Guitarist Gary Rossington, the last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, recently underwent “emergency heart surgery,” according to a message posted late Friday on the band’s official Facebook page.
“Gary is home resting and recovering with his family,” the message reads. “He wants everyone to know he is doing good and expects a full recovery.”
The note continues, “After this past year, the country being shut down and everything we have all been thru, The [Rossingtons] encouraged the band to go perform in his absence. Music is a powerful healer! We all felt playing the shows and bringing the music to y’all was a better option than cancelling the performances.”
In the message, the band also asks fans to “say some prayers for the Rossington family and if you would like to leave [Gary] a (positive) message please do! He will look forward to reading them!”
Accompanying the Facebook post is a video clip from a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Minnesota this past week featuring frontman Johnny Van Zant explaining to the audience that Rossington had to have “an emergency stent put in his heart.”
Van Zant also told the crowd, “Gary said, ‘Go up to Minnesota and kick some a** in my honor,’ and that’s what we’re here to do tonight.” In addition, he revealed that former Alice Cooper guitarist Damon Johnson was standing in for Rossington.
Rossington has experienced numerous heart issues over the years, and has revealed in past interviews that he’s had many stent operations.
Lynyrd Skynyrd launched their 2021 Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’ tour last month. The Southern rock legends’ next show is scheduled on August 9 in Canton, Ohio.
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