Freebird: From Anthem To Anathema.
A Study In Pathos.
by Jon Dunmore © 29 Feb 2004.

As we who gig regularly have all come to realize, there’s always some wingnut in any gig audience who has been socially inculcated to yelp unintelligibly, “Freebird!” (almost always accompanied by the perfunctory “Woo!”).

Recent Freebird Citings:

>> At a frat party, Downtown Los Angeles, with cover band Dear Jon – these kids were literally not born when Freebird was released – would they even KNOW it if we played it, or has this ejaculation simply become for them “something-which-must-be-yelped", passed down from father to son concertgoers?

>> On a bootleg CD of Tenacious D Live In London – during ambient crowd noise, there’s that wingnut, exercising his penchant, illustrating that even in Britain, there’s a Deep South.

>> At a gig in Thousand Oaks California, playing with a cover band, two nights in a row, two separate beanstems voice their ignorance unto the sticky-floored pub.

>> And tonight, after returning from an upscale gig in Palos Verdes California (where the offending song title was NOT yelped… at least, I THINK not… but I’m sure there were the seething nuveau-riche amongst the throng aching to shed their Armani and let fly with the embittered appellation – matter of fact, I can almost guarantee it), plonking myself supine on couch, surfing cable to wind down from gig, there, in southern splendor, come galloping, Lynyrd Skynyrd themselves - live - with a crowd of one-thousand pasty-white inbreds ALL ululating that accursed song title.

And may I opine, fellow bed-divers and prosthetic-limb-sniffers, it truly is frightening to see that much white trash coagulated all in one place barbarically yawping “Freebird-Woo!” AT THE SAME TIME – and then – ACTUALLY HAVING IT PLAYED!

There was more than one lazy-eyed, Nazi-shorn, frothing-mouthed, illiterate monkey-boy moshing the plastic off his cheap seat in chundering ecstasy as the song was being performed by the only men on earth with license to perform it with  straight faces and no vestige of irony.

I would have quaked in terror to have been anywhere NEAR this venue, this band, or these people as Rickey Medlocke led upwards on his fretboard to those worn-ragged arpeggios which I’m sure have resulted in unintentionally scalloping his guitar neck through their frequency and intensity, face contorted in frenzied outpouring of reciprocating bestiality with the all-whaht crowd, dogging those rudimentary passages bloody-fingered as Hughie Thomasson phallically entered the fray on brutal harmonies, Strat neck forward and low-slung, as their audience of unsheeted Klansfolk forgot for one thankful moment in time exactly how underprivileged and IGNINT they are, partaking in this melding of double-wide douche-bag-dom.

The horror… the swinish horror…

Undeniably analogous to another favorite pastime of The South, hog-calling, it would seem that in order to cull the largest number of inarticulate mongoloids from the woodwork, all one would have to do is start playing Freebird and – presto! – instant mongoloid symposium.

What was once a striking, powerful anthem has, through the patronage of the incognizant imbeciles who endorse its barked ubiquity, unfortunately transmogrified into a catch-cry for the mentally deficient; a claxon-call heralding a dimwit amongst the multitude; an anathema for any humans of this planet who bathe more than twice a year.

Which is a stainful pity, for to see and hear it performed live by the men who wrote it, the song called Freebird is quite a tremendous thing, albeit drawn out beyond any decent standards of boredom, paradoxically precisely because of the loose-lipped contingent creating such a cretinous demand for said song and, upon being delivered unto it, hesitating to loose it from their grasp lest they be forced to torment each and every OTHER band on earth for its deliverance, thereby forcing the hand of its own creators into discombobulating it.

The irony… the cowboy-hatted, slack-jawed irony…


Added: 2004, Aug 1