Gary Rossington, guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and the band’s last original member, has died aged 71.
Rossington died nearly four months ago on Sunday.
The guitarist suffered from health problems for many decades. He had a heart attack in 2015 and had to undergo emergency heart surgery in 2021.
Lynyrd Skynyrd said he lost his brother, friend, family member and guitarist, Gary Rossington. Gary is with his Skynyrd family and brothers in heaven, playing guitar like he does every day.
Rossington told Billboard magazine in 2016 that he decided to continue playing basketball despite his health issues.
He said, “It’s in my blood, you know? “I am a former guitarist. We’ve spent our entire lives learning to play the guitar and putting in 10,000 hours of work to do so. Once you have something to be proud of, I think you should keep improving your art. What is the next step after your retirement? “I like fishing, but how much can you do? The name dies of Professor Lynyrd Skynyrd
Rossington was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1951. He has been a member of the band since 1964, when it was a trio called Me, You and Him. With bassist Larry Junstrom and drummer Bob Burns, Rossington originally wanted to play baseball, but after hearing about the Rolling Stones he decided to pursue music.
Lynyrd skynyrd was born out of baseball. However, Ronnie Van Zant, Burns, and Junstrom met at a game and they got stuck in the carport of Burns’ parents’ house.
After several name changes, they settled on Lynyrd Kynyrd. This was named after Leonard Skinner, who was a strict 16-year-old school teacher from Rossington. Skinner had a zero tolerance policy for boys with long hair, as did Rossington. He was quickly suspended and dropped out of school.
Skynyrd’s debut album, released in 1973, featured the nine-minute song Free Bird. Rossington also co-wrote Sweet Home Alabama (a hit from their second album), as well as many other Skynyrd songs, such as I Ain’t The One and Things Goin’ on, Don’t Ask Me No Questions, Gimme Back My Bullets, and I’m not the only one.
A plane carrying the band crashed at a Mississippi airport in 1977. It killed Van Zant, Steve Gaines’ guitarist, Cassie Gaines’ singer and sister Dean Kilpatrick, and the two pilots. Rossington was among twenty people who survived the accident. He woke up to find the plane door over his head.
Rossington broke his legs, arms, wrists, ankles, pelvis and wrists. However, he fully recovered. He also struggled with a long-term drug addiction that began with his addiction to painkillers.
He once said, “We couldn’t imagine continuing to follow something like this.” “We were a brotherhood, and you can’t go on after you lose your brothers.”
Skynyrd broke up but reformed in 1987. The band has continued with many line-up changes since. Rossington was the last member to appear on all of her albums. Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s brother and leader of Skynyrd since 1977, once said, “I don’t think you could have Lynyrd Skynyrd with Gary Rossington.”
Rossington lived long after fellow Skynyrd guitarists Ed King, Allen Collins and Hughie Thomasson.
Rolling Stone ranked Lynyrd Skynyrd No. 95 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004. The band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Despite Rossington’s passing, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s US tour with ZZ Top will continue regardless.
Dale Krantz, Rossington’s wife, and their two daughters, as well as numerous grandchildren, are his survivors.
This article was updated on March 6, 2023. In an earlier version, Rickey Medlocke was incorrectly stated to be deceased.
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