LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns has died after a crash in the southeastern state of Georgia, US media reports and former bandmates said Saturday.
Reports citing local police said Burns, 64, died after his car veered off a road near Cartersville and plowed into a tree late Friday.
His death was confirmed by Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Gary Rossington in a post on the band’s Facebook page.
“Today I’m at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy,” Rossington wrote, paying tribute to Burns as a joker who used to “make us laugh all the time.” “My heart goes out to his family and God bless him and them in this sad time. He was a great, great drummer,” Rossington added.
Burns helped found the band with Rossington and Larry Junstrom in 1964 and stayed for a decade before leaving in the early 1970s.
The group became famous for a string of hits which included “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” The band was later devastated by tragedy however in 1977 when lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines died in a plane crash in Mississippi.