Former Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist, guitarist Ed King dies

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King dead at 68

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King dead at 68

Classic rocker Ed King died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, according to a Facebook post shared on his account.

King was a founding member of Strawberry Alarm Clock, the acid rock band formed in King's hometown of Los Angeles. He most famously co-wrote "Second Helping"'s "Sweet Home Alabama" - that's him counting off "1, 2, 3" in the song's intro - which, along with "Free Bird", has become synonymous with the group.

King left the band in 1975 and was replaced by Steve Gaines, one of three members who perished in the October 20, 1977 plane crash that also killed his sister, Cassie Gaines, and frontman Ronnie Van Zant. He was in Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 to 1975 and returned to the band in 1987 for the band's comeback after the decade of inactivity that followed the 1977 airplane crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, singer Cassie Gaines and others.

"Ronnie wrote the lyrics and Ed [King] and I wrote the music", Rossington told Garden and Gun in a 2015 interview about the making of "Sweet Home Alabama". However, he left the band in 1996 due to heart problems, more specifically, congestive heart failure. "I just went, 'Oh, my God.' It's just real sentimental to me". Finally, after maybe 10 - 15 minutes, he got up and sang a verse and a chorus. I knew where to take it. "I've just found out about Ed's passing and I'm shocked and saddened", he said.

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Artists, including Rossington, paid tribute to King on Twitter.

King was an icon to guitar players around the world and continued playing throughout his life, working with Nashville artists and staying a strong presence in the guitar community. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family".

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 along with all the pre-crash members of the band.

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