Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s final surviving authentic member who additionally helped to discovered the group, died Sunday at the age of 71. No explanation for dying was given.
“It’s with our deepest sympathy and unhappiness that we now have to advise, that we misplaced our brother, pal, household member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, as we speak,” the band wrote on Fb. “Gary is now along with his Skynyrd brothers and household in heaven and enjoying it fairly, like he all the time does. Please preserve Dale, Mary, Annie and your complete Rossington household in your prayers and respect the household’s privateness at this tough time.”
Rossington cheated dying 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 Odor.” A yr later, he emerged from the 1977 airplane 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 informed Rolling Stone in 2006. “You may’t simply speak about it actual informal and never have emotions about it.”
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 get better 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 pals fashioned a band, which they tried to juggle amid their love of baseball.
In response to 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 residence to jam the Rolling Stone’s “Time Is on My Facet.”
Adopting Lynyrd Skynyrd because the group’s title — each a reference to a equally named sports activities coach at Rossington’s highschool and to a personality within the 1963 novelty hit “Hey Muddah, Hey Fadduh” — the band launched their debut album (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Pores and skin-’nérd) in 1973. A group of country-tinged blues-rock and Southern soul, the album included now-classics like “Tuesday’s Gone,” “Easy Man” and “Gimme Three Steps,” nevertheless it was the closing observe, the practically 10-minute “Free Hen,” that turned the group’s calling card, due in no small half to Rossington’s evocative slide enjoying on his Gibson SG.
Rossington informed Rolling Stone that he by no means thought-about Skynyrd to be a tragic band, regardless of all of the band’s drama and dying. “I don’t consider it as tragedy — I consider it as life,” he stated upon the group’s Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame induction in 2006. “I feel the great outweighs the dangerous.”