Lynyrd Skynyrd Cancel December Tour Dates Over Guitarist's Health

Lynyrd Skynyrd have canceled December tour dates to let guitarist Gary Rossington (right, pictured with Ricky Medlocke) recuperate from heart procedures. (Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

by Stephen L. Betts

Lynyrd Skynyrd fans will have to wait until 2016 for their next chance to see the band perform live. The members of the pioneering Southern rock group announced via Facebook this week that they will be canceling or rescheduling their two remaining dates in 2015 so that founding member Gary Rossington can recuperate from recent heart procedures. The 63-year-old Rossington — Skynyrd’s guitarist and the group’s only remaining original member — suffered a heart attack in October.

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The multi-platinum-selling band shared the CMT Crossroads stage with Brantley Gilbert earlier in 2015 and had shows scheduled in Loveland, Colorado, on December 4th and Mescalero, New Mexico, December 5th. Full refunds for those dates will be provided at point of purchase or through the box office. Lynyrd Skynyrd have plans to resume their touring schedule next year and — along with Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton — are among the acts slated for the annual Tortuga Music Festival April 15th to 17th at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park in their home state of Florida. The festival seeks to raise awareness and funds for ocean and marine research.

In October 1977, Rossington was one of the six members of Lynyrd Skynyrd who survived the plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zandt, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines and three others. A year earlier, he survived a car accident in Jacksonville, admitting later that he had been under the influence at the time. In 1980, he founded the Rossington-Collins Band with fellow Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins.