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On This Day, March 5, 2023: Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington dies at 71

todayMarch 5, 2024


On This Day, March 5, 2023… 

Gary Rossington, guitarist for Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away at the age of 71. 

Rossington, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the band in 2006, was the last remaining original member of Skynyrd’s lineup. He had been the last surviving original member of the band following the death of Larry Junstrom in 2019.

Rossington played guitar on many of the band’s biggest hits, including “Simple Man” and “Sweet Alabama,” both of which he co-wrote with Ronnie Van Zant, as well as “Tuesday’s Gone.” He also played slide guitar on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s signature tune “Free Bird.”

Rossington was one of the passengers who survived the October, 20, 1977, Mississippi plane crash that took the lives of Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve and Cassie Gaines and three others. He broke both his arms, legs, wrists, ankles and pelvis.

Lynyrd Skynyrd decided to continue as a band after Rossington’s death. They launch a new leg of the Sharp Dressed Simple Man tour with ZZ Top on Friday, March 8, in Savannah, Georgia. A complete list of dates can be found at

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