Bob Burns (drummer)

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Bob Burns
Burns in 1973
Burns in 1973
Background information
Birth nameRobert Lewis Burns Jr.
Born(1950-11-24)November 24, 1950
Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
DiedApril 3, 2015(2015-04-03) (aged 64)
Cartersville, Georgia, U.S.
GenresSouthern rock
Years active1964–1974, 1996, 2006
Formerly ofLynyrd Skynyrd

Robert Lewis Burns Jr. (November 24, 1950 – April 3, 2015) was an American drummer in the original lineup of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.[1]


Burns was born in Gainesville, Florida, on November 24, 1950.[2] He helped to form Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 with Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins and Larry Junstrom and remained until 1974, although by some accounts he left the band for a while during the early 1970s. Burns played on the band's early recordings, but on the album Skynyrd's First and... Last, a collection of early demos made in Muscle Shoals, the drum parts of some songs recorded in 1971 were played by Rickey Medlocke. That album also contains songs recorded in 1972 which feature Burns on drums, suggesting that Burns left the band in 1971 and had returned by 1972. During a brief period in the early 1970s, Medlocke occasionally played alongside Burns on drums for live shows, a two-drummer lineup similar to The Allman Brothers Band.

In addition to Skynyrd's First and... Last, Burns played on the band's first two official albums: (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) and Second Helping. He had a mental breakdown while on a European tour and left the band in 1974.

Burns with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1973 (from left to right): Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson, Ronnie Van Zant, Billy Powell, Burns and Ed King.

In 1996, after several years of his public disappearance since the departure, he participated in a performance to promote Freebird: The Movie. On March 13, 2006, he rejoined Lynyrd Skynyrd for one performance as he played alongside Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Ed King, Artimus Pyle and The Honkettes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. But since then, he already disappeared from public attention once again until his death.


Burns died on April 3, 2015, in a single car crash after hitting a mailbox and tree on a sharp curve in Cartersville, Georgia, shortly after leaving his home.[3]


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; Leggett, Steve. "Biography: Lynyrd Skynyrd". AllMusic. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
  2. ^ "Robert Lewis "Bob" Burns Jr. 1950–2015". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 9, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Southall, Ashley (April 4, 2015). "Robert Burns Jr., First Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer, Dies at 64". The New York Times. p. A22.

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