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Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company are classic rock brothers of the road

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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It's the second summer Lynyrd Skynyrd is touring with Bad Company, and guitarist Gary Rossington says it remains a good fit, both on and off stage.

"We're just really good friends with them," says Rossington, 62, who's the only surviving member of the Southern rock group's original lineup. "We just hang out together. They're so cool, man. They're a great band, too. It's just a blast to be together.

"and I think people get a great show, too. There's so many hits songs and well-known songs by both bands, it's like a singalong all night. Everybody's singing with the songs and know all the lyrics. It's surely great."

Rossington adds that his band and Bad Company do have history dating back to both band's early days during the 70s, "back in our drinking days when we got pretty crazy and would have to carry each other to our rooms." Lynyrd Skynyrd also has the distinction of introducing Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers to his wife, Cynthia Kereluk, a former Miss Canada, model and exercise physiologist who he married in 2007.

"We knew her a little bit and she had an exercise show where she was a fitness instructor and a trainer," Rossington recalls. "(Rodgers) was hanging out with us a little bit and we introduced them and they got married pretty soon after that.

"And they're still together and she helps him, not just in being a wife but in business, too, which is pretty cool."


There's no shortage of things to celebrate in Bad Company's world these days.

Last year the group -- with surviving members Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke -- toured to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its founding. This year's trek, meanwhile, coincides with the same mark for its landmark debut album, a five-times platinum chart-topper that launched the hits "Can't Get Enough" and "Bad Company."

"At the time, all those years ago, it was just what we were doing," says Rodgers, 64, a British native who's now a Canadian citizen and maintains an active solo career. "It was very exiting, but a lot of it you just sort of do and move on, and then suddenly it comes around full circle and you go, 'Wow, you know what? It was pretty amazing what happened then'...and we kind of revisit that time in our life.

"So, yeah, I think we do partly think about the 40 years. It's kind of a trigger to do something to commemorate it. That's really what we're doing."

But after a couple straight years playing summer shows, could Bad Company -- whose last new material was on a 1999 retrospective -- maybe come up with some new music?

"It remains to be seen," Rodgers says. "We're out right now. We're having a lot fun. I'm writing songs. Mick's telling me he's got some songs written. So you never really know; it all depends. Right now I do know the audience is really, really loving us recreating the songs, and nothing else.

"But we are creative, and it's always possible for us. So I don't know at this point, but we'll see."

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company and Steve Rodgers

7 p.m. Friday, July 25

DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township

Tickets are $49.50-$99.50 pavilion, $25 lawn with a $79 lawn four-pack

Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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