Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top join forces on tour

The Rebels & Bandoleros Tour starring ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd starts in May 2011.

The two iconic  groups, whose respective histories have been intertwined since the early 1970s, are set for a string of tour dates together starting May 12 in Wichita, Kan., and continuing for the next three weeks. The tour marks the first time in many years that these iconic standard-bearers of Southern Rock will have toured so extensively together.

Rebels & Bandoleros will hit markets in Texas, Oklahoma, Maine, New York, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri offering concert goers a wealth of classic material from both bands.

ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd first joined forces in 1974, when Houston-based ZZ Top invited Lynyrd Skynyrd, then an emerging new band from Jacksonville, to become part of The Outlaw Tour that year. Ultimately, ZZ Top, which had formed in 1969, would go on to become the major band with the longest running original personnel lineup — Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard — in music history. Tragedy struck Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1974 when a plane crash took the lives of original band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines. Today’s Lynyrd Skynyrd includes founding member Gary Rossington along with Johnny Van Zant, brother of the late Ronnie Van Zant, as well as Rickey Medlocke, Michael Cartellone, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Robert Kearns, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington and Carol Chase. Both bands are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most recently released album is “God & Guns;” ZZ Top’s forthcoming, as yet untitled, album is expected later this year.

“Rebels and Bandolers is more of a coming together of friends more than a mere tour,” Gibbons said. “We’re delighted to be hitting the road with our Skynyrd brethren once more.  It’s going to be a great ride.”

Eleven years ago, the bands toured together for 11 months straight, Johnny Van Zant said.

“We love the guys in ZZ and their music, and can’t wait to get back out on the road with them. This show is an event that the fans are going to love.   Two legendary bands in one night – what more can the fans ask for to kick off the summer of 2011!”

Scheduled 2011 tour dates are:
• May 12, Witchita, Kan., Intrust Bank Arena – tickets on sale March 25
• May 13, Belton, Texas, Bell County Expo Center – tickets on sale April 1
• May 14 – Oklahoma City, Okla.,  Zoo Amphitheatre – tickets on sale March 25
• May 19 – Bangor, Maine, Bangor Waterfront Pavilion – tickets now on sale
• May 20 – Big Flats, N.Y.,  Tags Summer Stage – tickets now on sale
• May 21 – Albany, N.Y., Times Union Center – tickets on sale March 25
• May 22 – Youngstown, Ohio, Covelli Centre – tickets on sale April 2
• May 26 – Peoria, Ill., Peoria Civic Center Theatre – tickets on sale March 25
• May 27 – Lampe, Mo., Black Oak Mountain Amphitheatre – tickets on sale March 25
• May 28 – Bossier City, La., Centurytel Arena – tickets on sale March 25
• May 29 – Orange Beach, Ala., Amphitheater at the Wharf – tickets on sale March 25

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