Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s guitarist and last remaining original member of the band, has passed away at the age of 71.
Rossington died almost four months ago, on Sunday.
The guitarist was suffering from health problems for many decades. He had a heart attack in 2015, and needed emergency heart surgery in 2021.
Lynyrd Skynyrd stated that he had lost his brother, friend, family member and guitarist, Gary Rossington. Gary is with his Skynyrd family and brothers in heaven, and playing the guitar as he does every day.
Rossington stated to Billboard magazine in 2016 that he had decided to continue playing basketball despite his health issues.
He said, “It’s in my blood, you know?” “I’m an old guitar player. We’ve spent our entire lives learning how to play the guitar and doing 10,000 hours of work to do it. Once you have something you are proud of, I believe you should continue to improve your craft. What’s the next step after you retire? “I like fishing, but how much can you do? Name dies of Lynyrd skynyrd teacher
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 from baseball. However, Ronnie Van Zant, Burns, and Junstrom met at a game, and they jammed in the carport of Burns’s parents’ home.
After several name changes, they settled on Lynyrd Kynyrd. This was named after Leonard Skinner, who was a strict teacher at Rossington’s 16-year-old school. Skinner had a zero tolerance policy for boys with long hair, just like Rossington. He was soon 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 Ain’t The One.
A plane carrying the band crashed into a Mississippi airport in 1977. It killed Van Zant, Steve Gaines’ guitarist, Cassie Gaines’ backup singer and sister, Dean Kilpatrick, and both pilots. Rossington was among the twenty people who survived the crash. He awoke to find the door of the plane on his head.
Rossington broke his legs, arms, wrists, ankles, pelvis, and wrists. However, he fully recovered. He also battled a long-term drug addiction that began with his dependence on pain medication.
He once stated, “We couldn’t imagine going on following something like that.” “We were a brotherhood, and you can’t go on after you lose your brothers.”
Skynyrd broke up but was reformed in 1987. The band has continued with many lineup changes ever since. Rossington was the last member to appear on all its albums. Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s brother, and Skynyrd frontman since 1977, once stated: “I don’t think you could have Lynyrd Skynyrd with Gary Rossington.”
Rossington lived to be a long time after his fellow Skynyrd guitarists Ed King, Allen Collins, and Hughie Thomasson.
Rolling Stone ranked Lynyrd Skynyrd No 95 on its 100 greatest artist of all time list in 2004. The band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2006
Despite Rossington’s passing, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s US tour with ZZ Top will go ahead regardless.
Dale Krantz, Rossington’s wife, and their two daughters, as well as many grandchildren, are his survivors.
This article was updated on March 6, 2023. In an earlier version, Rickey Medlocke was incorrectly stated to have died.
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