivaled rock’s very best in concert. As Rolling Stone would observe some years later, “In matters of unpretentiousness, power and invention, the best hard-rock band in America during the first half of the 1970s might well have been Lynyrd Skynyrd.”<
And yet some chinks were appearing in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s seemingly impenetrable armor. Exhausted by touring, drummer Bob Burns dropped out prior to Nuthin’ Fancy, replaced by Artimus Pyle. This lineup embarked on the “Torture Tour,” a grueling three-month outing during which the band members’ drug and alcohol intake accelerated. bolstering their reputation as the rowdiest of all Southern rockers. Ed King left midway through the tour, and he was not initially replaced, as guitarists Rossington and Collins divided up his parts. Gimme Back My Bullets (1976), Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fourth album, was cut as a six-piece. It also found them working with producer Tom Dowd, whose disciplined approach helped the band regain its focus.
The addition of guitarist Steve Gaines restored Lynyrd Skynyrd to a three-guitar lineup and lit a fire under the band. They played some of their hottest shows on the 1976 tour, which was documented on the live double album One More from the Road. This revitalized lineup cut Street Survivors (1977), which was their strongest studio album since Second Helping. It contained a brace of instant classics: “What’s Your Name,” “You Got That Right,” “I Know a Little” and the eerily prescient “That Smell.” The last of these was a cautionary song about fast living, hard drugs and the aura of death, hinging on the line “The smell of death surrounds you.”
Three days after the release of Street Survivors, on October 20, 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tour plane - a 1947 Convair 240 turbo-prop plane that they’d nicknamed Free Bird - ran out of gas due to an engine malfunction and crashed in rural Mississippi. Three band members (Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and backup vocalist Cassie Gaines) were killed, as was their road manager and the two pilots. Twenty others on the plane survived with injuries of varying severity. After the survivors recovered, a number of them regrouped as the Rossington-Collins Band.
The surviving members came together for a one-time performance at Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam in 1979. In 1987, on the tenth anniversary of the plane crash, they reunited again for a full tour, calling themselves the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band. Ronnie Van Zant’s place was taken by brother Johnny, and Ed King rejoined on guitar. Randall Hall replaced a disabled Allen Collins, who was confined to a wheelchair after a car wreck the previous year. (Collins died in 1990.) The tribute tour did so well that they reprised it the next two years. Then came a studio album, Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991, their first set of new material since Street Survivors. Released on Atlantic Records, the album reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd with producer Tom Dowd and mixer Kevin Olsen, who’d been the group’s soundman on tour in the Seventies.
Having returned to active duty, Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded prolifically in the Nineties. Their output included The Last Rebel (1993) and the all-acoustic Endangered Species (1994). The latter appeared on the Capricorn label, which had been home to the Allman Brothers and other Southern rock groups in the Seventies. Twenty (1997) and Edge of Forever (1999), along with the concert album Lyve from Steel Town, were released on CMC International. Along with their new works came a flood of compilations and reissues, including a box set, a single-disc of greatest hits, a two-CD set of rarities, expanded editions of several of the classic early albums, a Christmas album, and the double disc Thyrty: The Thirtieth Anniversary Collection.
By 2001 only two original members, Gary Rossington and Billy Powell, were left in Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, they’d become a virtual Southern-rock supergroup with the addition of guitarists Ricky Medlocke (Blackfoot) and Hughie Thomason (Outlaws). Medlocke had been a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the beginning (albeit as a drummer), while Thomason’s Outlaws had frequently opened for Skynyrd in the Seventies. Johnny Van Zant’s continued involvement kept it all in the family. Still waving the rebel flag, Lynyrd Skynyrd released Vicious Cycle in 2003. Thirty years had passed since the release of their debut album, and Lynyrd Skynyrd was, despite incalculable setbacks, still making music.
Beyond the tragedy, the history, the raging guitars and the killer songs, ultimately, Lynyrd Skynyrd is about an indomitable will. About survival of spirit; unbowed, uniquely American, stubbornly resolute.
On September 29, 2009 Skynyrd released their fist studio album since 2003’s Vicious Cycles God & Guns on Loud & Proud / Roadrunner Records. in 2008-2009, the project was interrupted—but, tellingly, not ended—by the deaths of founding member/keyboardist Billy Powell and longtime bassist Ean Evans earlier this year.
With the passing of Powell and Evans, “a lot of people probably expected us to say enough is enough,” admits Medlocke. But that would not be the way of this Rock & Roll Hall of Fame powerhouse. With a catalog of over 60 albums and sales beyond 30 million, Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to all generations, and God & Guns is a fitting addition to the canon. The Skynyrd Nation awaits.
