Wallace, in the end, made the band honorary Lieutenant Colonels in the state militia. So is the song "Sweet Home Alabama" racist? Immediately after the band sings the verse "Well, I heard Mr. Young sing about her," one can hear in the background what sounds like the phrase "Southern Man.
However, others claim it to be the album's producer, Al Kooper, impersonating Young. Specifically, lyrics to "Southern Man": Better keep your head Don't forget what your good book said Southern change gonna come at last Now your crosses are burning fast Southern man I saw cotton and I saw black Tall white mansions and little shacks. Southern man when will you pay them back? I heard screamin' and bullwhips cracking How long? How long? See the old folks tied in white ropes Hear the banjo. Don't it take you down home? In Young's anthology album "Decade" liner notes, he wrote about "Southern Man" in his usual opaque and obliquely ironic fashion: "This song could have been written on a civil rights march after stopping off to watch "Gone With The Wind" at a local theater.
But I wasn't there so I don't know for sure. Southern Rock Opera Drive-by Truckers The "feud myth" was further fueled with the Drive-By Truckers album "Southern Rock Opera" one of the only truly genuine masterpiece albums released in the early 21st century song "Ronnie and Neil" : And out in California, a rock star from Canada writes a couple of great songs about the bad shit that went down "Southern Man" and "Alabama" certainly told some truth But there were a lot of good folks down here and Neil Young wasn't around Now Ronnie and Neil became good friends their feud was just in song Skynyrd was a bunch of Neil Young fans and Neil he loved that song So He wrote "Powderfinger" for Skynyrd to record But Ronnie ended up singing "Sweet Home Alabama" to the lord Drive By Truckers guitarist Patterson Hood explains : "I wrote this song to tell of the misunderstood friendship between Ronnie VanZant and Neil Young, who were widely believed to be bitter adversaries, but were in truth very good friends and mutual admirers They don't mention happy times They do their thing, I'll do mine.
Little did we realize at the time the symbolism in "Walk On", but years later as On The Beach surfaces and makes its place with other classics, did some of Neil's meanings sink in. Others argue that the song is in response to press reviews of Young's Time Fades Away tour. It seems that whatever grudges Lynyrd Skynyrd had for Neil's music may have been resolved - if there ever was any feud to begin with. We didn't even think about it - the words just came out that way.
We just laughed like hell, and said 'Ain't that funny' We love Neil Young, we love his music We sent them an early demo of it because they wanted to do one of my songs. Interviewer Q. Surprising, that. Young: Oh, they didn't really put me down! But then again, maybe they did! Shit, I think Sweet Home Alabama is a great song.
I've actually performed it live a couple of times myself. And he wanted to give them to Lynyrd Skynyrd if they wanted to do one of his songs. They didn't fit on Street Survivors. Neil loved that band and said they reminded him of the Buffalo Springfield and they made him yearn for the days of the Buffalo Springfield.
He loved Lynyrd Skynyrd and he loved being mentioned in the song. Being a huge Neil Young fan, I sort of appointed myself as cheerleader for that love affair to happen and blossom. I think it was happening - Ronnie was wearing that [Neil Young] shirt on the album cover and on the road. I was really happy to be able to play a part in getting some new Neil songs into Ronnie's hands. I don't remember what he had to say about it, but he was a huge Neil Young fan. Recalling the concert tribute in an interview with the Boston Globe, Young said: "I just sang 'I hope you all will remember.
I thought it was a cool thing. He was right. As for the rumor that Ronnie Van Zant was buried wearing a Neil Young t-shirt, again this seems to be another example of a myth to propogate the tragic legend. The reaction of the audience was always the same: vigorous, fervent, and instantaneous. Neil Young's song "Southern Man" had offended many Southerners by seeming to accuse all people born in the south of being intolerant racists. Young's observations were obviously generalized and not accurate and Southerners were ecstatic when Skynyrd defended their honor by releasing "Sweet Home Alabama" with its direct references to Young's faux pas.
The idea that the Southern man, or woman, didn't need Neil Young around to point out the problems of their society was overwhelmingly supported by Skynyrd fans. The band felt that Young's lyrical content was representative of the shortsighted "Yankee" belief that all Southern men should be held accountable for the verbalizations and actions of a racist minority.
While the rebuttal was heartfelt, Skynyrd held Neil Young in high regard for his musical achievements and they weren't intending to start a feud of any kind. Ed said he'd dig it; he'd be laughing at it. The song was well received but immediately put a stigma on the band as rednecks. Producer Al Kooper added. But I'll tell you something -- Neil Young loved it. That's true, he told me so to my face. Young got the joke, however, responding by telegram and by letter to say he was proud to be the subject of Skynyrd's Southern anthem.
The "faux feud" contretemps seem to provide endless fascination for Ronnie and Neil fans. So what do you think? And why? The fact of the matter is that much of this is driven by the constant correspondence we receive on the subject. Hardly a day goes by without the subject rearing its pretty or ugly head. What follows are some of the recent letters received on the subject.
Feel free to jump in! Tell the truth. I think that Neil Young pre-judged a whole group of people and Skynard called him out. I think Neil saw the error of his ways and he and Ronnie became friends. After turning around to face the river Neil started jamming to the Riverboat 'Delta Queen' with it's passengers pouring over the balcony and decks to get a look and listen. It was a magical moment. After he finished, the crowd showed their approval and then Neil said 'I thought you didn't like me down here?
