Founding Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer Bob Burns Dies in Car Crash
There's sad news to report as Bob Burns, a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died at the age of 64. Burns was the band's drummer on their first two albums and perished in a car crash that took place in Cartersville, Ga.
According to Patch, George State Patrol listed the incident as a single-car crash that occurred around 11:56PM Friday night (April 3). The musician was driving northbound on Tower Ridge Road and his vehicle left the west side of the road while approaching a curve. "After leaving the roadway, the driver struck a mailbox and a tree with the front of the vehicle," stated patrol spokesperson Tracey Watson. Burns was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident and was the only person in the car.
Watson added, "It was raining heavily at the time of the crash" and suggested there was no probable cause to suspect that Burns was under the influence at the time of the crash.
Burns was one of the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd along with Gary Rossington and Larry Junstrom. The band would later add Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, taking on the name The Noble Five. He temporarily left the group in 1969 when his family moved, but rejoined the band in time to be part of their debut disc. During his time with the band, he played on such classics as "Free Bird," "Tuesday's Gone," "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Call Me the Breeze" and "The Ballad of Curtis Loew."
In 2011, Burns told The Examiner that he suffered from unexplained and severe mood swings during his early days with the group. "They found that I was Bi-Polar," stated the drummer. "They gave me medication and I've been a free man ever since." Burns eventually left the group in 1974, citing that he was "overwhelmed by life on the road." He did return to the group for their 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
Guitarist Gary Rossington stated on the Lynyrd Skynyrd Facebook page, "Well, today I'm at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy. He was just so funny, he used to do skits for us and make us laugh all the time, he was hilarious! Ironically, since we played Jacksonville yesterday. Dale, my daughter and I, went by the cemetery to see some of the guys in the band and my parents grave sites. On the way back, we went by Bob Burns' old house. It was there in the carport where we used to first start to practice with Skynyrd. My heart goes out to his family and God bless him and them in this sad time. He was a great great drummer."
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