Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington‘s health issues reared their head again over the weekend, forcing the group to cancel two shows.
An unspecified “medical emergency” involving Rossington — the sole surviving member of Skynyrd’s original lineup — led the Southern rockers to scrap concerts scheduled Friday (November 3) in Tallahassee, Fla., and for Sunday (Nov. 5) in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
It’s the latest in a series of Rossington health issues that have led Skynyrd to cancels shows: He suffered a heart attack during October of 2015 that put the band on ice for awhile; he had heart surgery during July 2016, canceling a number of shows; and he had another procedure during August.
Rossington tells us that he’s thought about retiring due to his health issues but has so far decided to keep going:
“I just take every day on faith. I guess when it’s my time, I’m ready. I’d rather be playing and living life up than…Like Neil Young said, it’s better to burn out than to fade away. I’d rather just burn out in the next 10 years than sit in a rocking chair and look at the trees blowing in the wind. It’s just in my blood, y’know? I’m just an old guitar player, and we’ve spent our whole lives and the 10,000 hours of working to understand how to play and do it. So I think once you’ve got something going for yourself you should keep it up and keep your craft going. When you retire, what’s next? I like to fish, but how much of that can you do, right? So I want to keep doing what I do now.”
Skynyrd is scheduled to be part of the Southern Rock Cruise during January out of Tampa, Fla. and also has a show with Deep Purple scheduled for December 8 in Chile.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.