Skynyrd’s first drummer Burns dies

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Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founding drummer Bob Burns has died in a car crash at the age of 64.

Georgia State Police confirmed he’d been driving alone without a seatbelt in Bartow County last night (Friday), when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a mailbox.

Burns formed the original band in 1964 with Gary Rossington and Larry Junstrom, before Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins joined and they became the Noble Five. With their name changed, Burns remained until 1974, taking a break for personal reasons at one point. He appeared on their first two albums, (Pronounced ‘Leh-nerd Skin-nerd’) and Second Helping.

He left as a result of suffering symptoms of bipolar disorder, which were later diagnosed and controlled. In 2011 he said: “They gave me medication and I’ve been a free man ever since.”

Burns was replaced by Artimus Pyle, but rejoined his former colleagues for their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2006. He’d continued to play and teach drums, and he was working on a book about his life.