If you were feeling a little cynical when the Spice Girls announced their ‘We’re skint, we’ve got no talent but if we announce a big stadium tour we’ll be set for life’ tour, then surely that will be dwarfed by today’s announcements on the next wave of Big Tours for 2019. At least the Spice Girls can boast four original members of their manufactured line up. The two bands touring together in big arenas have two original members between them.
Lynyrd Skynyrd have announced their farewell tour which many of us thought they done many decades ago. The current version of Skynyrd includes just one original member, Gary Rossington. Many of the rest of the band are dead, including the lead singer Ronnie Van Zandt, who popped his mortal coil in 1977, later to be replaced by his brother. To me, this would have been similar to Paul McCartney being replaced in the Beatles by Mike McGear from the Scaffold. Doubtless, they will perform all the old songs that were performed by a different band, but it won’t really be Lynyrd Skynyrd, will it? And given they have not made a decent album since 1976, the point of this tour is? Money!
They are being supported by Status Quo, who also boast one original member Francis Rossi. Their last decent album was, in my humble opinion, Hello from 1973 and they’ve been trading off it ever since. I can’t bring myself to dislike dear old Francis, nor do I blame anyone of a certain age who wants to hear the old hits again. Although, having seen the great original line up of Rossi, Coghlan, Lancaster and Parfitt, why settle for anything less? Indeed, I saw the original Skynyrd line up and however good the current tribute band are they won’t come near what I saw.
The shows will sell out. There will be a sea of denim, bald patches and the noise of the elderly fans’ limbs creaking may even drown out the bands. With any luck. But this kind of tour threatens to bring about the death of rock and roll. It can be justified by feeding more nostalgia to the masses and millions of quid to the respective bands, but in terms of music, it means nothing.