Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington is recovering from emergency heart procedure: reports


The last active original member of classic southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd was recovering on Saturday night after recently undergoing emergency heart surgery, according to the group.

Guitarist Gary Rossington, 69, who has played with the band since their debut in Jacksonville, Fla., Was resting at home with his family and expected “a full recovery,” the band wrote in a post on Friday. Facebook.

Lead singer Johnny Van Zant told fans at a recent Minnesota gig that Rossington was sidelined because he was “to have an emergency stent placed in his heart,” the website reported. Ultimate Classic Rock.

Rossington has a history of heart problems, having had surgery for a heart attack in 2015, and again to repair a heart valve in 2019, according to Rolling Stone magazine. The 2019 operation forced the postponement of a Lynyrd Skynyrd tour, according to the outlet.

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Rossington has missed a series of recent concerts by the group, including Friday night’s concert in Minot, North Dakota, according to Rolling Stone.

The band have brought in Alabama-based guitarist Damon Johnson to replace them as Rossington continues his recovery, AL.com reported.

The group claimed in their Facebook post that the decision to continue their touring program came at Rossington’s request.

Aside from Rossington, only drummer Artimus Pyle – who was estranged from the band – survives the band’s heyday in the 1970s, when he was known for songs such as “Free Bird.”

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In October 1977, a plane crash in Mississippi killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and his siblings Steve and Cassie Gaines, guitarist and background singer, respectively. After a hiatus after the plane crash, the band reappeared as the Rossington Collins Band in the early 1980s, with Rossington’s wife Dale Krantz Rossington as lead singer.

Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most recent formation, including vocalist Johnny Van Zant (front, second from left) and guitarist Gary Rossington (center).

Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most recent formation, including vocalist Johnny Van Zant (front, second from left) and guitarist Gary Rossington (center).

But a few years later, Johnny Van Zant formed a revamped version of his late brother Ronnie’s band, and they’ve been touring and recording ever since.

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In the years since the crash, members of the group including Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, Ed King and Bob Burns died of various causes.

Rossington and the band performed on “Fox & Friends” in June 2018, performing a set of songs including “What’s Your Name?” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Sweet Home Alabama”.

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