Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington Gone at 71

He was the last surviving member of the group’s original lineup

Gary Rossington (Image: Facebook)

Gary Rossington, guitarist and last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, has passed away at 71.

Rossington’s death was confirmed in a statement from the band. The statement reads, “It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today. Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like 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.”

Rossington, who had a history of heart issues, saw his health woes cause him to miss recent shows, with guitarist Damon Johnson filling in for him. 

“It’s a tribute band right now, and everybody knows it’s not the original,” Gary told Rolling Stone last December. “Everybody who comes to see us is told that during the show, and probably knows before they even get there. But people still come to hear it live.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd Street Survivors, MCA Records 1977

Rossington was part of every line-up of Skynyrd dating back to its origins as My Backyard in 1964. He survived the infamous 1977 plane crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines. The band would go on to reunite a decade later in 1987 reunited with Ronnie’s brother Johnny Van Zant on lead vocals and has been on the road ever since.

“Me, Allen [Collins] and Ronnie [Van Zant] started this band with a dream of making it big, and that dream came true,” Rossington told Rolling Stone. “They’d love it if their music was still being played when they’re gone.”

He was an integral part of not only the band but the sound that would be called Southern Rock, and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and fans.

Let his slide guitar take you away tonight in his honor. 


VIDEO: Lynyrd Skynyrd perform “Free Bird” at Oakland Coliseum Stadium 7/2/77

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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

One thought on “Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington Gone at 71

  • March 6, 2023 at 7:27 am

    RIP Mr. Rossington and thank you for all the music you gave us over the years. God bless all your family. I still have my ticket stub from 1982 for your Ft.Worth TX. Show. A prayer for you and your family.❤️❤️❤️❤️


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