Since last December, we knew that Ean Evans' (Lynyrd Skynyrd's bassist) health was very disturbed by this hell of illness that wear down and annihilate a great part of the people on our planet, but from this conclusion, to think that he would pass away so quickly to reunite with his mate Léon (gone in July 2001...), I have to admit that here
it keeps me wondering, because I don't know how I have to understand all this!
Already, in the beginning of January, we felt that something bad was approaching.
Ean couldn't play his part during the Simple Man Cruise alongside Gary, Rickey, Johnny, Billy, etc... A very often commented upon absence on the boat where it was possible
to write words of hope to the concerned person on a book made available!
In spite of this terrible apprehension, and after a classic medical treatment in this kind of illness in Nashville, a lot of fans (in which I'm part of !) seemed to believe in a possible improvement (failing to be back in the band), and the announcement of a Benefit Show ("Mississipi Kid Festival") in order to help Ean financially might corroborate this hope ! Unfortunately, some pics glimpsed after this event didn't leave any lingering doubts but superficial, because Ean appeared very tired alongside Skynyrd wholly present, while that wasn't meant to happen at first (a probably telltale sign!). So he played his last four songs this 19th of April with Lynyrd Skynyrd, sitting alongside Gary Rossington. What a painful moment when you're feeling a bit involved with those people ! Here goes another page turning for this band that a lot of people describe today as "star-crossed" ! Hardly three months after Billy Powell's going, after Hughie's and Leon's a bit closer in time, or, just a little less close, an Allen Collins' in his wheelchair, broken by his Kathy's decease and by his responsability in Debra Watts' death, and after the legendary crash, we can really wonder if the Evil spirit is not hanging around the head of this band's members!
And moreover, if Lynyrd Skynyrd pass on today what ever the tragedies it has to deal with, it may be possible that Gary Rossington, crash survivor with various fractures, and duly bypassed after his heart warnings, finaly accepts its inevitability!
So Ean Evans' passing isn't likely to question Skynyrd's continuity? Probably not (Billy being inevitably more essential !), but regardless it's possible that by dint of facing that kind of event, some of the band's mainstays (there's not a lot left!) are psychologically weakened. I suppose it may be very logical!
Trad. Y. Philippot-Degand