How Lynryd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke Almost Left Music For Radio
As we all know by now the history of Lynyrd Skynyrd is not just one of tragedy but also the ability to overcome the odds and maintain a live concert experience that continues to entertain and bring joy to people all over the country. One former member Rickey Medlocke spent a small amount of time with the band as a drummer before stepping away and pursuing his own project, Blackfoot. It wouldn’t be until the late 90s that the olive branch was extended once again to Ricky, only this time he would step in as lead guitarist. Perhaps it was fate that he was not on that plane when it crashed.
What is known however is he spent many years living his dream as a musician. One thing people may not realize is at one point before he rejoined Lynyrd Skynyrd he was considering giving music up altogether to pursue a career in radio. In a recent interview, he revealed how it was something he started doing for the love of music and entertainment, but was also making a good living off of it:
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I had been doing Rickey Medlocke's Wake Em' & Shake Em' Morning Show and I would go into radio stations back then and take the place of the morning team that was on vacation. I would do a 5-day show Monday through Friday starting at 5 a.m./ 6 a.m. in the morning and I was having a blast at it. Well, I had kind of thought to myself, "Hey ya know, I'm getting paid well for this...maybe this is my calling now, and I struggled with it I really did."
It was soon after that he was invited to the Free Bird movie premiere by Ronnie Van Zant's widow Judy, which is when he reconnected with the band, and a few months later he was asked to learn a few songs, and his rehearsal turned into an invite to re-join the band.
Ricky spent the better part of 13 years living in Ann Arbor, Michigan between his first run in Lynyrd Skynyrd and the rejoining of the band. When asked why he left Michigan, it wasn’t too much of a surprise the answer had to do with the weather:
One day I woke up and had too much frozen tundra ice in my ears and I said "I'm outta' here."
You can hear the full interview below
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