Lynyrd Skynyrd's Rickey Medlocke on Flying the Confederate Flag: "It's Not About Hatred. We Don't Preach That"

Billy Idol may have wailed about a "Rebel Yell," but no band embraced that Southern sensibility more defiantly than Lynyrd Skynyrd. One of the most essential Southern bands of the last 40 years, they emerged from their native Jacksonville to become album rock standard bearers, courtesy of such radio staples as "Freebird, "Sweet Home Alabama," "Gimme Three Steps," "That Smell," and "You Got That Right."

Sadly, the band's early upward trajectory ground to a halt with the tragic plane crash that killed original band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines on October 20, 1977. Though this effectively ended the first and most indelible phase of their career, in the late eighties, the band regrouped. Skynyrd came spiraling back. They're currently promoting Last of the Dyin' Breed, their new album, which will bring them to Hard Rock Live on October 25.

Guitarist Rickey Medlocke, an early member of the group prior to their big breakthrough spoke with us from his home in Melbourne about, among other things, the recent controversy surrounding their embrace of the Confederate flag.

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Lee Zimmerman