Thursday, March 17, 2005

The stupidity of "Freebird"

There's a great article in the Wall Street Journal this morning about "the oldest joke" in rock - yelling "Freebird" at a concert. The article tries to ascertain where the phenomenon originated and why the request is still echoed today, usually by people who probably don't even listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I hate when people yell "Freebird" at a show. It's not funny, and in actuality, is kind of lame. As noted in the article, comedian Bill Hicks summed it up nicely during a show of his: "Please stop yelling that. It's not funny, it's not clever - it's stupid." I couldn't agree more. I hate when some moron near me decides to yell that. Who is he trying to amuse? I will say though, I haven't heard "Freebird" in a while, although the article begins by noting the chant was yelled at the Crimea show at the Bowery two weeks ago - a show I wasn't at, but a venue that I frequently haunt.

Mike Doughty came up with a suggestion to stop the request - whenever anyone calls for "Freebird," play it in its entirety - and if someone calls for it again, play it again. I'm sure that would stop the request for the evening, unless the crowd really likes southern fried rock.

Although I've heard "Freebird" yelled at numerous shows, the musicians never really acknowledge it. One of my hallmates from college, however, heard a musician acknowledge the lame request: when Oasis first toured America, they stopped at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill. As usual, some jackass yells "Freebird." Liam just looks at him, then points with his finger and says "yourrrrrrr'e so fuckin' stooopid." Exactly.


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