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Burns in the studio with Lynyrd Skynyrd
|Birth name||Robert Lewis Burns Jr.|
|Born||November 24, 1950|
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
|Died||April 3, 2015 (aged 64)|
Cartersville, Georgia, U.S.
|Years active||1964–1970, 1973–1974|
|Associated acts||Lynyrd Skynyrd|
Burns 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 plays on the band's earliest demos, recorded in 1970, but on the album Skynyrd's First and... Last, a collection of early demos, the drum parts of the songs recorded in 1971 are played by Rickey Medlocke. That album also contains songs recorded in 1972 which feature Burns on drums, suggesting that Burns may have left the band in 1971 and had returned by 1972. During a brief period in the early 1970s, Rickey Medlocke occasionally played alongside Burns on drums for live shows, a two-drummer line-up similar to The Allman Brothers Band.
In addition to Skynyrd's First And... Last, Burns also played on the band's first two official albums: (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) and Second Helping. Burns suffered a mental breakdown while on a particularly difficult tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and left the band in 1974, and was thus not involved in the infamous plane crash that killed three band members in 1977.
In 1996, 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.