I guess the moral to my story is that prejudice is never good even if you're not from the South. Long live Dixie! Neil Young is actually a big fan of "Sweet Home Alabama". He actually said that in an interview, although unfortunately I can't cite a source. The song isn't a redneck anthem. The guys aren't even from Alabama, they're from Jacksonville, Florida, or maybe Georgia, or something.
The song is about white hypocrisy. The jab at Neil Young, who is Canadian, was intended to highlight the sort of posturing that people like me I live near Boston , have to the South. We assume that we are innocent of the rampant racism in our country. This in spite of the fact that Boston is one of the most segregated and racist cities in the country. The song picked on Young's "Southern Man", because Canada never had slavery or a civil war, or anything although Canada has other issues , and they were wondering why he was lecturing to them. That's why Neil Young realized the brilliance of the song, and it's much deeper social message.
Boy, I feel like a pretentious boob, but that's the fact. Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynrd have never been afraid to stick their necks out. They both rule. Growing up in west virginia, I do understand certain things about the sountern white mentality. I used to be for the confederate flag, because although to some it represented slavery, I think its meaning today represents the southern white culture in general, not necessarily that part dealing with slavery and racism.
Just like african americans like the malcom X, the white southerners feel like their voices are being muzzled, and they use the flag as a representation of southern america. There are certain groups of white people in this country who are in really dire situations, and having some pride in themselves can motivate them to do better. That doesnt mean taking it too far, but as a person of color, I can conceed that the southern flag is not always a symbol of racism.
I guess people can say that about the swastika, but then native americans can have objections to the american flag as well, so its complicated. I can't begin to understand the complexities of racism in America's south I always felt it was a misinterpreted 'storm in a tea cup' and like all other rumour and innuendo, Neil and Ronnie just let it ride and sat back and chuckled about it. Knowing Neil, do you really think he could give 2 hoots about it?
He'd love all this analytical,cryptic, hidden meaning analogy, bullshit Yeah, I know all about hypocrisy and being misinterpreted. Family's been here for generations. I can agree that all of us white southerners aren't racists redneck people, but sadly the majority of us are. We just don't say nothing or probably don't get around the state much to see what going on. I will guarantee you that there are white supremists groups in these towns.
Today they still hold their ralleys and there are alot of people there. I like both lynyrd skynyrd and neil young, but i don't have to lie about what's going on in my state let alon the south. I love your version of revisionist history, which is the only way that liberals can claim the fight for civil rights as their own. Guess who else opposed the Civil Rights Act?
Albert Gore,Sr. So Republicans and conservatives aren't for civil rights eh? Who put an end to slavery then? Was it a democrat? No it was republican President Abraham Lincoln who also had one of the first Republicans as his advisor, none other than Frederick Douglass who was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement.
He eagerly attended the founding meeting of the republican party in and campaigned for its nominees. Why don't you educate yourself, instead of spouting your revisionist history, about who really has done more for the civil rights cause. Thrasher, I know exactly what you're talking about.
I live in Jacksonville and the ignorance of the people here as to the real story of friendship and respect Ronnie and Neil and their bands had for one another is amazing. The truth about them has been out for decades and yet the misperception persists. I've told people the reality of the story so many times to the point of just realizing, that for some many , the facts just don't matter. They just want to hang on to their petty criticisms and resentment of Neil Young because they're too fucking stupid, narrow minded, and hard hearted to recognise and appreciate the greatness of his talent and accomplishments.
Ronnie was simply trying to remind people that there were still a lot of good people in Alabama.
Neil was simply trying to remind people that there was still some bad shit going on in the South. I think the two respected each other's music and Neil was honored to be in Skynyrd's song. They were both smart enough not to take anything personally. I remember that back in the late 70's or early 80's in Harrisonburg High School there was a convocation of the whole student body. A couple of students unfurled a Confederate flag and shouted out Lynyrd Skynyrd's name. Some conflict between students of different races broke out in the high school that day. I came to school that day and and signed my daughter out of classes for her safety.
Hawkins, well stated. It is a response song and that's that. No one has mentioned that the remaining Skynyrd members are hard core right-wing redneck assholes, not gentle hippies. I don't believe they have been anything but that in their lifetimes. The poorest of the poor states are the deepest Red of the Red states.
Anyone who claims it's about heritage is sadly deluded or a fucking liar. But, objectively, Sweet Home Alabama is little more than a song of harmless nationalistic pride. However, the true issue is the reaction of the Southern culture in the context of the song, hence the inherent racism injected into the song's interpretation. Without trying to sound like some sort of pretentious bore, can't one interpret "Sweet Home Alabama" from another angle such that Ronnie Van Zant was very deftly bashing the rednecks without them knowing it?
Come to think of it, this isn't pretentious, but rather obvious and probably observed many times before Since I'm from Alabama, I "may" have some insight concerning why Neil wrote the song for Ronnie, and "some" of the meaning s that I can glean. My husband and I travel the world to see Neil, since he doesn't like to visit "Dixie" -- whatever! Most called him a redneck in the audience; however, it was a blistering cover according to Robert.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: A Southern Ghost Story | Louder
A Southern Man is a man not tragically unlike anyone else. However, it is vital that no one forget the troubles of their local places, the issues that we forget as they do not particular apply to our own lives, but those nearest us. It could have been a much better song, in my opinion, if it has neglected the ideals of beligerence and inconsideration that plague southern culture stereotypes, and been more concerned with the real good times that we all have in some of the most hospitalable southern locals of the U.
