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Larry Junstrom (1949–2019), bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special

by Kirk Fox

Larry Junstrom was a bassist who was a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and went on to join .38 Special. Junstrom played with Lynyrd Skynyrd from their formation in 1964 until 1971, leaving before the band released their debut album and gained nationwide fame. He went on to join .38 Special in 1977 alongside Donnie Van Zant, brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd founder Ronnie Van Zant. The band had just released their debut album when Junstrom joined, and he played bass on a single track of the album. Their greatest fame was yet to come with early 1980s hits including “Hold on Loosely” and “Caught Up in You.” Junstrom went on to play bass on all of .38 Special’s albums and remained with the band until 2014, when a hand injury forced him to retire.

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Died: October 6, 2019 (Who else died on October 6?)


Details of death: Died at the age of 70.

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What people said about him: “The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us. 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.” —.38 Special

“WOW!!! WOW!! Another BIG loss in southern rock. Rest in Peace Larry Junstrom. Amazing bassist for .38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd early on. Rough day in music.” —Twitter user @dmaidapr

Full obituary: The Florida Times-Union

Related lives:

  • Ronnie Van Zant (1948–1977), founding vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Ed King (1949–2018), Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist
  • Leon Wilkeson (1952–2001), bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd after Junstrom’s departure

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