Gary Rossington Death: How Did The Guitarist Die?

Gary Rossington Death sent shockwaves to his fans and loved ones. Guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and the final surviving founding member of the group, Gary Rossington, passed away at age 71. What caused Gary Rossington Death? We shall find out ahead.

Gary Rossington Death

Rossington passed away on Sunday, about four months before the group was scheduled to start their upcoming tour. There was no indication of the reason for his death.

The musician had long-standing health problems, which included a heart attack in 2015 and urgent heart surgery in 2021.

“It is with our deepest grief and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter, and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today,” Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote in an official statement. Gary is currently in heaven with his Skynyrd brothers and family, acting lovely just as he usually does.

Here is a tribute to Gary Rossington from Dave Mustaine in the below tweet.

Rossington revealed to Billboard magazine in 2016 that he has made the decision to continue performing despite his health issues.

You know, it’s simply in my blood, he added. “I’m just an old guitar player; we’ve worked for 10,000 hours and our entire lives to learn how to play and do it. Hence, in my opinion, you should continue with your art until you’ve established something for yourself. What happens after retirement? I enjoy fishing, but there are only so many hours in the day, right?

Gary Rossington Biography

1951-born Jacksonville, Florida native Rossington joined the group as a member of the trio called Me, You, and Him in 1964 along with drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom. Rossington originally intended to play baseball, but after hearing about the Rolling Stones, he changed his mind and became a musician.

Yet, it was baseball that brought together Rossington, Burns, and Junstrom, who later jammed in the carport of Burns’ parents’ house. Ronnie Van Zant was a singer who played on a rival baseball team.

Gary Rossington Biography
Gary Rossington Biography

They went through a few name variations before settling on Lynyrd Skynyrd, named for Leonard Skinner, a rigorous teacher at Rossington’s high school when he was 16 years old. Boys with long hair, like Rossington, were subject to a zero-tolerance policy at Skinner; as a result, Rossington was punished and soon left school.

Released in 1973, the group’s debut album included the nine-minute ballad Free Bird, which went on to become one of Skynyrd’s most well-known songs. In addition to a number of other Skynyrd songs, such as I Ain’t The One, Things Going On, Don’t Ask Me No Questions, and Gimme Back My Bullets, Rossington co-wrote Sweet Home Alabama, a success from their second album.

Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister and backing singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, and both pilots perished in a plane crash in Mississippi in 1977 while carrying the band. Rossington, who was knocked out cold and woke up with the door of the jet resting on top of him, was one of the 20 passengers who made it off the plane alive.

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Rossington fully recovered despite breaking both of his arms, both of his legs, both of his wrists, both of his ankles, and both of his pelvises; nonetheless, he spent years fighting a drug addiction that started with his extreme reliance on painkillers during his recuperation.

He previously remarked, “We couldn’t imagine continuing after anything like that. We were a brotherhood, and losing your brothers makes it difficult to continue.

Rossington was the only band member to appear on each and every one of Skynyrd’s albums, even after the group split up and then regrouped in 1987. I don’t think you can have Lynyrd Skynyrd without Gary Rossington, asserted Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s brother, and Skynyrd’s leader since 1977.

Some of his fellow Skynyrd guitarists, such as Allen Collins, Ed King, and Hughie Thomasson, died before Rossington did. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, and Rolling Stone listed the group as No. 95 on their list of the 100 greatest performers of all time in 2004.

Despite Rossington’s passing, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top’s next US tour is anticipated to go on as scheduled.

Dale Krantz-Rossington, Rossington’s wife, their two kids, and several grandchildren all survive him.

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About John King

I've loved writing and learning about things ever since I was a little boy. I love my job as an author for a news company in Chicago, where I live. I've always wanted to help people learn about and keep up with the latest news. I'm very passionate about what I do, and I'm sure that hard work always pays off. I really like what I do, and I'm lucky that I can call it my job. I usually spend my free time reading or hanging out with my family and friends.

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