A well thought out and written post, Mr Thrasher. Not to put a damp towel on it or anything, but this feud only exists in the minds of fans, reviewers and those who enjoy speculating about it. I believe the interview that one of you refers to was an old Rockline radio interview. You scholars of Neil may have bootleg recording from the late 70's when Neil breaks into "Sweet Home Alabama" during a performance of "Alabama". Sugarmt would know how to find this. I call b. That is 30 years of wishful thinking. Pick up trucks, Confederate flags, the works.
And the works include embracing the humiliation of AA. Point to one song that suggests an empathy to the Black experience. Just one. It isn't there. DBT, on the other hand, are brilliant. I would say there was more of a mutual admiration between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young then there was a close buddy buddy type of thing.
Both Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young have a country sound to them, and wrote great sounding songs. I just think that Neil Young takes himself more seriously than Lynyrd Skynyrd does, and this would make it hard for some people to get the irony of their admiration for each other. I grew up in the south at the same time the guys from Lynyrd Skynyrd did, so it was easy for me to relate to the common sense lyrics the band would sing. I remember seeing them in concert in It is hard for people from the north to understand what a person from the south sees when he looks at the Confederate flag.
A man from the south does not see racism, but he sees his family, friends, the pond he used to go fishing in as a boy, the corner he hung out on with his Bro's when he was teenager, his first pick-up truck, or his first girl friend. Believe me, hating black people is not the first thing that comes to a southern mans mind when he sees the Confederate flag.
For history as argument, since we lost the band in a plane accident, we have just lost a source which is possibly bias towards the accusations of racism in their song. Lyrics are lyrics. I don't think they really meant anything in them, but so many people want to get on the band, analyzing every little word just so they can extract evidence that Lynard Skynard implied "racist" intent. By all means, this is definitely a Southern song and the way it was written seems to put some people in a certain disposition where they think most Southerners are inherent racists.
Some are proud to wave the Confederate flag, but to what purpose? Do they "like" that their grand daddies were rRebels? I mean its fine i guess if they don't mean anything bad to it. Thinking of this whole song flaring up racial conflict, I read this piece of literature for English last year explaining this whole concept of an exchange of racism. We well I'm not white brought down the Africans to our servitude which leaves an entire dark legacy branded upon this country.
Becuase of that prejudice did some African americans during and after the civil rights movement made "power moves" by taking advantage of their history and the white man's previous prejudice. This occurs even in contemporary society. Feel sympathy" and so in some of us in our "reformed" minds give in to this "oh well we're sorry we feel guilty" crap.
Its all a vicious cycle which makes it seem like its all the white man's fault. Yeah Tueting, something to add to the 'Evil White Man' theory Anyways, going off subject to branch off from the original 'History is Argument", that should supplement my comment hopefully. I think there is some kind of "counter" prejudice fight fire with fire involved in this dispute of Lynard Skynard. People still want to try to find evidence against Lynard Skynard's claims thinking that the band implied racism. It could be. The whole "power move" thing may have pushed the band into a state of "guilt", but what is a missing but crucial piece of evidence is what was going on in the writers head at the time of creating the song.
There was less Civil Rights activity and America was in a different mindframe of nationalism. The fog of history remains, and there is only so much evidence, most inherently biased. Or is all of history really biased to some degree or another? I love the band lynrd skynryd,,they just knew how to write awesome lyrics and how to make u feel those lyrics..
That makes it a great song. They are Ronnie in spirit both quality, awesome individuals. I do miss his words terribly and wish him well on his new journey. Hoka Hey Ronnie. My family has been in Texas since the early 's, yes, before Texas was annexed. I am a huge fan of both Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I am also a huge fan of the song "Southern Man".
Yes, it is stereotypical, but stereotypes come from truth. I hate to admit it, but many southerners, including myself, are racist. However, we have learned to not show it in public. Also, the Confederacy has nothing to do with slavery. If you think it does, you must have failed your U. History class. It was about state's rights. Lincoln didn't even think about abolishing slavery until the end of the Civil War check out the dates of the Emancipation Proclamation.
So any yankees that think a rebel flag means racism, wake up. I doesn't. I love both these artists, and I truly believe that they were friends. If there was any feud, it was a friendly one. Hey, can we agree on one thing? Skynard wasn't racist. As for the lyrics "In Birmingham they love the governor. Y'all should hear Ballad of Curtis Loew, you'll realize that Skynard wasn't a bunch of racists but a kick-ass band. Skynyrd is as American as you can get. Their music will be listened to yrs from now.
I'm 51 and have 4 boys that range from 13 to 31 and I can tell you I had nothing to do with it but they discovered LS and can't get enough of them. They are right "southern man don't need him around". I think this pretty accurately represents the attitude a lot of Southerners have towards outsiders - the reason the Confederate Battle Flag is so important to many isn't the race angle. I think it's the reminder of a time when Southerners were stomped upon.
And the Reconstruction was little more than that. Whether Southern policies are right or wrong, anytime you try to force us to do something, we go stubborn. With the shift Southward of aging, retired "Yankees", some of us feel as if the South is being invaded, and the old attitude of "leave us be" is still felt. As many bumper stickers in my neck of the woods say, "We don't care how you did things up North" and "If the North is so great, why don't you go back". This is the attitude that was echoed in "Sweet Home Alabama".
I have no doubt that had Skynyrd survived that Neil would have collaborated with the group, much as Young did with Pearl Jam. Van Zant was no more a racist than Neil was a scold. Just look at "Mister Saturday Night Special" to know within that Southern rocker lived a thoughful, questioning man with a wicked sense of humor.
As for Neil, remember that Hey, Hey, My, My was written shortly after the plane crash and consider the line, "Hey hey my my, rock and roll will never die, There's more to the picture than meets the eye. Ronnie and Neil were not friends but merely aquainted through their music. I don't believe that there is any knowledge of them ever speaking to one another let alone ever having met in person.
It has been well documented,however, that there was a mutual admiration of each others music. Probably more so of Ronnie towards Neil. Just the fact that he gave Neil the 'nod' in S. I think the Skynard fans took it far more serious than Ronnie had anticipated but by then he kinda ran with it.
Neil has said that for a few years he couldn't perform in some southern states because of death threats. Such is the duallity of the southern thang! It has been documented, however, that shortly after Ronnies death his grave was desecrated by some individuals who attempted to dig ol Ronnie up to see whether or not he was buried in his 'Tonights The Night' T-Shirt. As a result, his widow had him moved to another undisclosed location. I have no idea why anyone would think that Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" would be racist. If anyone would do their research before making a comment they would know that Ronnie and Neil were very good friends.
Skynyrd was trying to be funny when the song "Sweet Home Alabama" was written. They were not trying to poke fun at Neil, at Alabama, or at any race. It is just a fun song. If you will watch "Freebird-The Movie" you will see a picture of Ronnie and Neil together and they also played at some festival or concert where Neil Young was there. This song has been taken and totally switched around from its actual meaning.
If anyone done their research before making comments of Ronnie and Skynyrd you would know that none of the members are racist Their song "Give Me Back My Bullets" can easliy be mistaken however if you do your research you would know that they were talking about the "Bullets" that appeared next to songs on the song charts Top songs, Top 40 songs, etc. Also, their song "Saturday Night Special" could be mistaken for a song that is supporting people killing people with guns but again if you do your research you would know that he is talking about Gun Control Without Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers country music would not be where it is today.
If you ask any Country Musician or any Rock n Roll Musician I bet you they will either list Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers as a group that they listened to when they were young and that they inspired them to become a musician. I dare any of you to go to a Skynyrd concert. When you get there take a good look around You will see a group that could still out preform any group, band, or artist These men will go down as one of the greatest band EVER. People thought that the plane crash in Oct of 77 would be the end So, I urge you to do your research before you put Skynyrd down.
This is a fascinating subject because it lends itself to so much interpretation. For me the facts are relatively straight forward: Neil tapped into the race consciousness and gave expression to the moral nightmare of slavery I saw cotton, and I saw black , and by implication the continuance of what made it possible which lived on beyond abolition How long, how long.
While this historical impression is accurate in and of itself, it does not tell the whole story. Not all southerners can be lumped together, even in the face of deeply rooted prejudice, and Ronnie and the boys rightly pointed it out. The only thing left to consider is how people have responded to the song, and what meaning they give to it based on perspective.
Just read what people have written. It comes down to point of view. Like any song, it means different things to different people. But what a great chance a conversation like this gives us to learn from it all, if and when anyone wants to look beyond their preconceived notions. Oh please, someone make them stop! Are you guys serious? In regard to Walk On, maybe you should have a look back at where Neil was at in , and how his live performances had been received, and the kind of press he was getting.
And MMHH? I want to start by saying that I have no smear agenda against the fine folks down in Alabama. There is historical precedent for retelling only the parts of any story that serve the storyteller's ends. Popular songs are the new oral tradition.
Seems to me that this song, sans 'that verse', has become a favorite of the favorite sons of Alabama, be they black or white or any other skin-tone, to tout all that is good, in their eyes, about their home state. But who's the propaganda puppeteer? My money's on George Wallace's ghost Like Tom Sawyer said, "Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day? Tutwiler as the designated 'state song' of Alabama, the controversial verse wiped from any and all official state mentionings.
I can only guess that, whenever the rare public moment occurs that he performs this song, as Neil sings 'that verse' he has a gleam in his eyes and a grin on his face; simultaneously icon and iconoclast. Wow, this certainly is a great thread. Greg M. Like an onion, you just keep stripping layers away, and attitudes that seem like one thing morph into something else the further you get.
People are much more complex than they're given credit for being. It's interesting to examine the thought processes of both white Southerners and 'liberal' Northerners, and how they both misunderstand each other, and are often lumped into single, simplistic categories by people who oppose them. On the flip-side, you can also accuse someone of generalizing who is just using a literary generalization to analogize a certain group of people.
For instance, with regard to Southern Man - People accuse Neil of "generalizing", but I think that calling it generalizing is just a way to discredit Neil. You could say he's referring to all Southern Men, but that isn't really true in a literary sense - 'Southern Man' in the context of this song means anyone who is a backward, redneck racist. So, while on the surface you can accuse Neil of referring to "all southerners", I never interpreted it that way.
I've always thought the "generalization" was really only aimed at backward people, and not necessarily even those in the South. Neil was using the Southern Man as an analogy for all racists everywhere. That's my take anyway. Great discussion going here. This is an interesting blog topic. Certainly, at face value, the song can be taken as racist, but dig a little deaper, and you'll see that Lynyrd Skynyrd was NOT a racist band.
As other bloggers point out, the song "The Ballad of Curtis Lowe" is a tribute to a black blues musician. In my view, the message of "SHA" is thus All people down here are not racist, just as all Northerners are not racism-free. You fix your problems, and we'll fix ours, so mind your own business, Mr. I imagine if you asked Ronnie Van Zant if he was a conservative or a liberal, he would quickly retort.
