By: Gary Graff
Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington, who's been battling health problems in recent years, is back in the hospital. Rossington, the sole remaining original member of the band, was admitted to St. John's Hospital in Jackson, Wyo., near where he resides, to undergo tests for a possible abdominal infection.
The band canceled a pair of weekend shows scheduled for the Hard Rock Biloxi casino in Mississippi and tweeted that "We are awaiting further info" about Rossington's condition. The casino also issued a statement saying that it "sends our thoughts and well wishes to Mr. Rossington and his family during this time."
Rossington's primary issues in the past have been with his heart, which have included operations. But recently the 61-year-old guitarist told us he's been feeling good and planned to keep playing for the foreseeable future:
"You know how musicians are -- they just kind of fade away, they don't retire. I'm just gonna keep playing as long as I can play until my health is bad, I guess...I never really thought about it (the band) without me because I've never been in that position. So it's just weird; I'm just trying to keep what me and Ronnie (Van Zant) and Allen (Collins) started, and we had a dream to make it big...That was all we wanted. And we worked for it for years and years and it happened...I just still feel pride in talking about it and playing the music and telling people about them and the songs, and the music speaks for itself."
Lynyrd Skynyrd is slated to play again February 23 in Kinder, La., pending Rossington's health. The group released a new album, "Last of a Dyin' Breed," in 2012.
CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.