Wednesday, December 10, 2008

122. Lynyrd Skynyrd - (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)

Country rock, southern rock, redneck rock. It was called a lot of things and given a lot of names in the 70s and we stuck with "southern" because it made it seem less like country music and less like we were some hicks from Georgia with confederate flags.

No offense, Georgians. I was 14, ok?

We were big on this phase. Some of us may have even bought suede, floppy cowboy hats to wear to the Outlaws/Marshall Tucker concert. Some of us may even have bought Charlie Daniels albums. Some of us embraced this genre simply because of this album. And, yea, Freebird.

Of course I knew all the words to Gimme Three Steps (which now causes involuntary projectile vomiting upon hearing it) and I cried listening to Tuesday's Gone, but it was Freebird that got the most play.

Freebird was more than an anthem to us. It was the great common denominator. It was what connected with stoners with the jocks, the teachers with the students, the nerds with the geeks. We had a stereo in our school cafeteria for one year (before the disco/rock riots of 77) and we had to take turns playing everyone's favorite music, but when Freebird came on, the whole cafeteria rocked. Everyone sang. Everyone played air guitar. We'd hold up our Bic lighters and sway together when he said "And this bird you cannot change," and WE ARE ALL FREEBIRDS TODAY! Well, something like that.

I dropped the southern rock phase pretty fast and got tired of Freebird not long after. And all these years later, the classic rock stations are still playing this damn song and a whole new generation of kids are playing air guitar to it and even though I switch the station pretty fast if it comes on, every once in a while I'll flip back just for the last ten minutes or so to see if I still remember the guitar parts note for note.

I do.

Favorite song: Tuesday's Gone
Long Island's very own Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band!


HRH Courtney, Queen of Everything said...

Tuesday's Gone is a fantastic song. I've been listening to the Drive-by Trucker's "Southern Rock Opera", a LOT lately, and I'm having some huge Skynyrd/Neil Young issues right now.

jaycaruso said...

They must have it written in the state constitution here in Florida that classic rock stations must play 'Freebird' once a day. Especially in Jacksonville where they're from.

I'm surprised now that Rock Band and Guitar Hero are so mainstream that they haven't released that song again on a newer version.

Timmer said...

Courtney...we all have Neil Young issues on occasion. As a matter of fact, I think I'm in some need of "Cortez the Killer."

When you get to Neil Young, remind me to tell you about my "Rust Never Sleeps" experience. To this day my friends from that time refer to it as Tim's Neil Young "What the hell was that all about?"