The last surviving co-founder and guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gary Rossington, is recovering from his emergency heart surgery. The band, which is currently on tour without Rossington, announced this last week, according to Loudwire. The band states, “Gary is home resting and recovering with his family at home. He wants everyone to know he is doing good and expects a full recovery.”
Rossington’s heart problems are long known, according to Deadline. He had a previous emergency heart surgery in 2016 and had his heart valve repaired two years ago.
The southern rock band was formed in 1964 by Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant (vocals), Allen Collins (guitar), Larry Junstrom (bass) and Bob Burns (drums). Over the years, the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd have changed, Ronnie Van Zant died in 1977, alongside band members Steve and Cassie Gaines, in a plane crash. He was 29 years old. Ronnie’s younger brother Johnny later took over as the lead vocalist of the band. He still is to this day. Guitarist Allen Collins died in 1990 at the age of 37. Collins was paralyzed in 1986 after a car accident, and later died due to chronic pneumonia caused by his paralysis. Drummer Bob Burns died in 2015 due to a fatal car accident. Bassist Larry Junstrom died only two years ago, in 2019, at the age of 70.
This year the band performed at the Gulf Coast Festival, the largest-non-socially distant festival since the pandemic started in 2020. Co-headliners included country stars, Luke Bryan and Brad Paisley.