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Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant: ‘I’m Gonna Stand Behind Our President’

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Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Geoff Burke/Getty Images

No matter the year or the lineup, Lynyrd Skynyrd has always been a band whose members have no fear about speaking their mind. Late singer/lyricist Ronnie Van Zant famously gave Neil Young a verbal smack-down in “Sweet Home Alabama” (“The southern man don’t need him ‘round, anyhow”).

In more recent years, his younger brother and replacement, Johnny Van Zant, sang in “Red White And Blue,” “If they don’t like it they can just get the hell out” to people who don’t love the country. But after the ugly election season – where the right-leaning band endorsed Mitt Romney – Skynyrd’s members say it’s time to let bygones be bygones. Guitarist and founding member Gary Rossington told Radio.com, “Most of all, we’re Americans. We’ll play for anybody who wants to hear us. Once it’s all said and done, we’re behind whoever’s President.” Watch Radio.com’s interview with Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant, Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke below.

“As Americans, you’ve got to stand behind your President,” Johnny Van Zant agreed. “To be honest, I really wanted Mitt Romney to be President, I thought it was the right thing. It didn’t happen. My little girl asked me, ‘Well, what are you gonna do, dad?’ And I said, ‘Well, first of all, I’m gonna stand behind our President.’”

He notes that it’s unfortunate that the country only seems to put our differences aside in the face of extreme tragedy: “There’s only been one time since I’ve been alive that I’ve seen this country united. That was 9/11. Right now, we’re under attack in a different way, financially. We need to come together, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, independent, whatever you are, we have to start seeing eye to eye and helping this great country. We have a lot of people without jobs and we need to put them back to work.”

Speaking of working, Skynyrd has a smattering of tour dates planned over the next few months; the band is still promoting 2012’s Last Of A Dying Breed. For more information on their upcoming shows, head to their website.

Brian Ives, Radio.com 

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