Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist, dies at 71

Gary Rossington performs with Lynyrd Skynyrd on the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Would per chance per chance per chance moreover 11, 2019

(Image credit: Suzanne Cordeiro/Getty Images)

Gary Rossington, longtime guitarist for Southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died on the age of 71, the band confirmed in an announcement at the moment (March 5). No attach of abode off of loss of life turned into once given.

“It’s with our deepest sympathy and disappointment that we own to repeat, that we lost our brother, pal, family member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, at the moment,” the band wrote on social media (opens in contemporary tab).

“Gary is now alongside with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and collaborating in it fairly, cherish he continuously does. Please retain Dale, Mary, Annie and the total Rossington family to your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this spirited time.”

Gary Rossington turned into once a key member of Lynyrd Skynyrd – arguably, alongside with the Allman Brothers Band, the most in fashion and influential Southern rock band of all time – for his or her total historic past.

Certainly, on the time of his loss of life, Rossington turned into once the band’s final surviving normal member.

Along with Allen Collins and first Ed King, then, later, Steve Gaines, Rossington turned into once an integral portion of the band’s trademark three-guitar attack. That three-guitar-sound, coupled with frontman Ronnie Van Zant’s unapologetic but nuanced lyrics about the band’s rough ‘n’ tumble life within the South, acquired them a nationwide viewers that transcended genre. 

Free Chicken – the closing discover on the band’s 1973 debut album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) – has turn out to be, within the 50 years since its free up, one among doubtlessly the most iconic rock songs of all time. Though it will most likely most definitely most definitely be most nicely-identified for Allen Collins’ smokin’ prolonged, multi-tracked outro solo, it turned into once Rossington’s achingly melodic high-tail guitar work that made it a lighters-in-the-air traditional.

A twelve months after Free Chicken, Rossington co-wrote the band’s Southern anthem, Candy Dwelling Alabama, a funky, catchy response to Neil Young’s Southern Man that remains – alongside with Free Chicken – ubiquitous on traditional rock radio.

Rossington survived the tragic 1977 plane demolish that claimed the lives of Van Zant and Gaines, and, a decade later, helped spearhead the band’s reunion – with Johnny Van Zant taking his older brother Ronnie’s situation on vocals.

By 2018, after the loss of life of Ed King, Rossington turned into once the final surviving member of the band’s normal lineup.

The guitarist suffered a heart attack in 2015 (opens in contemporary tab), and neglected a desire of tour dates in 2021 after present process emergency heart surgical map.

“We factual wanted to be a rock band,” Rossington told Guitar World in a 2015 interview. “Obvious, we had been from the South and we grew up on blues and nation, but we in actuality loved the blues and rock that turned into once coming from England, and that’s what we wanted to play.”

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Jackson is an Affiliate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and modifying tales about contemporary equipment, methodology and guitar-driven tune each and each extinct and contemporary since 2014, and has moreover written broadly on the same matters for Guitar Player (opens in contemporary tab). In assorted locations, his album evaluations and essays own regarded in Louder (opens in contemporary tab) and Unrecorded (opens in contemporary tab). Though start to tune of all sorts, his greatest esteem has continuously been indie, and every thing that falls below its big umbrella. To that discontinue, it’s seemingly you’ll most definitely most definitely fetch him on Twitter crowing about no subject gargantuan contemporary guitar band it’s seemingly you’ll most definitely most definitely want to descend every thing to listen to appropriate now.

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