Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke admits he gets into a little trouble when he’s not touring. So, it’s a blessing that the band is returning to the road after a break since October.
Instead of chancing any difficulties, Medlocke kept busy—producing a new Blackfoot record, working on a prospective TV show and fishing.
“But my main focus has always been on Lynyrd Skynyrd,” says Medlocke, calling from Florida. “I’m happy that we’re going back out. I’m been chomping at the bit. It’s impossible being at home, sitting so long. It doesn’t do me well to sit so long.”
That’s a good thing because the band generally performs 65 to 70 shows a year, including one at The Good Life Festival at Encanterra in San Tan Valley on Saturday, March 4.
“It’ll be a busy year,” he says. “I hope it’s a great one. I really do.”
The packed schedule includes writing material for a new Lynyrd Skynyrd album, something Medlocke recently discussed with guitarist Gary Rossington and singer Johnny Van Zant.
“We have probably a boatload of songs that we’ve written either finished or halfway finished or almost finished,” Medlocke says. “Some of the songs were recorded already. We’re going to go back and review all these songs. We’re going to start really thinking about maybe finishing some of them off, and/or writing brand new ones.
“It’s time to throw some stuff out there and get new material out. We need to keep doing what we do.”
Even if it didn’t release new music, Lynyrd Skynyrd would have staying power, and Medlocke is proud of that.
“I think when you’ve got a load of material, like the band has, that’s your staying power—as long as you come up with the goods and you play great shows,” Medlocke explains.
“You need to give people their money’s worth. One of the key secrets, too, is always writing new songs and putting new material out there. You need to keep it fresh for yourself and give the audience something new to listen to. They might not like it. They may love it. You never know until you put it out there.”
He plans on doing this for as long as possible.
“I play music and that’s what I do,” Medlocke says. “That’s what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I hope Lynyrd Skynyrd continues for quite a while yet, but I’m going to do it whether it’s with Lynyrd Skynyrd, alone or with somebody else. I hope I’m 80 years old standing on the stage playing guitar.
“People ask me, ‘Rickey, why do you continue to do this? You’ve done everything.’ I’m like, well, I don’t get along very well when I have to sit. My gal will tell you that I can’t sit for very long. She’s the same way. She’s one of the backing vocalists for Kid Rock. We’re artists and we create. That’s what we do. That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m always going to do.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Encanterra Country Club, 36460 N. Encanterra Drive, San Tan Valley, thegoodlifefest.com, noon Saturday, March 4, $40-$80.