A musician who was a guitarist for two popular bands — the Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd and the ’60s psychedelic band Strawberrry Alarm Clock — has died. Ed King died Wednesday at his home in Nashville after a battle with cancer, according to media reports. He was 68.
King was one of the founding members of Strawberry Alarm Clock, formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1960s. The group scored a massive hit with “Incense and Peppermints” in 1967, while members of the band were still in high school at Taft High in the San Fernando Valley.
King and fellow band member Wark Weitz had a hand in writing “Incense and Peppermints,” although the song was officially credited to John S. Carter and Tim Gilbert.
King met members of his future band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, when the Southern rockers opened for Strawberry Alarm Clock at a few concerts in 1968. He joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1972, temporarily replacing Leon Wilkeson on bass before Wilkeson rejoined the band and King settled in on guitar.
King’s guitar work and songwriting were critical to making Lynyrd Skynyrd the huge band it became in the 1970s, with King writing or co-writing trademark songs including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Saturday Night Special.”
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 2006.