Randy Bachman, “Sad to hear about the passing of Ed King” – Lynyrd Skynyrd – BTO

Randy Bachman paid tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King who died Wednesday in Nashville.  A founding member of Bachman–Turner Overdrive and The Guess Who, Bachman described King as “such a talented guitarist.”

Randy Bachman:“Sad to hear about the passing of Ed King. He wrote the anthem of the south with Sweet Home Alabama and was such a talented guitarist. My early BTO days were often spent playing with #lynyrdskynyrd. A great band. #rip #rockandroll #sweethomealabama”

According to a statement from Scott Coopwood, King battled with cancer.  He was 68 years old.

Ed King met the members of Jacksonville, Florida-based Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd when the band opened up for Strawberry Alarm Clock on a few shows in early 1968. It wasn’t until 1972 that he joined Skynyrd, replacing Leon Wilkeson on bass, who left the band briefly. Wilkeson rejoined the band, and King switched to guitar, creating the triple-guitar attack that became a signature sound for the band.

His guitar playing and songwriting skills were an essential element to the band’s first three albums: Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd, Second Helping, and Nuthin’ Fancy. King co-wrote “Sweet Home Alabama,” and his voice counted the “one, two, three”, before he launched into his famous riff to start the song. Other songs that King wrote or co-wrote the music for include “Poison Whiskey,” “Saturday Night Special,” “Mr. Banker,” “Swamp Music,” “Whiskey Rock-a-Roller,” “Railroad Song,” “I Need You” and “Workin’ For MCA”.

  • He decided to leave the band in 1975 during the ‘Torture Tour,’ and was replaced in 1976 by Steve Gaines, who was later killed in a plane crash along with his sister Cassie Gaines and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant on October 20, 1977.
  • He was one of the guitarists for the reunited Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1987, and played a major role in the reunited band. He was forced to leave the band in 1996 due to congestive heart failure.
  • The guitarist, along with all pre-crash members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.