Adds Rossington, “We’re still standing, still keeping the music going. We wanted to do the guys who aren’t with us any more proud, and keep the name proud, too.”
One of the most acclaimed bands of the classic rock era, England's Bad Company has put its indelible stamp on rock 'n' roll with a straight-ahead, no-frills musical approach that has resulted in the creation of some of the most timeless rock anthems ever. Led by the incomparable singer and songwriter Paul Rodgers, arguably the finest singer in rock 'n ' roll and a huge songwriting talent.
Formed in 1973, Bad Company came to life when Rodgers was looking to start anew after the disintegration of his legendary band Free. His powerhouse vocals and songwriting were a main ingredient during Free's impressive five-year run; a period of time that saw the release of seven extremely influential albums that featured Free's minimalist blues-rock approach. Included among Free's dynamic body of work is the 1970 smash, "All Right Now," one of the most recognizable rock anthems ever recorded. Lyrics and melody by Rodgers. He was Free’s main songwriter.
Rodgers had met Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and after jamming together and listening to new songs that Ralphs had penned and songs that Rodgers had penned, Ralphs made the decision to leave Mott and form a new band with Rodgers. The duo recruited former King Crimson bassist/vocalist Boz Burrell, added drummer Simon Kirke and Rodgers Christened the band Bad Company. Rodgers’ brought in Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant and Bad Company became the first band signed to Zeppelin's Swan Song label. "I had to fight to get the management and the record company to accept the name Bad Company," explains Rodgers. "They thought it was a terrible name. Peter Grant called a meeting and the band met beforehand. I told them that I had been through this before with Free as Island Records had wanted to call us the Heavy Metal Kids. We agreed to go in and tell them that we were going to be called Bad Company and that was the end of the story. As soon as Peter heard how strongly I felt about the name, he became very supportive and together we turned the record company around."
Bad Company was an instant hit worldwide. Their 1974 self-titled debut went platinum five times over and featured the smash hits, "Can't Get Enough," (a Number One single) and "Movin' On" along with electrifying rock anthems like "Ready For Love," "Rock Steady" and the title track. Because of their association with Grant, a unique opportunity arose for them when it came time to record that classic first album in November 1973. "We were bursting at the seams to get into the recording studio," says Rodgers. "Led Zeppelin had a mobile studio together at Headley Grange all ready to go, but they were delayed for two weeks. Peter told us that if we were quick, we could probably use the studio to lay a couple of tracks down. We steamed in and put the entire album down. Headley Grange was very atmospheric. We had the drums set up in the hallway and the guitars in the living room. We did interesting experiments like placing the vocal microphone way out in the fields for the song 'Bad Company.' We recorded that track late at night underneath a fall moon."
The eight tracks recorded at Headley Grange clearly defined the band's stripped-down sound. Rock, blues and even country influences were skillfully layered within songs such as the beautiful Rodgers-penned ballad "Seagull," the straight-ahead rock of "Movin' On" and "Rocky Steady." Also featured from those fertile sessions at Headley Grange are "Little Miss Fortune," the brooding blues rock classic "Ready For Love" and the previously unreleased "Superstar Woman." While "Superstar Woman" ultimately did not become part of Bad Company's catalog, Rodgers' belief in the song never diminished. He would eventually record a new version of the song for "Cut Loose," his 1983 solo album.
"We were influenced by people like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and, to a certain extent, the Beatles," explains Rodgers. "We were just trying to play what felt good and natural. I think that is what gave us our identity as a band." “We always tried to be natural,” says Ralphs. “We would play soul and blues favourites at rehearsals instead of learning new songs. My favourite guitarist, the man inspired me to play, was Steve Cropper. I guess we wanted to be the MG’s with Otis Redding. Basically, we played like a bar band but soon it was clear that the bars were getting very large indeed!”
In the United States, Bad Company's popularity soared. While some fans had recognized Rodgers' voice from "All Right Now," the group's energetic stage shows wowed audiences largely unfamiliar with the work of Free or Mott The Hoople. FM radio devoured their debut disc, ultimately working "Can't Get Enough," "Rock Steady," "Bad Company," "Ready For Love" and "Movin' On" into regular rotation. Rodgers' passionate, soulful vocals were reminiscent of one of his idols, Otis Redding, and struck a chord with the group's rapidly expanding fan base.
Bad Company followed up their initial success with the 1975 release of the triple-platinum album Straight Shooter which contained the Top Ten smash ballad "Feel Like Makin' Love" which was Grammy nominated. "I started writing ‘Feel Like Makin Love’ when I was 18 and felt it needed an extra something. When I played it for Mick he added the big guitar bada ba bada ba then I felt the song was finished.” Other tracks from the album, such as "Shooting Star" have long since become concert and radio staples.
