It appears Lynyrd Skynyrd will go on without Leon Wilkeson, the
49-year-old bassist who was found dead at a Florida hotel on Friday.
The Southern rockers have postponed more than a week of their summer tour,
but will continue without Wilkeson on August 9, the spokesperson for their
management company said Monday (July 30).
A replacement for the bassist, whose fondness for colorful hats made him one
of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most visible members, has not yet been named.
Wilkeson suffered from chronic liver and lung disease and apparently died of
natural causes, St. Johns County medical examiner Terrence Steiner told the
Associated Press Sunday. However, the official cause of death cannot
be concluded until toxicological tests are finished, which could take two to
three weeks, the band spokesperson said.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's fate became uncertain after Wilkeson's death because under
a legal agreement with Judy Van Zant Jenness, widow of band founder Ronnie
Van Zant, the band must contain three original members in order to retain
the name, according to Reuters. Following Wilkeson's death, only
guitarist Gary Rossington and pianist Billy Powell remain from the first
incarnation of the band.
Skynyrd's spokesperson could not comment on the contract.
A memorial service for Wilkeson will be held Wednesday (August 1) at 11 a.m. at the Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be
made to the Musicians' Assistance Program, a Los Angeles organization
dedicated to helping musicians with drug and alcohol problems get clean.
Donations may be mailed to 817 Vine Street, Suite 219, Hollywood,
Lynyrd Skynyrd's tour dates from July 30 to August 7 will be rescheduled and
announced at a later date, the band's spokesperson said. Here are the remaining dates:
- 8/9 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
- 8/11 - Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay Events Center
- 8/13 - Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
- 8/15 - Albuquerque, NM @ Journal Pavilion
- 8/16 - Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theater
- 8/17 - Camp Verde, AZ @ Cliff Castle Casino
- 8/18 - Yuma, AZ @ Quenchen Paradue Casino
- 8/23 - Jacksonville, FL @ Metropolitan Park
- 8/24 - Hinesville, GA @ Fort Stewart
- 8/25 - Huntsville, AL @ Redstone Arsenal
- 8/26 - Jonesboro, AR @ ASU Convocation Center
- 8/30 - Johnson City, TN @ Freedom Hall
- 8/31 - Pelham, AL @ Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
- 9/1 - Atlanta, GA @ HiFi Buys Amphitheater
- 9/2 - Antioch, TN @ AmSouth Amphitheater
- 9/5 - Salem, VA @ Salem Civic Center
- 9/6 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheatre
- 9/7 - Bristow, VA @ Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
- 9/9 - Brookfield, OH @ Yankee Lake
- 9/12 - Raleigh, NC @ Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek
- 9/13 - Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte
- 9/14 - Gulfport, MS @ Grand Casino
- 9/16 - Louisville, KY @ Louisville Raceway