The members of Lynyrd Skynyrd are, not surprisingly, in deep mourning over the death of Gregg Allman on Saturday (May 27) at the age of 69.
Skynyrd is by all measures the second most noteworthy band in Southern rock and has freely acknowledged the influence of and admiration for the Allman Brothers Band.
Skynyrd dedicated its performance of "Tuesday's Gone" to Allman on the night of his death in Georgia, along with a moment of silence, and guitarist Rickey Medlocke -- who also founded Blackfoot -- tells us that he and his bandmates are shaken by Allman's death:
"The band was pretty shocked over this. It's way too close to home, and...he was such a good friend of ours...Being in Jacksonville (Fla.), man, we were raised around him and Duane (Allman) and all the core of the Allman Brothers...in the late 60s and had been around them guys off and on, the Allman Brothers Band, and done dates with them, all that stuff. It's a terrible loss to me, to music. That guy, if you turned on the radio and a song came on he was singing, you knew exactly who he was. He had that. He was one of those guys that had that unmistakable voice."
Medlocke adds that he's confident Allman's legacy is insured in music history:
"I think he's gonna go down in history as one of the greatest. That's my opinion...He brought forth a different kind of music, a different kind of style, just a phenomenal voice, blues guy. I can't say enough about him, man."
Allman died from complications of liver cancer at his home near Savannah, Ga. Funeral arrangements are currently being determined. He recorded one last solo album which is expected to be released this fall.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.