Gary Rossington: Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist is dead

Gary Rossington is dead.

Gary Rossington: Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist is dead

Gary Rossington is dead. The guitarist for the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd died on Sunday March 5, 2023. The musician was 71 years old.

The band announced Rossington's death on their Facebook page. It is with deepest sorrow and sadness that we announce the loss of our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist Gary Rossington today. "Gary is now in heaven with his Skynyrd brothers and family playing like he always does." On behalf of the bereaved, the band is asking the public for privacy.

The band did not name a cause of death. However, it is known that Gary Rossington suffered from heart problems for a long time. In 2003 he had to undergo bypass surgery and in 2015 he suffered a heart attack. During Lynyrd Skynyrd's last tour in 2021, he had to sit out several times. "I'm not getting enough oxygen in my blood to keep up and keep going like this," Rossington told Rolling Stone in November 2022. He can play, but traveling is difficult for him.

Gary Rossington, the last surviving founding member of Lynyrd Synyrd, died. Together with Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Bob Burns and Larry Junstrom he formed a band in 1964 in a high school in his native Jacksonville, Florida. They named themselves after gym teacher Leonard Skinner, who caught them breaking the school's dress code. This included her long hair. To be on the safe side legally, the group changed the teacher's name.

After a period of touring, the southern rock band's breakthrough came in 1973 with their debut album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)'. It also features her nine-minute cult song "Free Bird", which Rossington coined with his slide guitar. Their biggest hit "Sweet Home Alabama" was released in 1974 on the album "Second Helping".

On October 20, 1977, a plane chartered by the band crashed. Six people died in the crash, including singer Ronnie Van Zant. Rossington survived badly injured. The band fell apart in the following years, but was re-established in 1987. As a result, the band has remained active to this day with changing line-ups.