Gentleman, this just one hurts…
Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar player and the last remaining member of the unique band, Gary Rossington, has passed away at 71.
The band broke the heartbreaking news on their Facebook web page:
“It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to recommend, that we shed our brother, close friend, spouse and children member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, nowadays.
Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and relatives in heaven and playing it pretty, like he often does.
Please maintain Dale, Mary, Annie and the whole Rossington spouse and children in your prayers and respect the family’s privateness at this tough time.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd was started by Ronnie Van Zant, Bob Burns and Gary Rossington in Jacksonville, Florida.
Initially dubbed My Yard, the band improved its identify to Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969, a nod to their gymnasium teacher whose title was Leonard Skinner.
The legendary band popularized the southern rock style right after the launch of their 1973 debut album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd), when they landed a location opening for The Who.
That debut album showcased music that are nevertheless large hits nowadays – music like “Simple Male,” “Gimme Three Steps” and of system, “Free Bird.”
And their recognition only grew in excess of the up coming few yrs, particularly immediately after their major hit “Sweet House Alabama” was released on their sophomore album, Second Encouraging.
By 1977, the band had launched their fifth studio album, Street Survivors, and headed out on tour to market it when tragedy struck the band.
Adhering to a demonstrate in Greenville, South Carolina on October 20, 1977, the band chartered a plane to Baton Rouge for a show at LSU the future day.
En route to Louisiana, the aircraft ran out of gasoline close to the finish of the flight around Mississippi, and even though the pilots attempted to access McComb Airport, they opted to attempt a crash landing when they came to the summary that they wouldn’t make it to a runway.
Killed in the crash had been guide singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister who sang track record vocals for the band, Cassie Gaines, alongside with the band’s assistant street manager, the pilot and co-pilot. The rest of the band survived, but were seriously hurt.
The band would eventually acquire a hiatus just after the crash, reuniting only as soon as more than the next 10 a long time to perform an instrumental variation of “Free Bird” at Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam in Nashville in 1979.
But in 1987, Lynyrd Skynyrd would reunite, with Ronnie Van Zant’s more youthful brother Johnny becoming a member of five primary customers of the band who had survived the plane crash for a tribute tour. The reunited band chose to carry on on soon after the 1987 tribute tour, and in 1991 Lynyrd Skynyrd unveiled their first studio album since the aircraft crash.
Considering that then, a number of the other first members experienced passed absent, and when bassist Larry Junstrom died in 2019, Gary turned the very last primary member.
Even so now, Ronnie, Gary, Allen, Larry, and Bob are all jamming out collectively in Heaven, with the very good Lord himself on guide vocals… because, you know… I like to think of Jesus with big eagles’ wings and singin’ lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with like, an angel band…
Nonetheless, it’s extremely hard to overstate the affect that Gary and Lynyrd Skynyrd had on southern rock songs, and even today’s region songs.
Inquire your favored state artist who inspired them, and I’m betting that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be on a good deal of all those lists.
RIP Gary… you’re a damn legend.