Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

30 Years and Still Going Strong; Jacksonville's Lynyrd Skynyrd Touring on Heels of New Album

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

30 Years and Still Going Strong; Jacksonville's Lynyrd Skynyrd Touring on Heels of New Album

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Macdonald, Times-Union staff writer

It's the daydream of many a kid to rock out with a favorite band. Kid Rock did that with Lynyrd Skynyrd on its latest album, Vicious Cycle.

The band's first studio album in more than three years matched the hip-hop rocker with the veteran Southern rockers for a remake of Gimme Back My Bullets.

The idea isn't a new one. Aerosmith jump-started its career when it remade its hit Walk This Way with rappers Run DMC. When the idea of a remake was being bounced around, Skynyrd guitarist Ricky Medlocke knew what new star to tag.

"He is a viable commodity right now in the music industry," Medlocke said during a phone conversation from Scotland during the European portion of Skynyrd's tour. "He is having great success on all levels. It's amazing. He is having great success on the rock level, he's having success on a pop level, country -- right straight across the board. It's pretty amazing."

The band had met Kid Rock after a show in Detroit when Lynyrd Skynyrd was performing with ZZ Top. Medlocke and Rock had exchanged phone numbers.

Rock had told the band that it was an influence for his blue-collar approach to music.

Medlocke, along with his partner Rob Robinson, reworked Gimme Back My Bullets' music. Rock then sang the duet with Johnny Van Zant, and guitarist Gary Rossington added some guitar parts.

"Of course, you'll hear remnants of the old song. But I tried to do a new thing to it to create new interest in Lynyrd Skynyrd," Medlocke said.

But it was another cut, Red, White and Blue, that caught the attention of fans when the album was released. The song's title was a perfect match for the patriotic fervor heard on the radio after Baghdad fell.

The refrain goes: My hair's turnin' white, my neck's always been red, my collar's still blue. We've always been here tryin' to sing the truth to you. Guess you could say we've always been red, white and blue.

While the song was written after Sept. 11, 2001, it isn't a war song or an anthem of revenge. The song is a tribute to the working man, Medlocke said.

"[We] weren't thinking about the war or anything. That song is about the working-class people, the common working people," he said. …

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