Lynyrd Guitarist Can Return to Touring

By | April 18, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Seven weeks after heart bypass surgery, doctors cleared Lynyrd Skynyrd founding lead guitarist Gary Rossington to return to touring with the southern rock band starting in June.

Rossington, 51, underwent the quintuple bypass surgery Feb. 25 at an Atlanta-area hospital. Band spokesman Lathum Nelson said Thursday in Los Angeles that the cardiologist gave Rossington the green light to return to stage June 13 in Karlsruhe, Germany.

“Since his surgery, Gary has done well. However, as expected, he has required a period of rest and rehabilitation,” Dr. Martha Smith said in a statement.

The first eight European shows set to begin May 29 in Belgium will be rescheduled.

The surgery forced a delay in the scheduled May 6 release of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Vicious Cycle,” the band’s first album in four years. It has now been scheduled for a May 20 release, Nelson said.

The band’s hits over the past 30 years include “Gimme Three Steps,” “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”