Larry Junstrom, an original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and longtime bassist for southern rock band 38 Special, passed away recently at age 70.
The news was announced on 38 Special’s Facebook page and website.
“The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us,” an Oct. 6 post (seen below) read. “He rocked arenas all over the world and succeeded in living his dream. 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.”
The 38 Special page also sent love to Junstrom’s wife, Thania, and his family. “We will miss our friend and partner,” it concluded.
Junstrom was born in Pittsburgh but moved to Jacksonville, Florida, when he was 10. It was in high school where he met Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins and Bob Burns and joined their band, which became legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, Junstrom left the band in 1971, two years before its first album was released.
A few years later, Junstrom joined 38 Special, a rock band started by former bandmate Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother, Donnie.
Junstrom, seen below second from right in a 2012 photo with his 38 Special bandmates, played bass with the group until 2014, when a hand injury caused him to retire.
You’ll spot Junstrom playing bass in this live performance of “Hold On Loosely.”
Another rock band member of the same era, Ginger Baker, the drummer for Cream, died at age 80 on Oct. 6, and many fans posting about Junstrom’s death noted the close timing of Baker’s passing as well.
Rest in peace, Junstrom, and thank you for your musical contributions!