Lawrence E. Junstrom (June 22, 1949 – October 6, 2019) was an American bassist, best known for having been in rock band .38 Special from 1977 until 2014. He was also one of the founding members of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Junstrom was the bass guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd from its formation in 1964, until being replaced by Leon Wilkeson in 1971. Donnie Van Zant, the younger brother of the Lynyrd Skynyrd leader, Ronnie Van Zant, formed .38 Special in 1974, with Junstrom joining as the bass guitarist in 1976.
An avid amateur radio operator, he had the call letters K4EB, which translate to “Known 4 Electric Bass”.
Junstrom retired from .38 Special in 2014, due to a hand injury which required surgery. He died on October 6, 2019, at the age of 70.
(USA TODAY) Larry Junstrom, an original member of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and the longtime bassist for .38 Special, has died. He was 70.
His death was announced Sunday on the official Facebook account of .38 Special, a rock band that Junstrom joined in the 1970s following his stint with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us,” the statement began. “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.”
Junstrom formed Lynyrd Skynyrd with singer Ronnie Van Zant, drummer Bob Burns and guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins in 1964, but left before the band recorded their 1973 debut album, “Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd.”
The bassist went on to join the rock band .38 Special in 1977, fronted by Van Zant’s younger brother, Donnie. Junstrom performed with the group for nearly four decades, playing on hits songs “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up in You” and “Rockin’ Into the Night.”
“We are sending our devoted love, strength and comfort to his wife Thania and Larry’s family. We will miss our friend and partner,” .38 Special’s statement added.