Original Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer Bob Burns Dead at 64
Founding Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns was killed in a car accident on Friday night (April 3). He was 64 years old.
According to the Cartersville Patch, Burns was driving on Tower Ridge Road in Cartersville in Bartow Country, Ga., at 11:56PM when he lost control of his vehicle rounding a curve, crashing into a mailbox and a tree. A spokesperson for the Georgia State Patrol says he was not wearing a seat belt. Burns was the only person in the car. It has not been determined if weather played a role in the accident.
Born on Nov. 24, 1950, Burns helped form Lynyrd Skynyrd in Jacksonille, Fla., in the mid-1960s with Gary Rossington and Larry Junstrom. They added Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, forming a band called the Noble Five. Burns temporarily left the group in 1969, when his parents moved to Orlando, but returned in time for the re-named band to record their debut album, (Pronounced ‘Leh-’nerd ‘Skin-’nerd), in 1973. That album contained Skynyrd classics “Tuesday’s Gone,” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Free Bird.” Burns co-wrote another of the tracks, “Mississippi Kid."
His participation in the band came to an end during a tour of Europe in 1974, when he began to experience severe mood swings from the pressures of the road. He returned home to Jacksonville, where his parents placed him in a hospital.
“And they found the problem,” Burns told Examiner in 2011. “They found that I was bi-polar. They gave me medication and I’ve been a free man ever since.”
Artemis Pyle replaced Burns in Lynyrd Skynyrd for their third album, Nuthin’ Fancy. Burns was on hand to perform with the group at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2006.
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