Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Freebird ~ 1976, ...Lord you Know I Can't Change!

Lynyrd Skynyrd performing Freebird at the grounds of Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, England. Recorded live on August 21st, 1976. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, Leslie Hawkins, Leon Wilkeson, Artimus Pyle, Billy Powell, Allen Collins, Gary Rossington.

The lyrics are about a man explaining to a girl why he can't settle down and make a commitment. The opening verse, "If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?" was inspired by Allen Collins' girlfriend Kathy, who had asked him this very question during a fight. (thanks, Chris - Philly, PA)
Allman Brothers Band guitarist Duane Allman died around the same time this was released. Skynyrd sometimes dedicated it to Allman at concerts, but it was written long before his death. The double guitar solo at the end is the same style as many early Allman Brothers songs on which Duane played.
Skynyrd has played this only as an instrumental since the 1977 plane crash that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. His brother, Johnny, took his place. For a while, he wouldn't sing it - the band played it as an instrumental and the crowd would sing the words.
The band's record company did not want this on the album. They thought it was too long and that no radio station would play it. Even the band never thought this was going to be a hit.

Real Rock!
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