Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer Bob Burns Dies in Car Crash
Bob Burns helped form Lynyrd Skynyrd with Gary Rossington and Larry Junstrom in Jacksonville, Florida in 1964 when he was just 14-years-old. He would appear on many early recordings, as well as the band’s two first major releases, (Pronounced ‘LÄ•h-‘nÃ©rd ‘Skin-‘nÃ©rd) and Second Helping, making Burns the drummer on some of the most iconic songs in Southern rock history, including “Free Bird,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Simple Man.” Burns officially left the group in 1974 citing the rigors of road life, and he often took time off from the band during his tenure as drummer. Burns was replaced by Artemis Pyle who became a well-recognized member of the iconic Southern rock outfit.
The death of Bob Burns by accident continues the tragic narrative of Lynyrd Skynyrd. On October 20th, 1977, just a few days before releasing the album Street Survivors, the private plane carrying the band ran out of fuel and crashed, killing Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick. The other members of the band, including Artemis Pyle and Gary Rossington were seriously injured.
“Well, today I’m at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy,” Gary Rossington said to fans in a post. “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.”
Bob Burns rejoined Lynyrd Skynyrd when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. He was 64-years-old.
April 4, 2015 @ 4:22 pm
Oh crap. Skynyrd is/was an institution. Is Rossignol now the last original surviving member?
April 4, 2015 @ 5:10 pm
Larry Junstrom is still alive, but he’s known more for .38 Special. He never played on any major Lynyrd releases.
July 16, 2015 @ 3:35 pm
Ed King is still alive as well.
April 4, 2015 @ 4:58 pm
Wow. It seems some bands are just plagued by tragedy. Rest in peace.
April 4, 2015 @ 5:16 pm
Very sad. May he rest in peace.
April 4, 2015 @ 5:21 pm
RIP Bob. 🙁
November 6, 2018 @ 1:10 am
we just recently lost ED, so sad, so missed!
April 4, 2015 @ 8:02 pm
This is totally unrelated (but). I was just reading up on news and looking around. Then I came across this and about exploded before I realized I had been suckered by an April fools joke (in my defense FGL is shameless and probably not above something like this):
It just got me wondering where the Saving Country Music April Fools joke is? Seems like it’s just been awhile in general since there’s been a nice joke article to mess with my head here. Maybe I missed one.
April 7, 2015 @ 9:07 am
duhhhhh…. Dwight and Sam hunt duetting? That has to be it!
April 4, 2015 @ 9:10 pm
Prayers to his family.
One lesson to gleam from this tale: Wear your seat belt.
April 4, 2015 @ 10:12 pm
Even as someone who doesn’t really care for Skynyrd, I have to say that this really sucks. On a slightly different but related note, out of all the bands that are “still active” with few or none of the original blood, I’m thinking that the current iteration of Lynyrd Skynyrd should retire out of respect. Call me cynical, but keeping the name alive with nobody from the original lineup smacks of a financial motive.
April 4, 2015 @ 10:40 pm
Love me some Skynyrd. You mentioned he was coming back from a gig, was he playing in a local band or something? I always thought he just disappeared from all things music.
April 4, 2015 @ 11:08 pm
I am a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan and I have seen them live once (LS and the Charlie Daniels Band together was awesome). RIP Burns and the rest of the band.
April 5, 2015 @ 4:58 pm
I hope God helps his family in this time of struggle
April 6, 2015 @ 8:19 pm
As a huge fan of the original Skynyrd band this is a tough loss. Bartow County is just the next county over from me. Nit sure if he lived in this area or not. On another note Gary Rossington is the last original member still alive.
April 7, 2015 @ 4:51 am
Gary is not the only origanal memeber
Ed King is still alive
April 7, 2015 @ 8:09 am
Forgot about Ed King. King stayed until 1975. He was replaced by Steve Gaines.
April 7, 2015 @ 1:46 pm
Rickey Medlocke was an early member and recorded some early songs with Skynyrd, but left before they got popular. Artimus Pyle, drummer on the last three albums before the plane crash, is still alive. Greg Walker, bassist with Skynyrd before their first release is still alive.
April 8, 2015 @ 1:05 pm
Prayers to your family and friends.
I have been a Skynyrd fan since the 70’s and will remain so, I try to see them at least once a year and living in Alabama that is not a hard thing to do, I still have not saw them in Florida and I hope I live long enough to do so.
Rock on Bob Burns and thanks for beating those skins.
April 9, 2015 @ 9:25 am
I am a huge Skynyrd fan and I saw the play live (unfortunately it was the “new” Skynyrd because I was born in 1988). RIP Bob Burns.
Scott J McCormack
October 28, 2022 @ 12:07 pm
Does anyone know what kind of car Bob was driving when he was killed? Just wondering if it had airbags.