I'm a Southerner and an American, and a singer. Keep those labels for yourself. The Lynyrd Skynyrd band was and always will be one of the best bands the Lord ever created. Those people who are mispelling the name or saying 'he' was a racist need to become a bit more educated about the band. As anonymous states Ronnie Van Zant and the other members of Skynyrd were proud to be Americans, from the south and just wanted to play some of the best music ever composed.
That song brings up so much controversy because it is a rebel song. It fits with the rebel flag. The Neil Young reference was in response to Young's "Southern Man" which many felt unfairly painted southerners with a broad brush. This has resulted in a "leave us the hell alone" mentality reflected in this song. I believe racism had absolutely no bearing in this song's concept but rather the lines about Watergate and the governer were simply statements that "in Birmingham they love the governor" as opposed to the mess the federal government had become at the time.
See a Problem?
The rest of the song is simply a celebration of the state and family and the feeling that there were and are "good people in Alabama" as Van Zant is heard to say in the song's live version. Of course, the unforgettable guitar riffs didn't hurt the song and came to symbolize the southern rock genre of the time.
I was a teenager when that song came out. And for some people to go on about this and that about this song is insane. I lived in both the north and south before I graduated high school. I was somewhat of an outsider in either place. I had enough northern accent to be called a "Yankee" in the south. I had enough southern accent to be called a hick up north. To understand the love of the stars and bars, one has to be from the south. And to understand SHA, one needs to be from the south. It also helps if you were there during the late 60's and 70's.
The song is just an expression of "be it not perfect, it is still my home". I'm sure if you asked the band members, they would tell you that having long hair during those days seperated you from the "rednecks" or "goat ropers". So, the song may now be considered "redneck", but it didn't start that way.
Where do you think the term "redneck" comes from anyway? Oooooh, watch out for the evil, scary Educated and Compassionate folk! Aaaaah, git yer guns 'n' run fer the hills! The smart folks're comin'! Southern People has this "pride" shit masked as aggression and angst that they wish us "outsiders" would just fuck off and just blow away. Remember you all gots the best "educational" system in the country And dig Whoever wrote this dissertation started out with a pre-supposition that is completely wrong.
The line "in Birmingham they love the Governor" was written tounge in cheek. Governor Wallace hadn't carried many areas in the Birmingham area in several election cycles up to his last service. Additionally, by that time he was getting the vast majority of the black vote in Alabama.
In response to the lackluster political support, he was in a long fued with Birmingham that culminated in his blocking the completion of interstate 65 stopping both North and South of Birmingham for years Birmingham didn't like the Governor and they moaned about it all the time. The words "boo, hoo, hoo" or "boo, boo, boo. Lynrd Skynrd knew that Birmingham hated the Governor. It was humor. Someone needs to quit taking themselves so seriously. But we dont make a big Hoopla's about it. Neil was just trying to make positve point about Racism, and who like racist, bigot!!
I rather stand by Neil Young who sing about the reality of life. He always gave positive influence. I mean there are bad in all of us. Also there are alot of white trash that are not angelic, me being Japanese, I was Living in Tampa and I was spit upon because of the vietnam war. Sorry I was not in the war, they still cannot admitt that they lost. Just close the door on Racist pigs and do Neil Young do Skynyrd's 1st album has a song called "Things Goin' On" that makes it hard for me to believe Ronnie Van Zant was "racist".
Have you ever lived down in the ghetto Have you ever felt that cool wind blow If you don't know what I mean won't you stand up and scream cuz there's thing goin on you don't know Too many lives they spend across the ocean Too much money they spend up on the moon Well until they make it right I hope they never sleep at night They better make some changes and do it soon There going to ruin the air that we breath Lord have mercy There going to ruin us all bye an bye I tell you all, you beware I don't think they really care Think they just sit up there and just get high Well, have you ever lived down in that ghetto Have you ever felt that cool wind blow If you don't know what I mean Won't you stand up and scream Cuz there's things goin on that you don't know tell it, tell it.
Lyrnrd Skynyrd, in other words, represented an Alabama Awakening. But Neil, in his zeal, treated reconcilable elements as irreconcilable. Skynyrd took him on as a step of taking back the south for their mutual and admirable goal. K" How come Neil and Ronnie learnt this expression and know one else did.!
Look this is a very sensitive issue to a lot of Americans It's alright to sit back as an outsider and form opinions on the historical significance of events that unfolded. What, dya think Neil was the first one to write a song with "political racist connotations"? I just wish Ronnie were alive today to see his "Legacy" My opinion?
Sometimes I think musicians write some lyrics in songs just because they 'rhyme' with the previous line A pity Neil hadn't penned that penultimate song years ago I cry every time I sing Sweet Home Alabama. It's the greatest song ever written well, second greatest behind Powderfinger. You don't have to be a bigot to love the South, her history and culture.
Some of us judge a song not for it's lyrics, but for it's melody. I always wondered about the line about Neil Young- I thought maybe Skynyrd hated his music. A former Texan now living in Oregon, I get questions about southern discrimination that force me to mention that blacks weren't even allowed to live in Oregon for many years and the KKK marched in southern Oregon about 60 years ago. As for Young, I liked 'Heart of Gold'- but none of his songs since. Hey, hey, my, my, Neil Young needs to die. To me, that says he saw that the north also had its problems and they weren't limited to the "Southern Man".
It also shows that Nixon's problems weren't only limited to the Watergate. There was that thing called the Vietnam War, which many believe Nixon prolonged for political gain. Roy candoo. I've lived in the south all my life and no music group has affected life as much as Skynyrd. For years you couldn't go in a bar without people screaming for the bar band to do one of their songs. Ronnie wasn't racist but he was southern to the bone and now he's gone and we still remember and we love him.
