Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s final surviving unique member, useless at 71

Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s final surviving unique member who additionally helped to discovered the group, died Sunday on the age of 71. No reason behind demise was given.

“It’s with our deepest sympathy and unhappiness that we’ve to advise, that we misplaced our brother, buddy, member of the family, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, at present,” the band wrote on Fb. “Gary is now along with his Skynyrd brothers and household in heaven and taking part in it fairly, like he all the time does. Please preserve Dale, Mary, Annie and all the Rossington household in your prayers and respect the household’s privateness at this tough time.”

Rossington cheated demise greater than as soon as, Rolling Stone reported. He survived a automobile accident in 1976 through which he drove his Ford Torino right into a tree, inspiring the band’s cautionary tune “That Scent.” A yr later, he emerged from the 1977 aircraft crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, with two damaged arms, a damaged leg, and a punctured abdomen and liver.

“It was a devastating factor,” he advised Rolling Stone in 2006. “You’ll be able to’t simply speak about it actual informal and never have emotions about it.”

Gary Rossington, from the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, solutions questions as Ed King seems on, backstage after being inducted on the annual Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame dinner in New York on March 13, 2006.


In later years, Rossington underwent quintuple bypass surgical procedure in 2003, suffered a coronary heart assault in 2015, and had quite a few subsequent coronary heart surgical procedures, most not too long ago leaving Lynyrd Skynyrd in July 2021 to recuperate from one other process. At latest exhibits, Rossington would carry out parts of the live performance and generally sat out full gigs.

Rossington was born Dec. 4, 1951, in Jacksonville, Florida, and raised by his mom after his father died. Upon assembly drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom, Rossington and his new associates shaped a band, which they tried to juggle amid their love of baseball.

Based on Rolling Stone, it was throughout a fateful Little League recreation, Ronnie Van Zant hit a line drive into the shoulder blades of opposing participant Bob Burns and met his future bandmates. Rossington, Burns, Van Zant, and guitarist Allen Collins gathered that afternoon at Burns’ Jacksonville dwelling to jam the Rolling Stone’s “Time Is on My Aspect.”

Adopting Lynyrd Skynyrd because the group’s identify — each a reference to a equally named sports activities coach at Rossington’s highschool and to a personality within the 1963 novelty hit “Hiya Muddah, Hiya Fadduh” — the band launched their debut album (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Pores and skin-‘nérd) in 1973. A set of country-tinged blues-rock and Southern soul, the album included now-classics like “Tuesday’s Gone,” “Easy Man” and “Gimme Three Steps,” but it surely was the closing observe, the practically 10-minute “Free Fowl,” that turned the group’s calling card, due in no small half to Rossington’s evocative slide taking part in on his Gibson SG.

Rossington advised Rolling Stone that he by no means thought-about Skynyrd to be a tragic band, regardless of all of the band’s drama and demise. “I do not consider it as tragedy — I consider it as life,” he mentioned upon the group’s Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame induction in 2006. “I believe the nice outweighs the dangerous.”

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