It's been over three decades since a chartered jet carrying the band during a headlining tour crashed in a Mississippi swamp
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(Yahoo!) - It's hard to believe that it has been 35 years since one of rock's best-known tragedies occured. On October 20, 1977, a chartered jet carrying the band Lynyrd Skynyrd--in the midst of a headlining tour and fresh off the release of their sixth album--crashed in a Gillsburg, Mississippi swamp.
The toll was dire: Three band members perished; the others were all severely injured. The drummer--who was one of the few able to walk--staggered out for help, and was allegedly shot at by an alarmed farmer. The band's record label scrambled to replace the new album's cover, which eerily forecasted the accident by portraying the members engulfed in flames.
Although the crash remains now and forever the darkest centerpiece in the band's legend--as well as a breeding ground for gruesome urban legends surrounding the various members' demises--fans know quite well it's far from the first or last tragedy the definitive Southern Rockers endured. In fact, Lynyrd Skynyrd has managed to earn the dubious distinction of "unluckiest band in history" over the years. Here's a cheat sheet to their unfortunate past few decades.
It is undisputably the creepiest, but the flaming album cover wasn't the first prediction of deadly events for Skynyrd. Trouble began for the hard-partying band a year before the plane crash, when guitarist Gary Rossington plowed his brand-new car into a tree along a Jacksonville, Florida road. He survived the incident and admitted he was under the influence at the time, prompting bandmates Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins to write "That Smell"--an ominous tune warning "Say you'll be all right come tomorrow, but tomorrow may not be here for you." (Ironically, the 60-year-old Rossington is the sole living member of the band's original lineup.)
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