Are we supposed to forget the past just so that people won't be offended by anything. Racism and intolerance is a part of the past, one that we MUST not forget lest we repeat it. That being said, no one alive today has ever owned a slave or been a slave, and a great majority of those complaining have never had to deal with any real intolerance. So get over it already! I want my freedon of speech back without all the politically correct nazis telling me what I can listen to, say and think!
How could a state with such a high black population be considered racsist. Any black person alive in these modern times get over the past hasnt been discriminated against,and needs to shut the hell up. Race relations wont get any better until BOTH sides gets over it hell yeah jared. The simple truth is that it's rather difficult to be specific with song lyrics, and all the more so if you're trying to be sarcastic, ironic, or some other form of humor. Also, listeners tend to bring their own views to songs--if they like the song, they'll try to justify the lyrics to be in line with their views.
Thus, I think it tends to be to the songwriter's advantage to allow some ambiguity or vagueness creep in. The only person that can tell you what these lyrics mean is Neil Young! I'm sure that in his time he will do this! Let the man create and I have been a "listener" since the Buffalo Springfield days Trying to figure out or interprete his lyrics is like trying to figure out why Cadillac uses leather or Ferrari paints their cars red! Silly Rabbits, Lynard Skynrd was simply saying "clean-up your own back yard, and get that wig hat off your own ugly head".
Then you can tell the wonderful Southland what to do. Lead by example, stronger than words. The South is such a simple and at the same time complex place. That's why so many talented and introspective folks are from here. I was listening to After the Gold Rush on the way in this morning, wondered what other folks thought of Neil's writings. The entire album is about leaving. Nothing left to stay for I'm not an Alabaman or a Canadian, but knowing that Van Zandt was fiercely proud of his southern roots would guess he was just telling Neil to "shut the hell up. I really enjoy the song "Sweet Home Alabama".
At least I used to. I am from Alabama. I'm not choosing sides here though. I think they both made good points. LS was singing about the good things about the south and Neil Young liked to sing about the bad things. So what? Everything has a good side and a bad side. The city has it's good side and it's bad side. Maybe LS should have written a song about the bad side of living in the city to shut Neil up. I really don't care for the song anymore because since I've moved to DC the clubs here ruined it for me. The DJ's here will usually play it towards the end of the night and everyone goes crazy!
Especially the girls. The'll get up on the bar and dance half naked say "This is my song! It's my favorite. It's about me! I'm totally country.. They just like complete idiots.
So when clubs play that song, it's my cue to go to the next bar to avoid the bimbo stripper show. It's okay to like the song but don't act like you have a connection with the song unless you've actually been to Alabama. As for the bimbos out there, you should at least now the state capital or be able to point it out on a map before you throw your panties at the DJ for playing it You really can't understand why this band is such a big deal unless you were a teenager then I'm Florida born and nothing was bigger to us than Skynyrd.
We were the "new south"; unbigoted, long-haired,high, and ready to rock. The songs were real life stuff. When Ronnie mentioned Wallace, everybody joined in the "boo,boo,boo" because the man stood for segregation. Of course Wallace embraced the song since it was boasting about the state I don't understand where folks get a 'redneck' message from SHA. Back in the day it was our anthem and it was just a collective "hey! When that plane went down, a lot of the kids in my highschool wore black armbands made from ripped up t-shirts for a couple days They were the last bastion of honest, accessable music to us in the overblown 'classic rock' and disco era.
It was just unbelieveable that they were gone. It was heartbreaking! Elvis died a few months before and his passing was a blip compared to the loss of the Skynyrd band to my generation. I love Neil Young- the whole feud thing is ridiculous. Can't hardly stand to hear the damn song now! It's the most overplayed tune with the possible exception of "Proud Mary". Give this whole thing a break Start with "Cry For The Badman". Chris Sander's blog says it best for me Ed from Florida. I always had the feeling that Skynyrd's line "We all did what we could do. Now Watergate does not bother me.
Does your conscience bother you? He's absolving himself of Watergate-like tactics and asking Nixon backers if they felt responsible. As for the Rebel flag, it's sometimes difficult to understand what it means to Southern culture on many levels. It's a symbol of defiance, yes, and a symbol of place. No different from the green, black and red flags adopted by members of the African American community to show their pride. This is not a blanket statement.
I'm white and Southern, I and abhor public display of the flag as I long ago became tired of being Southern and therefore the brunt of jokes as being toothless, bath less and brainless. Tom Petty, a Floridian, used the battle flag as his stage prop for many years; Petty's songs leaned heavily to overcoming social and political wrongs.
It's always struck me as strange that Southern Man is the song that set off this discussion. Alabama is a much more potent song, IMO, containing strong, straightforward imagery that has little room for misinterpretation. Benjamin J. I think the answer, at least regarding this web author is that he's an arrogant condecending blowhard who thinks he's doing the world some big favor by peddling his theories on Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd or his OWN stereotypes and prejudices when it comes to politics.
I love Alabama, and "Sweet Home Alabama," as a reference to my home. However, I don't long for the days of George Wallace, don't have a problem with Neil Young's politics, and I don't think this is that big a deal. Yes, there are some rednecks who think "SHA" is endorsing their views, but I don't care what they think. I'm a liberal, Jewish Alabamian, and I can appreciate the good aspects of Alabama and hope to see the bad ones die out. Their lives and body of work are more than enough to show the type of people they were and the respect they have not only for each other but all types of people who work hard and stay true.
