The death of Gary Rossington, the final original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, has spurred an outpouring of tributes from fellow musicians.
In their official statement, the current members of Lynyrd Skynyrd called Rossington “our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist,” adding that the rocker “is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does.”
Journey‘s Neal Schon retweeted Lynyrd Skynyrd’s statement, along with a simple “RIP Gary,” accompanied by emojis.
In a message shared on Instagram, Metallica frontman James Hetfield thanked Rossington for “bringing me so much joy with your guitar playing and songwriting in one of my all time favorite bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd.”
In a post on Facebook, former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson detailed his friendship with Rossington, which began around 2004. “I became friends with Gary during this time and we had many great conversations over the next several years from the NAMM shows to Hellfest Open Air Festival. It seemed Gary kept his world small to the outside world but he always let me in it and trusted me as a music buddy,” Ellefson recalled. “Prayers and condolences to his family, friends & band…he and his legendary guitar work will be missed by us all.”
Guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepard called the late Lynyrd Skynyrd axeman “one of the best to ever do it,” while Travis Tritt admitted he was “heartbroken” by the news. “Gary was not only a friend, but a collaborator that wrote songs with me and played guitar with me in studio recordings and onstage so many times,” the country star recalled, while sending love to the departed guitarist’s family.
These messages and more can be found below.
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington Year by Year: 1973-2019 Photos