Gary Rossington

Gary Rossington
Gary Rossington

Gary Rossington
Background information
Birth name Gary Robert Rossington
Born December 4, 1951 (1951-12-04) (age 59)
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Genres Southern rock, blues-rock, hard rock
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1964–present
Labels MCA, Atlantic, Capricorn, SPV, CMC, Sanctuary, Universal
Associated acts Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rossington-Collins Band, The Rossington Band
Website Official Lynyrd Skynyrd Website
Notable instruments
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson SG

Gary Robert Rossington (born December 4, 1951, Jacksonville, Florida, United States) is a founding member of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He plays lead and rhythm guitar. He is also a founding member of The Rossington-Collins Band along with former Lynyrd Skynyrd bandmate, the late Allen Collins.[1] He is the only original member still with the band.



Rossington formed the band as a teenager with friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns in the summer of 1964. Skynyrd gained national exposure starting in 1973 with the release of their first album (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd) and hit single "Free Bird".

Rossington's instrument of choice was a 1959 Gibson Les Paul that he purchased from a woman whose boyfriend had left her and left behind his guitar. He named it "Berneice" in honor of his mother who he was close to. Rossington has played lead guitar on "Tuesday's Gone" and the slide guitar for "Free Bird". Along with Collins, Rossington also provided the guitar work for "Simple Man".

On Labor Day weekend in 1976, Rossington and fellow Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins were both involved in separate auto accidents in their hometown of Jacksonville. Rossington had just bought a new Ford Torino, and hit an oak tree while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The band was due to go on tour in a couple of days, but had to postpone this tour due to Rossington's accident. The band members were not at all pleased with Rossington, and fined him $5000 for the delay caused to the band's schedule. Van Zant and Collins wrote the song "That Smell" based on the wreck, and Rossington's state of influence from drugs and alcohol at the time. "Whiskey bottles and brand new cars, oak tree you're in my way. There's too much coke and too much smoke."

Rossington was one of six band members who survived the October 20, 1977 plane crash near Gillsburg, Mississippi that took the lives of Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and three others. Despite breaking both arms, both legs, both wrists, both ankles and his pelvis, Rossington would eventually recover from his injuries and play on stage again (albeit with steel rods in his right arm and one of his legs). He battled with serious drug addiction throughout the next several years, partially as a result of his heavy dependence on medication taken during his recovery from the plane crash.

In 1980, Rossington co-founded The Rossington-Collins Band with Collins. The band released two albums, but disbanded in 1982 after the death of Collins' wife, Kathy.

Rossington still plays in the current Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup. With the death of keyboardist Billy Powell on January 28, 2009, Rossington is now the only original band member left in the reformed band.

Gary Rossington and Dale Krantz-Rossington have had two daughters, Mary and Annie. Their side project, the Rossington Band, opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd during their 1987-88 reunion tour. The Rossington Band released the following albums: Returned to the Scene of the Crime, 1986 and Love Your Man in 1988.

He had a heart problem which was successfully operated on. Rossington also occasionally experiences pain in his legs severe enough to force him to miss shows; this is an ongoing by-product of the 1977 plane crash.[citation needed]

Rossington is an avid fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He recorded a video, along with remaining members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, that is played at every Jaguars home game on the Everbank Field video board.


Rossington has used Gibson Les Pauls and a Gibson SG throughout his career. He is mostly seen playing a Les Paul in sunburst finish, but he can be seen playing a red SG with tremolo for the song Free Bird.


  1. ^ Dillon, Charlotte. "Biography: Gary Rossington". AMG. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 

External links

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  • Gary Rossington — est un musicien nord américain né le 4 décembre 1951 à Jacksonville. Il est un des membres fondateurs de Lynyrd Skynyrd et à ce jour le seul et dernier musicien de la formation originale du groupe figurant à l effectif de l actuelle… …   Wikipédia en Français

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