The Driveby Truckers are one the best damn bands to come out of the south since Skynyrd. Sorry am i missing something here, the overwhelming evidence is that Ronnie van Zant and Neil Young never had anything but complete respect for each other, so why is there anyone slagging off one or the other for political reasons that really don't even exist.
Southern Man and Sweeet Home Alabama are both brilliant songs, written by brilliant musicians. Can't we just leave it at that?! Ronnie Long Live Neil! Great article. You don't have to believe it all, but it sheds light on a few things that people miss. Thanks TW for putting it on the ol' website. This is the most pointless blog I have ever read, it is so obvious to anyone with half a brain that Skynyrd and Neil had nothing but mutual admiration towards eachother.
There's another twist: "Turn Down the World Tonight" appears headed toward an almost operatic conclusion before they switch gears again, ending on a nicely placed grace note. The book on Journey was always that Steve Perry arrived and they suddenly shook themselves awake to commercial considerations. One listen to "Midnight Dreamer," and a good portion of the album it originated from, makes a powerful counter-argument. They still stretch out — dig that crazy keyboard solo! Schon finds a fusible groove, then joins Perry for a gutty vocal interplay. But "Chain Reaction" ends up getting lost somewhere along the way.
They tried for a bluesy feel on a song echoing the relationship troubles that both Perry and Cain were then experiencing, but there's simply not enough grit to this. Pineda lets a roughness slip into his vocal, and a little bit more of himself. He was 40 when he joined Journey, a fully formed singer in his own right. He deserves a lot more of these moments. An important, if not entirely successful, Robert Fleischman-sung track from the demo phase for 's Infinity.
Journey were already headed toward a more compact, radio-ready direction, even before Perry arrived.
- Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail, 7th Edition: Linking people with nature by footpath along Lake Superiors North Shore?
- Nanoparticle Technology Handbook.
- All 173 Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best.
- The Art of Worldly Wisdom (Dover Books on Western Philosophy);
The Augeri-era Journey lineup credibly recreates a "Separate Ways"-type groove, switching things up with a spacious, inspirational bridge. Arnel Pineda came bursting out of the gates with the opening track on his first Journey studio effort, singing with power to spare. Kevin Shirley, back for his third Journey album after 's Trial by Fire and 's Arrival , turns everything up around Pineda — in particular Schon.
- Neil Young - Wikipedia.
- What the Best College Teachers Do.
- Search form.
The cool interplay between Schon and quickly departed co-founding rhythm guitarist George Tickner is perhaps best showcased on this composition by Rolie and Valory. Tickner was given two subsequent songwriting credits for 's Look Into the Future , but was already gone by the time it was released.
Augeri's ability to handle this kind of lithe, very Steve Perry-esque ballad is precisely why they brought him in. Unfortunately, you'll have to search way too hard to find it: For some reason, Journey originally tucked "I'm That Way" away as a bonus track on the Japanese version of Augeri's debut. Tell them to start here.
Presented in their classic arena-ballad style, but without much to differentiate it from other, better, more popular iterations, "Easy to Fall" is the sound of Journey trying to sound like Journey. This would go on for a while. Before being felled by vocal issues, Augeri was able to convey a depth, a relative darkness, that no other Journey singer since Gregg Rolie could touch.
Rolie opens their second album with an approachable, yet still tough-minded song that confidently moves Journey more toward traditional classic rock, if not all the way over to the pop-leaning sound that later sent them to the top of the charts. This song drove a seemingly permanent wedge in the band. Everybody was into Led Zeppelin at this point, including Journey. Perry wrote this little-known deep cut after his late mother appeared, happy and healthy, in a particularly vivid dream. Augeri updates the patented Journey ballad model by staying modulated, singing with a steadier, quieter certitude.
That showed no small amount of guts. Problem: This was not what Journey fans wanted. Arrival stalled at No. The second-best song on this album's deflating flip side. Singing in a clipped, coolly detached tone, Perry offers a great put-down for warmongers: "War is for fools; crisis is cool.
That version showcased Journey's early-'80s lineup minus Cain at the peak of their increasingly rare heavy-rocking form. Same here, with Castronovo in place of Steve Smith. They miss Perry's elevating vocals during the solo, though. Schon's riffy contributions work in brilliant counterpoint to Perry's poignancy, underscoring why this partnership meshed so easily — and so well. A lovely, Pineda co-written acoustic aside, "She's a Mystery" is that rare moment on Eclipse where Journey take their foot off the gas without swerving into power-ballad cliche.
Perry brought this dream-like song with him, having written it years before while looking out over Lake Tahoe. Journey completed it with a quickly ascending final segment that matched now-patented multi-tracked vocals with a Schon's typical pyro. In their first album without Perry, Journey clearly had an eye on recapturing the successes they found when Jonathan Cain joined the band in the '80s. Cain was game, co-writing this instantly familiar love song with Schon, Michael Rhodes and the recently installed Steve Augeri. Journey's label asked that they replace this underrated Ross Valory instrumental with something more commercial for 's Next.
The album stalled at No. On an project that boldly reanimated the wide-open heavy fusion of Journey's original '70s-era records — a period when Schon fiercely pulled and stretched his muse — "Anything is Possible" gave Arnel Pineda an opportunity to showcase his pop-star sensibilities.
