Rolling Stone recently did a story about how bands many of whose original members have passed away "grapple with how to keep the music playing and profitable."
Lynyrd Skynyrd is down to their last original member, guitarist Gary Rossington, and he’s called them "a tribute band right now, and everybody knows it’s not the original."
Rossington said, "Everybody who comes to see us is told that during the show, and probably knows before they even get there. But people still come to hear it live. In a couple of years it’s supposed to possibly stop, and maybe it won’t. I just don’t know, because who can predict the future? We’ll decide then what’s really going to happen.”
Rossington also said, “Look at Ford Motor Company. Guys started it out a long time ago. Somebody went in there going, ‘OK, we got something here. Let’s carry it on.’ You know, I wouldn’t have a Ford Raptor right now in my driveway if it weren’t for that. Me, Allen [Collins] and Ronnie [Van Zant] started this band with a dream of making it big, and that dream came true. They’d love it if their music was still being played when they’re gone.”
Skynyrd manager Ross Schilling went on record saying, “As we all get older and people pass, how does the legacy carry on? I think that has to be a decision for each individual group and the estates.”
He added that when heritage bands stop touring, "the classic-rock radio spins and the digital streams slow down. The whole catalog takes a large percentage dip. I’m not saying the music is going to die, but it’s going to lose its front-and-center attention once the live part stops.”
[Source: Classic Hits Today]