Photo: Clay Patrick McBrideLynyrd Skynyrd is looking forward to a busy and eventful year that apparently will include plenty of touring, and some special events too. After launching their 2013 trek with a show this past Wednesday in New York City, the Southern rockers will head to Washington, D.C., this weekend for the Heroes Red, White & Blue Inaugural Concert Ball, which takes place Sunday at the Warner Theater. The invite-only event, which is sponsored by Citizens Helping Heroes and other patriotic organizations, honors U.S. military members wounded while serving the country.
Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant and guitarists Gary Rossington and Ricky Medlock recently chatted with ABC News Radio about that show and the band's upcoming plans. Van Zant explains that the D.C. performance is something of a makeup concert for an appearance the band was forced to cancel at a similarly themed event that was to have been held this past August during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
"We were supposed to play down at the Republican convention and [Hurricane Isaac] came through and kind of booted us out on that," says the singer. "So, we needed to do something for the wounded warriors. So, this is a great opportunity for the band and we're looking forward to it. Anything we can do for our soldiers…count us in."
Asked if he and his band mates expected to have the opportunity to spend time with some of the wounded troops and veterans during the event, Van Zant declared, "We hope we get to meet as many as of 'em as we possibly can…They've sacrificed for us and that's the least we can do…I think every American should stop and thank any soldier."
Lynyrd Skynyrd, which is continuing to tour in support of its 2012 album, Last of a Dyin' Breed, currently has a handful of shows lined up through the first few months of the year. However, the band members revealed to ABC News Radio that a major summer trek may be on the horizon that will include another legendary rock group from the 1970s.
"Looks like we may end up going out with Bad Company this year," says Johnny. "It'd be great to be out on the road with those guys, 'cause we all are big fans of them. And for me, personally, as singers go, Paul Rodgers is the ace."
Adds Medlock, "Oh, he's the king."
Meanwhile, this coming August will mark the 40th anniversary of Skynyrd's debut album, (Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd). Rossington says the band's plans to celebrate the milestone are "still tentative, but we know we'll probably…do the [entire] album live or in a studio somewhere."
Regardless of how Skynyrd's tour plans come together, the band members all say they're thrilled to be able to keep performing for their fans.
"I just feel very fortunate and blessed that we're able to go out here and do this," maintains Medlock. "It's a wonderful thing."
Adds Van Zant, "We got great fans. Y'know, we call it our Skynyrd Nation. So we're looking forward to seeing our Skynyrd Nation in 2013."
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