Skynyrd Guitarist Rossington Has Heart Attack

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archive-rossingtonOn October 8, 2015, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s sole surviving founder Gary Rossington, 63, suffered a heart attack, and is now being kept under close watch for the time being. He has been part of every line-up of Skynyrd dating back to its origins as My Backyard in 1964.

The sad news comes directly from Rossington’s family, who shared the following message on Facebook via the Ronnie Van Zant fan page:

“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.”

Many have already reached out with well wishes, including former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle: “I love you, Gary. Our band loves you. Stay strong and ‘May the force be with you.’”

The band announced on their Facebook page today that two upcoming shows will be canceled to allow Rossington time to recuperate – in Terre Haute, IN (10/16) and Mt. Pleasant, MI (10/17). They will be rescheduled in 2016.

The news comes in the midst of a busy concert schedule that has also been fraught with health troubles. Rossington was hospitalized for an abdominal infection earlier this year. Heart problems are also nothing new for the guitar hero, who underwent a quintuple bypass in 2003. Never one to be kept down for long, he returned to touring just seven weeks post-surgery. Here’s hoping for another speedy recovery.


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