Tag Archives: Freebird

Freebird Revisited

Lord knows, I can't change.The Chicago Tribune attempts to tackle the origins of shouting “Freebird” at shows, and gives a shout out to Glorious Noise for our pioneering research on the subject.

In 2005, the Wall Street Journal hunted for the original shouter — and settled (somewhat) on [Chicago via Grand Rapids, Michigan disc jockey Kevin] Matthews. A year earlier, Glorious Noise, a Chicago-based music blog, stalked similar prey.

• GLONO: That Joke Isn’t Funny

Anymore (January 2004)

• GLONO: One More From the Road (March 2004)

• WSJ: Rock’s Oldest Joke: Yelling ‘Freebird!’ In a Crowded Theater (March 2005)

MP3: Charles Wood – “Banjo Freebird” (courtesy of the Open Source Audio)

Freebird: One More From the Road

Lord knows, I can't change.We get a lot of mail at GLONO. A lot of it is junk from labels and bands. That goes for email too. But now and again we get an email from a reader that is just too good to keep to ourselves.

In response to That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore in which we research the origins of yelling “Freebird” at rock shows, Emily Bohannon, a southern girl of good upbringing and class, sent this gem of an email. To her and her father, the song is more than just a lame gag uttered from the lips of a drunken dope. —DP

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Freebird: That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

Lord knows, I can't change.You wait for it at every show. You know it’s going to happen and it’s just a matter of time. It’s the never-ending joke with no punchline. Finally, when the band has that awkward space in their set between songs—maybe they’re switching instruments or tuning their guitars—it comes like a knife through the air.

“Freebird!”

Yep. They did it again. It has become the most annoying aspect of live performance and one that never dies. The yelling of the name of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song has become so ingrained in our culture that it is assumed someone will yell it at some point during a show—any show. But what is the origin of this banal hollering? Why do the culprits keep it up? And is there anything we, the good people of rock and roll, can do about it? I went to the ranks to try and sort out the why’s and how’s and came back with some odd ideas.

Continue reading Freebird: That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore