Gary Rossington dead at 71: Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist who was the last surviving original member of star-crossed band Sweet Home Alabama has passed away
Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and songwriter Gary Rossington has passed away at the age of 71. the band said in a Facebook post.
“It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we must announce that today we have lost our brother, friend, relative, songwriter and guitarist Gary Rossington,” the group said.
The statement continued, “Gary is now in Heaven with his Skynyrd brothers and family and playing it nicely, as he always does. Please keep Dale, Mary, Annie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time.”
It was not immediately clear what the musician’s cause of death was.
Gary Rossington first met Ronnie Van Zant and Bob Burns when they were all teenagers playing baseball in Jacksonville, Florida, according to a biography on the band’s website.
“An impromptu afternoon jam session in the carport of Burns’ childhood home inspired the trio to form a band,” the biography continued. It wasn’t long before guitarist Allen Collins and bassist Larry Junstrom were added to the mix, and the band began entertaining Jacksonville audiences—first as My Backyard, then The Noble Five, then The One Percent, before finally came out under the name Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969.’
Rossington became the last surviving original member of the group in 2019 when Junstrom died in October 2019 at the age of 70.
RIP: Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and songwriter Gary Rossington has passed away at age 71, the band said in a Facebook post. Pictured in April 2019 in Indio, California