Gary Rossington—the last living, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd—is returning to the stage once more with the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tour. Now, former Alabama resident and Thin Lizzy guitarist Damon Johnson will play alongside the legendary Gary Rossington on tour. Keep reading to learn more about the two guitarists and the tour!
How Damon Johnson filled in the role
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, the 70-year-old Gary Rossington will be touring once more after being forced to take a break due to emergency heart surgery. In his absence, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s guitar needs were fulfilled by Damon Johnson. Johnson is currently a member of the rock band Thin Lizzy but has worked with artists including Alice Cooper in the past.
While Rossington took a leave of absence to deal with his heart issues, a mutual friend asked Johnson to fill in for the Skynyrd guitarist. A longtime fan of the band, Johnson immediately accepted.
“It’s been incredible, and it’s such a thrill for me as a guitar player, and it’s just an honor. You know, Skynyrd is legendary. Their fans have been so kind and appreciative.”Damon Johnson, gutiarist
Medlocke was the one who asked him to fill in for Rossington, who’s suffered from heart problems previously in 2014 and 2019. Johnson is extremely appreciative of playing with Skynyrd but also hopeful for Rossington’s recovery.
“We all hope Gary can come to as many shows as possible, certainly as many as he wants to.”Damon Johnson, guitarist
Rossington will still get a chance to play on this tour. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, the plan is to start off acoustic with the more blues segments that Johnson will play. Halfway through, Rossington will come out to shred on the electric guitar. After the setlist transfers to full electric, Johnson will continue to play onstage per Rossington’s request.
Johnson’s connection to Alabama
Damon was born in Georgia, then spent his childhood in North Alabama, around Geraldine and Fort Payne. As an adult, he moved out to Birmingham establishing his own rock band, Brother Cane. Shortly after, he and his moved to Alabaster. He now lives in Tennessee.
BONUS: Catch a FREE concert at Druid City Music Hall in Tuscaloosa this summer—see the lineup.
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