Lynyrd Skynyrd Cancels Dates: ‘Medical Emergency’

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Gary Rossington (Photo via Lynyrd Skynyrd Facebook page, May 15, 2017)

Health issues for a Lynyrd Skynyrd member have forced the classic rock band to cancel three dates: Nov. 4 in Tallahassee, Fla., Nov. 5 in Lakeland, Fla., and Rock Fest ’80s in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (where fellow Southern rock legends .38 Special are filling in).

The Tallahassee Democrat cited a “medical emergency” in its story datelined yesterday (Nov. 3).

The band had begun its 2017 tour on Feb. 2 in Detroit. It’s known that lone surviving original member Gary Rossington has suffered from heart problems for several years. He has been part of every Skynyrd line-up dating back to its origins as My Backyard in 1964.

On August 4, Rossington had surgery related to his heart condition. At the time, the band’s management wrote on the Skynyrd Facebook page: “Gary Rossington had to undergo a procedure to address some blockage in his arteries to his heart. Gary was released Friday evening and has been home recovering and in good spirits. Doctors have advised that he recover this week, forcing the band to cancel this past weekend’s shows and tomorrow at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, S.D. The band will commence touring, this Friday in Virginia Beach with Hank Williams Jr and Aaron Lewis.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused the fans and hope to see you on the road in the near future.”

In July 2016, Rossington had heart surgery to repair blockage in his arteries.

Watch Rossington perform Skynyrd’s “Gimme Three Steps” on October 25, 2016, using Duane Allman’s legendary 1957 Gibson Goldtop

“Gimme Three Steps”

If this guitar could talk…

Watch Gary light it up on “Gimme Three Steps” using Duane Allman’s 1957 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop.

Posted by Lynyrd Skynyrd on Monday, October 24, 2016


On October 8, 2015, Rossington suffered a heart attack, which caused the cancellation of two shows. Shortly thereafter, his family wrote a message on the Facebook fan page of original Skynyrd lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant:

“Dad had a heart attack on Thursday. They went in to repair and unclog the two stents they did previously in the year, which had a blood clot, added a third stent to one vein, and in two weeks, we will need to go in to do a fourth stent in one of his bypassed veins from 12 years ago. Please keep him and us in your prayers as well as all the amazing medical staff that have saved his life several times now. We were very close to losing him this time and just pray that they will develop even better techniques soon to deal with heart disease…. He’s the toughest guy we know and hope we can keep him around as long as possible.”

Earlier in 2015, Rossington was hospitalized for an abdominal infection. As far back as 2003, he reportedly underwent a quintuple bypass.

On October 20, 1977, Van Zant and Steve Gaines perished in a plane crash, along with the band’s backup singer Cassie Gaines (Steve’s sister), following a performance in Greenville, S.C. Also killed were their assistant road manager and the pilot and co-pilot. Rossington was one of several members to survive the crash, though he suffered numerous injuries. In an eerie coincidence three days before the crash, the band had released the album Street Survivors, which depicted the group members amidst a fireball. Shortly thereafter, MCA Records replaced the cover, removing the flames. (It was since restored for a deluxe reissue.)

Related: Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crash and aftermath


Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Mike L
    #1 Mike L 5 November, 2017, 01:33

    Wishing Gary a speedy recovery and hopefully he’ll be back on stage where he belongs as soon as possible.

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