Ed King

1949 – 2018

Guitarist - - The Lineup -

Gui­tarist was sad­dened to hear of the pass­ing of former Lynyrd Skynyrd gui­tarist Ed King, who died in Nashville on 22 Au­gust, aged 68. King served two tenures in the band from 1972 to 1975 and again with the re­formed lineup from 1987 to 1996. The gui­tarist was re­spon­si­ble for co-writ­ing Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama and he also played a key role as part of the band’s triple-gui­tar dy­namic on their first three al­bums, along­side Gary Ross­ing­ton and the late Allen Collins. While Ross­ing­ton first came up with the gen­e­sis of Sweet Home

Alabam, it was the King who con­trib­uted the mem­o­rable in­tro riff af­ter hear­ing his band­mate strum­ming. And it wasn’t his first time con­tribut­ing to a hit, hav­ing penned the bridge to the hit In­cense

And Pep­per­mints for his pre­vi­ous band Straw­berry Alarm Clock, though he was never given an of­fi­cial credit on the song. When that band folded, the Cal­i­for­nian joined old tour­ing mates Skynyrd ini­tially as a bassist, be­fore mov­ing to gui­tar (though King tracked the bass for the ver­sion of Free­bird on Skynyrd’s 1973 de­but). He would go on to co-write an­other of Skynyd’s sig­na­ture songs,

Satur­day Night Spe­cial on his fi­nal al­bum with the band’s clas­sic line-up on 1975’s Nuthin’ Fancy.

King quit Skynyrd two years be­fore the 1977 Mis­sis­sippi plane crash that killed six in­clud­ing Ron­nie Van Zant, re­place­ment gui­tarist Steve Gaines and his sis­ter Cassie Gaines. He would re­join when the band re­grouped in 1987 with Ron­nie’s younger brother Johnny as singer, stay­ing un­til ill-health forced him to re­tire in 1996. King was in­ducted, along­side the rest of the band’s sur­viv­ing mem­bers, into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2006.

Ed King played a key role on the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd al­bums

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