This month, singer/songwriter/guitarist Damon Johnson is adding another highlight to a resume already full of them (Brother Cane, Alice Cooper, Whiskey Falls, Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders)
Johnson is playing guitar for Southern rockers supreme Lynyrd Skynyrd, filling in for Gary Rossington onstage, as Rossington is recovering from heart surgery. And Johnson also has the honor of opening some of the Skynyrd shows either on solo acoustic guitar, or with his power trio, Damon Johnson & The Get Ready.
“Gary Rossington’s guitar playing consumed me from day one of discovering Skynyrd’s music in my youth,” Johnson posted on social media. “It was an honor to lend a hand to the band this weekend, and my family is sending buckets of healing energy Gary’s direction. Thank you, Skynyrd Nation.”
A post on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Facebook page updated fans on Rossington’s condition. “Gary is resting and recovering with his family at home,” the post on Skynyrd’s FB reads. “He wants everyone to know he is doing good and expects a full recovery. After this past year, the country being shut down and everything we have all been through, the Rossingtons encouraged the band to go perform in his absence. Music is a powerful healer! We all felt playing the shows and bringing the music to y’all was a better option than cancelling the performances.”
Rossington is the sole remaining original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, now admirably fronted by Johnny Van Zant, brother of late great Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant. The band was founded in Jacksonville, Fla. Their trailer-truckload of ’70s hits includes “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Simple Man.” Rossington’s many great guitar moments with the band include his lyrical, unforgettable slide-guitar work on flaghsip anthems “Free Bird” and “Tuesday’s Gone.”
Damon Johnson & The Get Ready continue to perform dates in support of their 2021 album, ‘Battle Lessons’, which features the singles “Talk Yourself Into Anything” and the title track. Johnson will assist Lynyrd Skynyrd as long as they are in need, and will perform with his own band on the following dates: www.damonjohnson.com/gigs/
6 thoughts on “Damon Johnson Filling In For Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington”
Great job with Skynyrd Thursday in Mansfield, MA. Much respect!
Thanks very much. I’m honored to get to fill in for Gary.
He has been my guitar hero since I first started playing guitar in my youth.
All the best to you and your family.
I already said this on Facebook, but let me repeat myself here; not only did your opening performance with The Get Ready rock the house last Saturday Night (Nov. 6 – Charleston, WV), but you also did Gary Rossington proud with an outstanding performance on stage with Skynyrd!!! My wife picked up one of your tee’s at the show but my size wasn’t available, that’s why I am now here…doing a little shopping *wink* and to again congratulate you (and your band) on a job well-done!
Thank you, Michael! That show in Charleston was super special.
Thanks for allowing my old ass to rediscover how much I like plain old rock music. It was a pleasure listening to you in Bossier City, November 19. I have a load of Alice Cooper, Skynyrd and Hagar in my music library. I now have as much of your music as I can find in there as well. Thanks again and I’ll be on the lookout for any shows coming near me.
Thanks a million, Glenn. It’s an honor to step in for Gary and get to play some of my own music for Skynyrd fans as well.