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Artimus Pyle on the current Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup: “To me it’s kind of silly”

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Lynyrd Skynyrd has a bunch of tour dates scheduled for this summer, including a performance at CMA Fest in Nashville June 6. However, after the March 2023 passing of founding member and original guitarist Gary Rossington, there are currently no members of the original band performing in the group.


Artimus Pyle, who’s now the only living Lynyrd Skynyrd member inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the band, has some strong opinions about the current lineup using the Skynyrd name and tells ABC Audio he doesn’t believe Rossington would have supported the band continuing on after his death.

“Gary was a realist, and Gary had said [that] after his passing he would like to retire the name,” Pyle says.

While Artimus continues to play Lynyrd Skynyrd songs in concert with his Artimus Pyle Band, and even released the guest-filled album Anthems – Honoring The Music Of Lynyrd Skynyrd in February, he says he doesn’t try to pass himself off as Skynyrd.

“I would never call my band Lynyrd Skynyrd, because without Ronnie Van Zandt … there is no Lynyrd Skynyrd,” he says, referring to the band’s original frontman, who died in the 1977 plane crash that also killed Steve GainesCassie Gaines and others, and injured Pyle. “It would be an embarrassment, because without Ronnie, there is not a Lynyrd Skynyrd.” 

“It’s like when a basketball player retires and they retire the jersey. I felt like the names should have been retired, but you know, they want to keep the music alive,” he says. “When people come to that show and they don’t see anybody from Lynyrd Skynyrd, to me it’s kind of silly.” 

Artimus Pyle is currently on tour and plays Cedar Park, Texas, on June 7. A complete list of dates can be found at artimuspyle.com.

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