Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington Passes Away at 71
Survived Famous Plane Crash Decades Ago
3/6/2023 6:15 AM PT
Born in 1951 in Jacksonville, Florida, Rossington formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 with his high school friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary’s younger brother, Dale. The band’s name came from their gym teacher, Leonard Skinner, who punished them for having long hair.
Despite numerous lineup changes and tragedies, Lynyrd Skynyrd went on to achieve global success. Their mix of Southern rock, blues, and country influences captured the hearts of millions of fans, and their songs remain classics to this day.
Rossington played with Lynyrd Skynyrd for over five decades, enduring numerous hardships along the way. His career was marked by the tragic 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and several other band members, as well as battles with addiction and health issues.
Despite these challenges, Rossington remained committed to his music, and Lynyrd Skynyrd continued to tour and record new material. Their final tour, called “Last of the Street Survivors,” was scheduled to run through 2022.
Fans of the band are heartbroken by Rossington’s passing. Many have taken to social media to express their grief and share memories of his performances. They will remember him as a true rock and roll icon, whose guitar playing helped define an entire genre of music.
In a statement, Lynyrd Skynyrd paid tribute to Rossington’s legacy, saying, “Gary was a kind and gentle soul with the warmest heart. His contributions to Lynyrd Skynyrd were immeasurable. We will miss him dearly.”
Rossington’s passing marks the end of an era for Lynyrd Skynyrd and the wider music community. He will be remembered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and a true legend of rock and roll.