Paige Stegina| A&E Editor
Gary Rossington, guitarist in the famed band Lynyrd Skynyrd passed away over the weekend at age 71. He was the last surviving founding member of the American rock band. The band posted a tribute to him on Facebook, stating “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.”
Rossington was born in 1951 in Florida. The band was formed by a group of friends, originally playing Rolling Stones music with Bob Burns, Larry Junstrom, Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington. The band’s first album release was in 1973, with “Tuesday’s Gone”, “Simple Man”, “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama” becoming instant hits. In 1777, two members of the bank were killed in a plane crash, resulting in the band disbanding. The band eventually joined back together with Johnny Van Zant taking over his brother’s role as lead singer, bringing their music into the new generation. In 2006, Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Through all the tragedy the band has suffered through the years, they have secured their place in rock history with their strong and unique sound.
With all the success that the band has had, Gary Rossington was the only constant throughout the years. Rossington was set to tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top for the “The Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour.” Even with all the challenges that the band has faced, Rossington said ““I don’t think of it as tragedy — I think of it as life. I think the good outweighs the bad.”