Gary Rossington dead at age 71: What was his cause of death?

Gary Rossington Cuase of death

Gary Rossington Cuase of death: Gary Rossington, a legendary founding member of the iconic Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away at the age of 71 on Sunday, leaving behind a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten.

Gary Rossington Cuase of death

The band announced his death on Facebook, expressing their deepest sympathy and sadness at the loss of their brother, friend, family member, songwriter, and guitarist. They also requested fans to keep Dale, Mary, Annie, and the entire Rossington family in their thoughts and prayers while respecting the family’s privacy during this difficult time.

Gary Rossington was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s last surviving original member and a true guitar virtuoso.

He gained fame for his ethereal slide guitar work on the band’s iconic song “Free Bird,” which became a timeless anthem. Rossington was a reserved figure who preferred to let his music speak for itself and had several brushes with death.

He was involved in a horrific car accident in 1976, inspiring the band’s cautionary song “That Smell.”

He also survived the infamous 1977 plane crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, but not without injuries, including two broken arms, a broken leg, and a punctured stomach and liver.

He was understandably reticent to discuss the crash, calling it a devastating experience that he couldn’t talk about casually.

In his later years, Rossington struggled with heart issues, undergoing quintuple bypass surgery in 2003, suffering a heart attack in 2015, and having numerous subsequent heart surgeries.

Most recently, he had to leave Lynyrd Skynyrd in July 2021 to recover from another procedure.

Despite his health issues, he continued to perform at the band’s shows, even though he had to sit out of some gigs entirely.

In a November 2022 interview with Rolling Stone, he spoke candidly about the difficulties he faced with his health, saying that he didn’t get enough oxygen in his blood to keep up with normal activities, but he could still play well.

Traveling was the most challenging part for him, especially with his heart problems.

Born on December 4th, 1951, in Jacksonville, Florida, Rossington was raised by his mother after his father passed away.

He met drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom and formed a band that they tried to juggle between their love of baseball.

He met his future bandmates when Ronnie Van Zant hit a line drive into the shoulder blades of an opposing player during a Little League game. Rossington, Burns, Van Zant, and guitarist Allen Collins gathered at Burns’ Jacksonville home, where they jammed to the Rolling Stones’ “Time Is on My Side.”

An early version of Lynyrd Skynyrd was born, and they began playing at clubs in Atlanta to make it out of the Jacksonville scene.

They adopted Lynyrd Skynyrd as the band’s name, which was a reference to a similarly named sports coach at Rossington’s high school and a character in the 1963 novelty hit “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh.”

The band released their debut album, Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd, in 1973, which included now-classics like “Tuesday’s Gone,” “Simple Man,” and “Gimme Three Steps.” Still, it was the closing track, the nearly 10-minute “Free Bird,” that became the group’s calling card, thanks in no small part to Rossington’s evocative slide playing on his Gibson SG.

Despite initial doubts that a song that long could ever be successful, Rossington and the band proved the naysayers wrong and created a timeless piece of rock history.

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