Larry Junstrom, bassist for 38 Special and founding bassist of legendary southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died at the age of 70.
38 Special shared the news on Facebook, saying, “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. 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 and his high school classmates Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins and Bob Burns formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964. He left the group in 1971 before the group recorded their debut album. Roughly six years later, Junstrom joined 38 Special, a group led by Van Zant’s younger brother Donnie.
“My first show with 38 Special was the Super Bowl of Rock,” Junstrom told Swampland of the 1977 gig. “To this day [it is] one of the biggest shows we have ever done. It was at Soldier Field in Chicago and there were about 100,000 people there. I will never forget it. The acts on the bill were Journey, Skynyrd, Ted Nugent and several other bands. I was so nervous before that show that I could not sleep for three nights before, but once I hit the stage it was natural and everyone said I did great.”
The bassist appeared on all 12 of 38 Special’s albums from 1977 to 2004, but was forced to retire from the band after suffering a hand injury in 2014.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Larry Junstrom’s family and friends.