BAINBRIDGE – For the second year, Rock in the Park will shake, rattle and roll Chenango County at the General Clinton Park this weekend, only this year will feature a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, as Artimus Pyle, one of the last remaining members of Ronnie Van Zant’s Lynyrd Skynyrd will be perform in Bainbridge this Saturday for the second annual Toys for Tots fundraiser.
As a former sergeant in the Marine Corps who served in the late 60s, Pyle is a long-time advocate of the Toys for Tots program, and when he was approached by Rock in the Park organizer Jason Hall he dramatically reduced his fee, making it possible for the fundraiser to hire him.
“Yeah man, it’s the right thing to do,” said Pyle between sporadic bursts of percussion on his gigantic American-made drums with matching snares, pedals and floor toms. Pyle’s drum set is so large he enjoys using it for an aerobic work out. On Saturday, he will be driving into Bainbridge from a gig in Connecticut while the rest of the band flies. “I don’t like to fly so much.”
Hardly surprising from a man who has survived three plane crashes, including the fateful 1977 crash which killed Ronnie Van Zant along with singer Cassie Gaines and guitarist/songwriter Steve Gaines.