Gary Rossington, the last founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd who was still alive when the band dissolved in 1973, passed suddenly on Sunday.
A number of the band’s recordings have become classics, including “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free Bird,” “Simple Man,” and “Tuesday’s Gone.”
Love, Trials, and Greatness
The band members acknowledged that Gary was more than just a bandmate; he was also a friend, a family member, a songwriter, and a guitarist.
They expressed their profound sorrow and sympathy in a statement published on the band’s Facebook page. They asked fans to respect the family’s privacy during this challenging period and keep them in their thoughts and prayers.
RIP Gary Rossington,today we lost the final member of the original 70s Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup! Thanks for the music Gary!!! pic.twitter.com/0IjXA5Rcwx
— VINTAGE ROCK N’ ROLL 🎸 (@RockNRoLL_85) March 6, 2023
Gary Rossington’s life was marked by a number of significant events, including his survival in a car accident in 1976 and the tragic plane crash in 1977 that claimed the lives of several band members.
Rossington never gave up on his dream of making music, despite suffering multiple broken bones and a shattered pelvis. He continued to pursue his dream. In 2003, he had quintuple bypass surgery; then, in 2015, he suffered a severe heart attack.
When Rossington thought back on the band’s history, he realized the plane crash significantly influenced their success, as it occurred shortly after the release of their fifth album. He acknowledged the significance of this factor.
Despite this, the band was able to reunite and carry on with their performances, with Johnny Van Zant taking over as the band’s leader.
Rossington shared his enthusiasm for producing music with the other band members, as well as his desire for their musical legacy to continue even if they were no longer physically present.
Call me a nerd idc. I can’t begin to explain how important Lynyrd Skynyrd’s music is to a poor boy from the South. RIP Gary Rossington. You played one of the most recognizable riffs in history. Fly high Free Bird 🕊Hope the gang’s all back together jamming. pic.twitter.com/yapliSd4FW
— Nick&Them (@honestbrohamski) March 6, 2023
Rossington acknowledged their music still resonates with fans even though the current iteration of Lynyrd Skynyrd is essentially a tribute band. However, he noted this does not change the fact that fans still enjoy their music.
Rossington has conceded that the future of the band is unknown. He also admitted it is possible that it may disband in a couple of years or it may continue for an unlimited amount of time. The only way to know is to wait.
When the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Rossington reflected on the plane crash and stated he viewed it as a part of life, rather than as a tragedy. He said this in response to a question of how he felt about the incident.
He believed that the fun moments they had together as a band more than made up for the challenges they encountered along the road.
Gary Rossington’s fans and family will dearly miss him. His band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, will go down in history as one of the greatest rock bands ever.This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.