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April 19, 2005



My best "Freebird" story was hearing it yelled during a lull in a matinee performance of the musical Mamma Mia. It happened at the "Fabulous" Fox Theatre in Atlanta, where, incidentally the Lynyrd Skynyrd live LP you mention above that started the "Freebird" mess was originally recorded at.
Poetic justice.

larry forney

Freshman year in college, someone yelled "Freebird" during an art history lecture, while a slide of David's "Death of Marat" was up on the screen. That someone died a few years later, before graduating. COINCIDENCE!?!!?!?


Damm you!! Was playing a solo elliot smith bootleg this morning and while the crowd is asking for certain songs. You hear some drunk girl screaming for Freebird.

Personally I'm a huge fan of Neil Young banter from audiences especially during the Tonight's the night phase. Or this clueless girl who kept screaming to hear 'Carry On' during one of his solo shows.


heard "freebird" twice last week:
Once at Sonic Youth at NorthSix
Once at Shellac in Chicago

I doubt it was the same guy.


Very funny that the radio personality from Chicago claims to have originated the tradition in the late 1980's.

How is it then that I have a live tape of the Dead Kennedy's recorded in 1979 at the Earth Tavern in Portland, OR during which a number of fans are screaming Freebird! between Holiday Inn Cambodia and I Kill Children among other points during the show?

At this point it is a fucked up and silly tradition but it can still be kind of funny when it happens during just the right show at just the right moment.

Rich S.

I once saw moby play freebird. But I don't think anyone shouted it. A preemptive freebird. I felt uncomfortable. Lollapalooza 2nd stage 1995. Turn it up. Same concert at which someone threw shotgun shells up on the 1st stage while Hole performed. they, err she and then they walked off. then sonic youth came on ~.5 hr later closed it up and set me straight.


In Australia we've got our own Freebird. A song called Khe San by 70s bogan rockers Cold Chisel. Though I don't think it's quite as prevalent as the Freebird thing.


"What song is it you wanna hear?"

How come audiences always yell "Freebird!" but bands never ask us the question?


"Bogan" is sort of like redneck, at least in Melbourne. "Westie" in Sydney, "Bevan" (I think) in Queensland. There you go.


If you happen to read this, can the guy with the tape of someone yelling Freebird at the DK's please get in touch with me?

I have kind of an interest in this story.



I knew ronnie van zandt and allen collins; I met them for the first time back in 1972 when I was 12 years old. ronnie and allen are lookin down on us (from where-ever they are) and they're having a good laugh.


I've actually written a song about this-

It's also on Itunes.


Dunno why Homer has never shouted on the Simpsons - although I do remember him requesting Grand Funk Railroad songs from The Who.

Bob Winchester

Kevin Matthews had just returned to WLAV in Grand Rapids 2 days earlier after his many years in Chicago and 38 Special was playing at the Allegan County Fair some 40 miles from Grand Rapids. 38 Special was actually replacing Lynyrd Skynyrd because of a throat surgery for one of the band members. As Kevin walked out on the stage to make his pre-show introduction I yelled Freebird in great Kevhead tradition as a welcome to Kevin's return to Michigan, "where it all began". Kevin responded with a comment and a big grin and talked about it on the air on his morning show.

Danny Kelly



The 'Freebird' cry from the crowd was not invented by some DJ in Chicago who is obviously way full of himself and overestimates his influence. We did shows in Philly in the early eighties and people were always yelling it. Being a hard rock band, it never bothered us. Once we even played it for an encore after a full original show.


At a black tie event a few years ago for my husbands company, a drunk coworker of his yelled it out and the band gladly obliged. They played the song 20 minutes, backwards, forwards and repeat. After they were finally done, they yelled...."Hey lady, that's what you get when you ask for Freebird!" As if to rub it in her face.

Then I heard it last summer at a Blue Man Group show. The guys actually did a great version on a set of PVC pipes. Sounded great. If you can learn to play it on a set of PVC pipes, you must have known it will eventually come out of someone's mouth!

Same thing as yelling "Stairway!" or "Mustang Sally!"


My son and his teammates added "what song is it you want to hear? Freebird" into their script for their Odyssey of the Mind performance. The judges loved it! They won 1st place and are going on to world finals next month! Odyssey of the Mind is a competition that focuses on creativity and problem solving....
Division 1, problem 3 Ancient Egypt
4th grade students


dont forget 'whipping post', shitdicks.

Scott Sprouse

I am a part time DJ on are local stataion 99 rock.My on air name is Freebird.People ask why Freebird? I reply. Who else are you gonna call Freebird....thats WKSM 99 ROCK Fort Walton Bch. FLA.


Does anyone know that movie where the character keeps yelling, "Play Freebird"?


But you all should see Rob Zombies "The Devils Rejects" - Its the final song of an extremely climaxing end of the movie...


wow i never knew this was nation wide, i thought it was just us southerners that did this. Personally I think bands that get offended by it should get down off their high horse, it may be annoying but its part of rock n roll history and chances are if fans are yelling 'freebird' one of two things has happened, either they are realling loving you and getting into it and enjoying themselves and they yell it out of excitement (maybe stupid but a worthy reason) or they bored out of their minds and you arent interecting enough with them so they decide to heckle and yell at you in which case you deserve it.


The Blue Man Group plants an audience member to ensure "Free Bird" is requested at the right moment in every show.


Wow, good thing I'm learning Freebird right now incase I decide to form a band, which i think I will.

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