Mr. Skynyrd, an uncompromising Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band based in Tucson, Arizona, returns to the Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley St., Prescott, from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21.
A collection of experienced musicians, the band’s members are lead singer Randy Archer; Robert Moldovan on lead and rhythm guitar; Tom Coury, lead and rhythm guitar; Scott Barnett on lead and rhythm guitar; Kevin Heiderman, bass; keyboardist George Gardner; Gerard “G” Awad on drums; background vocalist Gail Gardner; and background vocalist Debbie Moldovan.
Debbie, who is also the band’s manager, spoke with Across the Street ahead of their upcoming performance. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.
What makes Mr. Skynyrd unique among other Lynyrd Skynyrd
It’s a true tribute to Skynyrd. The original Skynyrd had three lead guitar players like we do. They went back and forth between no backup singers and three backup singers in the early days.
Then for the last 20 years, they’ve had two backup singers. I remember seeing one tribute band back East that does have backup singers as well, but most of them don’t.
And definitely most of them don’t have all three guitars, which in the Skynyrd days they always called it the guitar army. That’s what they’re known for along with Molly Hatchet, really the first people to have three and it’s mostly dual leads.
But mostly what sets us apart is, we concentrate on the early Skynyrd before the plane crash and note for note.
Most of the bands go to the newer Skynyrd, since plane crash, because a lot of it is mostly live. Albums are so much harder to reproduce note for note than a live performance is.
How did you come up with the name,
When we first started, it was just one of the ideas that our very first bass player came up with. He just threw it out there and everybody loved it, and it stuck. It’s really a play on the fact that the name Lynyrd Skynyrd — from the original band — came from their gym teacher. His name was Leonard Skinner. He didn’t like their long hair. He was constantly harassing, mostly Gary Rossington from the band. He was famous at the school for being kind of a hard ass — excuse the language. Then afterward, of course, you know, they did make up and took pictures and photos with them after they became famous.
What do you like
most about being
a part of this band?
My very favorite thing for sure is the fact that we’ve all become a family. We’ve been together for a long time. We’ve traveled together. We’ve seen each other’s struggles, in terms of learning a particular song or not. We’ve formed a chemistry. Everybody just really, truly loves one another. We really don’t have band drama the way other bands do, and we’ve just learned to really respect one another and what each person is bringing the group.
For tickets and more information, call 928-777-1370, or visit www.prescottelkstheatre.org.
Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.