Founding Member of Lynyrd Skynyrd Bob Burns Killed in Car Crash

Bob Burns.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The former drummer and a founding member of the Southern hard rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, Robert Burns Jr., died April 3, 2015 in a single-vehicle crash in Georgia, police and his father said.

Burns’ vehicle went off a road just before midnight as it approached a curve near Cartersville, striking a mailbox and a tree, Georgia State Patrol spokeswoman Tracey Watson said. Burns, 64, was killed in the wreck. He was not wearing a seatbelt. The single-vehicle accident remains under investigation, and Watson said further details were not immediately available. There were no other cars involved in the accident and the police are investigating if the weather played a part in the accident.

Burns was one of five musicians who founded the band in Jacksonville, Florida. While Burns was with the group, it recorded “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and “Free Bird.” He left the group in 1974. He performed alongside singer Ronnie Van Zant, bassist Larry Junstrom and guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins in Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1966 to 1974.

Burns left the band after becoming exhausted by touring. Artimus Pyle subsequently replaced him as drummer for 1975's Nuthin' Fancy album.

He was not aboard the plane that crashed in 1977, killing three of the band's members, including Van Zant. The group disbanded after the tragedy - but reformed in 1987 with Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, on lead vocals.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, at which point Burns rejoined the group for a one-off performance.

Lynyrd Skynyrd still tour with Rossington, the only original member still in the band. "Well, today I'm at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy," Rossington said in a message posted on the Lynyrd Skynyrd Facebook page. "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."