Lynyrd Skynyrd Last Living Original Band Member Hospitalized After Emergency Heart Surgery

by Clayton Edwards

Lynyrd Skynyrd is about as southern as biscuits and gravy or dinner at granny’s on a Sunday. The first iteration of the band formed in 1964. At that time, they called themselves My Backyard. However, the group consisted of some familiar faces. Ronnie Van Zandt handled vocals, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington shared guitar duties, Larry Junstrom played bass and Bob Burns sat behind the drums. They didn’t land on the name that we all know until 1969. Their first album dropped in 1973. Rossington, Van Zandt, and Collins were the only founding members left in the band.

Today Gary Rossington is the last surviving member of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup. He has been in the band from day one and his six-string slinging has been featured on every one of the band’s releases. Rossington has carried the Skynyrd torch all these years. However, the current tour will have to go on without him.

Yesterday, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced that Rossington was currently at home recovering from emergency heart surgery via Facebook. The band’s statement said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Gary Rossington as he recovers from emergency heart surgery.” The statement went on to say that Rossington is currently resting and recovering with his family at his home. The band then added that Gary “Wants everyone to know he is doing good and expects a full recovery.”

The fact that Rossington just got out of heart surgery is worrying for several Lynyrd Skynyrd fans. However, the fact that he is on the mend is good news. There is more good news for those who planned to see the band live this summer.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Says The Show Must Go On

Lynyrd Skynyrd is on tour right now and Rossington’s absence will not change that. They made the joint decision to not alter any of the upcoming dates. Gary and his family urged the band on, according to the statement. They said, “Music is a powerful healer! We all felt playing the shows and bringing the music to y’all was a better option than canceling the performances.”

At the end of the statement, Lynyrd Skynyrd asked that fans say some prayers for Gary Rossington and his family to help speed his recovery along. They added that those who want to leave a positive message for Gary can do so in the comments of the post and that he was looking forward to reading words from loyal fans.

The Lynryd Skynyrd founder is no stranger to heart problems. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that he is prone to heart attacks. According to a 2018 piece in the Tampa Bay Times, Rossington’s doctors have been trying to get him to stop touring for almost two decades. Gary has survived quintuple bypass surgery. In fact, the guitarist said that he has had heart attacks on stage “a lot.”