|Lynyrd Skynyrd 1973 (Bob Burns, center, with blue shirt/red pants)|
Original Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns died Friday in a single-car accident in Cartersville, Georgia at the age of 64.
The Cartersville Patch reports Georgia State Patrol say the crash occurred close to midnight when Burns was driving and his vehicle left the road while making a right turn before hitting a mailbox and a tree with the front of his car.
Police say Burns was not wearing a seatbelt and was the only occupant in the vehicle; it has not been determined if weather played a role in the accident.
A founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Burns played in the band’s pre-Skynyrd groups the Noble Five and One Percent before members named the lineup after their high school phys ed teacher, Leonard Skinner.
Burns played on the band’s first two albums – 1973’s “Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd” and 1974’s “Second Helping” – which established the group with instant classics like “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
The drummer left Skynyrd in 1974 but was on hand to perform at the group’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006.
“Well, today I'm at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy,” says guitarist and lone original member Gary Rossington. “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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