Larry Junstrom, founding bassist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, dead at 70

    Junstrom was also a member of .38 Special.

    Larry Junstrom dead Lynyrd Skynyrd founding bassist 38 special
    Larry Junstrom performing in 2006. Image: Rich Gabrielson/WireImage via Getty Images

    Larry Junstrom, founding bassist of Lynyrd Skynyrd and a member of .38 Special, has passed away. He was 70.

    The cause of Junstrom’s death is presently unknown. His bandmates in .38 Special broke the news on Sunday (October 6) in a Facebook post where they paid tribute to “the big man on the big bass.”

    “He rocked arenas all over the world and succeeded in living his dream,” they wrote. “He was truly one of a kind, a congenial traveling companion and a great friend to all with a humorous slant on life that always kept our spirits high – a kind man with a big heart for everyone who crossed his path. There will never be another like him.”

    Junstrom formed My Backyard—the first iteration of Lynyrd Skynyrd—with vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, drummer Bob Burns, and guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. He left two years before the band released their 1973 debut studio album, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd, joining the Donnie Van Zant-fronted .38 Special in 1976.

    Junstrom’s bass-playing career would continue for five decades until his retirement in 2014, following a serious hand injury.

    RIP, Larry Junstrom. Revisit .38 Special’s “Caught Up in You”: