Lynyrd Skynyrd founder and .38 Special bassist Larry Junstrom has died

"The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us"

Larry Junstrom, a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and longstanding bassist with the band .38 Special, has died at the age of 70.

News of the musician’s passing was broken by 38 Special on their social media channels yesterday.

“The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us,” they wrote. “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.”

They added: “We are sending our devoted love, strength and comfort to his wife Thania and Larry’s family. We will miss our friend and partner.”

Junstrom played bass with Lynyrd Skynyrd from its formation in 1964 until he was replaced by Leon Wilkeson in 1971. He then joined .38 Special with Donnie Van Zant – the younger brother of the Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant – in 1976. He played on all 12 of their studio albums, the last was ‘Drivetrain’ in 2004.

He left the band in 2014 due to a hand injury, which required surgery. His cause of death has not yet been confirmed and Lynyrd Skynrd are yet to issue a statement on his passing.