The Aug. 29 edition of the Boris Rock Show featured a tribute to former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King who passed away on Aug. 22 at the age of 68.
A native of Glendale, Calif., King first crossed paths with a handful of players who would one day be part of Lynyrd Skynyrd when they were opening for King’s then-band Strawberry Alarm Clock when the Los Angeles-based outfit played a handful of shows on the southern portion of a 1968 tour. King, who was playing guitar and bass for the band, joined Skynyrd in 1972 and played bass and guitar on the band’s debut album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd).
King, who augmented the famed three-guitar line-up of Skynyrd, played a key role in what would become the band’s biggest song, “Sweet Home Alabama,” which appeared on Second Helping in 1974. King played the memorable intro and lead guitar on the track and provided the signature count-in “One, two, three . . .”. The track reached No. 8 in the Billboard charts. King was a co-writer on three tracks on the album.
King’s final release as part Skynyrd was Nuthin’ Fancy which came out in 1975 and again had three tracks with King getting credit, including the leadoff song, “Saturday Night Special,” which he co-wrote with singer Ronnie Van Zant. The album was the band’s first to break the Top 10 as it reached No. 9, ultimately reaching platinum status.
In the midst of the tour to support Nothin’Fancy, King left Skynyrd, a band renowned for its hard living on often grueling tours which often included fisticuffs between members. The band continued with Allen Collins and Gary Rossington on guitar He was replaced by Steve Gaines in 1976.
King returned to the band in 1987 when Skynyrd reunited. Due to heart problems, he left in 1996. He joined surviving members of the band in 2006 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.