Eagerly anticipated by the group's fans. Straight Shooter enjoyed international success, reaching number three on both the UK and US album charts. The ecstatic response to the album accelerated the group's momentum and their standing as one of the most popular concert attractions in the world. "In 1975, we were able to come back and tour America as a headliner," recalls Kirke. "It had been an amazing year."
The wildly successful Run With The Pack in 1976 was the band's third consecutive platinum seller, fueled by the infectious Top 20 single success of the Coasters' classic "Youngblood." The band met in Grasse, France in September 1975 to begin recording the album. Upon its release, it soared to number five in both the US and the UK. With three albums now to their credit, the central ingredient to the group's remarkable success was their steady stream of first rate original material. Rodgers and Ralphs were the group's composers. "I always thought it was important for the group to have more than one writer," states Rodgers.
Coupled with the strength of the group's song writing was the clarity and unmistakable power of Rodgers' voice. Rodgers moved with ease among a wide range of emotions and musical styles. Rodgers "Silver, Blue & Gold" celebrated the group's skills for ballads, highlighting a softer, more introspective vocal performance by Rodgers.
The expanded arrangement of the album's title track effectively incorporated strings. The group had previously experimented with strings on Straight Shooter's "Weep No More," but Rodgers composed "Run With The Pack" with a string arrangement in mind from the outset. "I wrote that song on the piano and when I played it to the guys they fell right in," detail Rodgers. "In my head, the strings were always a part of the song. Jimmy Horowitz came around to the studio and he was to do the scoring. Jimmy came to the session with a tape recorder in hand and while the track was playing asked me how I wanted the strings in the background. I sang the part that I had been hearing in my head and he went off and wrote it up."
Burnin' Sky, with its moody and atmospheric title track, reached gold status in 1977, followed by the double-platinum wallop of Desolation Angels in March 1979.
The group's affinity for country music was evident throughout Desolation Angels. The western-flavored "Evil Wind" was a noteworthy example. "'Evil Wind' was a strong track," states Kirke. "That was fall of Paul's tumbleweed-across-the-plains imagery. I think Paul was a cowboy or one of those bounty hunters in another life."
The wide approval enjoyed by Desolation Angels reaffirmed Bad Company's commercial status. The album spawned the gold selling classic, "Rock & Roll Fantasy," a staple on classic rock play-lists everywhere. The band toured the globe countless times during this period, playing to enthusiastic sell out crowds everywhere.
But there would be a price to pay for all of this success. According to Rodgers, "at this same time there came a point when I felt the band and its commitments had completely overtaken my life. I needed to get my feet on solid ground and spend some time watching my children grow, no one else had children at the time so they could not comprehend what I was living or feeling. I never left music, I left the band." After the release of the Top 30 album Rough Diamonds in 1982, Rodgers left the band to take time off and to eventually pursue a Grammy nominated acclaimed solo career.
"Looking back, we stopped at the right time," recalls Ralphs. "Paul wanted a break and truthfully we all needed to stop. Bad Company had become bigger than us all and to continue would have destroyed someone or something. From a business standpoint, it was the wrong thing to do, but Paul's instinct was absolutely right."
In 1986, Ralphs and Kirke resurrected the Bad Company name. Rodgers who was forming The Firm with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page was asked for his permission to use the name. “I felt pressured into allowing them to continue using the name I felt that they should form a new band, with a new name and write their own catalogue of songs.” Precisely what Rodgers did with The Firm. “But in the end I agreed thinking that they would move forward with integrity, I was wrong.” Over a six -year span from 1986 to 1992, this version of the band released four albums including Fame and Fortune, Dangerous Age, the platinum selling Holy Water and Here Comes Trouble. The band released two more albums, 1995's Company of Strangers and Stories Told and Un told in 1996. While the music was fairly well played on tours, nothing could replace the writing, stage presence and, of course, those one-of-a-kind vocals that Rodgers brought to the equation. Fans and critics alike began to clamor for a reunion of the original band and finally, it happened when Rodgers got together with Ralphs and Burrell in England to discuss the release of an Anthology of music. Rodgers suggested adding 4 new songs and went to work writing two “Hammer of Love” and “Tracking Down a Runaway” while Ralphs wrote “Hey Hey”, and “Ain’t it Good”.
The long awaited reunion came together in 1999 and saw the band not only complete a rousing 30-date U.S. tour that drew sell out crowds and much critical acclaim, but also oversee the release of the acclaimed Original Bad Company Anthology that year as well, a dynamic two-CD, 33-song overview of the band's career released on Elektra Records.