Founding Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Larry “L.J.” Junstrom, who went on to spend his career with .38 Special, has died at age 70.
“The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us,” reads a post on .38 Special’s official Facebook page. “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 post concludes, “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 formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 with Ronnie Van Zant, Bob Burns, Gary Rossington and guitarist Allen Collins but left the band in 1970, prior to their 1973 self-titled debut album. Junstrom joined .38 special in 1977 and remained with the band until retiring in 2014 due to health reasons.
“Rest Easy, LJ, you will always be remembered as the big man, on the big bass with the even bigger heart!” reads a post on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Facebook page. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”