There's a feeling of soaring expectancy here that balances the tough, guitar-focused tracks found elsewhere on Eclipse. There's a reason Journey opened their concerts with "Where Were You" for so long. Co-written by Aynsley Dunbar and Gregg Rolie, "Spaceman" offers Journey fans some of the most obvious initial flowerings of a pop sensibility. They placed it first on the album, and released it as a single — to no avail. A badly needed rocker on an album that too often played down to their ballad- and mid-tempo-loving fan base.
A slow burner co-written by Steve Augeri in his final outing with the band, "Beyond the Clouds" illustrates why he was such a good initial fit. Augeri's ability to elevate, as this track zooms into the stratosphere, and then to wind down into a whispery vulnerability recalls a Certain Other Steve.
This wouldn't prove to be his principal strength, but it mattered at the time. Schon couldn't have done a better job of smoothing the way for the just-arrived Pineda than he did on "Sunshower," which begins with a lick straight out of "Stay Awhile" from Departure. Fans reacted positively, making Revelation Journey's first platinum-selling project since Trial by Fire , their last with Perry. Elsewhere, the instrumentals provide an untimely restatement of their old penchant for prog and fusion, considering Journey were already on a pop-chart roll after the Top 25 hits "Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin'" and "Anyway You Want It.
This too-often-overlooked song has since became known — if it was known at all — simply as a B-side to the "Open Arms" single. A hard-nosed war song, "Out of Harms Way" was handled with an eye-opening aggression unique to Journey, thanks to the gone-too-soon Augeri. Journey drill down to the marrow on this throwaway piece of psychedelia, finding a seriously nasty groove beneath the Beatles ' old atmospherics.
LYNYRD SKYNYRD (VINYL BOX SET 1973-1977) REVIEW
Radio holds a talismanic place in Perry's imagination for two reasons. It's a constant presence in the youthful places where he returns, time and time again, for creative sustenance. If things had gone another way, he also could see himself as a DJ, rather than a huge pop star. You could say Schon is an unstoppable force on this song, except that Pineda — in one of his most impressive vocal performances — is every bit the equal of his molten riffs. At least at first. Eventually, Schon and company step forward for a floorboard-rattling, song-closing jam that edges all the way into fusion.
Journey, who saw Eclipse become the second consecutive Pineda-sung Top 20 album, haven't sounded this wide open since the Jimmy Carter administration. This very Mahavishnu Orchestra-influenced instrumental was originally constructed in three parts. The final section was ultimately cut off, however, leaving a pair of segments with unusual Aynsley Dunbar signatures — thus the name, "Nickel and Dime. Journey again move beyond Augeri's similarities with Perry on this composition by Schon and Jack Blades, which at one point has an almost a proggy feel.
A continuation of the untroubled sleekness of Raised on Radio -era Journey, this could have easily passed as a Steve Perry solo track. Journey return after the soft rock-dominated Arrival with a scorching, fusion-kissed EP-opening song. They spend two minutes easing into things before launching into a wrecking-ball groove — and Augeri is with them, step for breathless step. Early rhythm guitarist George Tickner — he joined after a stint in the San Francisco psych-rock band Frumious Bandersnatch with Ross Valory — wasn't around long.
Poor Steve Augeri. One of the best moments on his final album with Journey is this delicately conveyed track, featuring one of Schon's more restrained turns. And Deen Castronovo on vocals. Castronovo and Cain, who co-wrote this track with Schon, even close things out with a fierce entanglement that also must have brought older fans right back to "Separate Ways. Unfortunately, this only-okay leftover is an example of that assembly line-type approach. That said, "Ask the Lonely" is still better than most of the stuff on the back end of Frontiers. The urge to return to an everyday working-stiff theme has been almost unavoidable for a group that, in no small way, is best remembered for "Don't Stop Believin.
Credit goes most of all to Augeri, who strikes a visceral pose on upbeat tracks like this one, singing every line as if his whole heart is in it. Unfortunately, Generations went nowhere, and Augeri — citing throat problems — was gone after just two albums with Journey. Starts out as another cookie-cutter '70s-era Journey song, then Perry gets to the ear-worm title lyric and everything changes.
A dark then searching rocker from Journey's second album, featuring one of Rolie's most desirous vocals. Featuring a saccharine sentiment with a too-sweet string section to match, this is Journey balladry at its limpest. Because, Steve Perry. It all builds toward a sweeping vista reminiscent of Journey's Roy Thomas Baker-helmed sides like "Winds of March" and "Opened the Door," a welcome development indeed. And as with those two tracks, "We Will Meet Again" serves as an emotionally resonant side-closing moment.
An explosion of heavy-rocking sexuality, "Hustler" found Journey considerably toughening up its by-then-established fusion-based formula — something the group would eventually return to, but only decades later, with 's impressively muscular Eclipse. Castronovo and Valory create a foundation-rattling rhythm, while the big-voiced Pineda ably conveys a fiery sense of sensuality required by the song's narrative. But "Edge of the Moment" will always belong to Neal Schon, who is by turns melodic, out there, gurgling, eruptive — and nothing like we've heard from him since the days of the spaceman 'fro.
Long after their hit single-making days, and a couple of albums into Arnel Pineda's tenure, Journey finally found their rock-music mojo again on this track, emerging with a sense of furious third-act abandon. The most accessible song on Journey's self-titled debut, "To Play Some Music" provides a down-to-earth vocal vehicle for Rolie on an album dominated by epic, often spacey instrumentals.
Schon memorably gave Perry a ride home after sitting in with Azteca in San Francisco, but had no idea his passenger was a singer. Five years later, Perry finally got the chance to make an impression. He stopped by Schon's hotel the day after a Journey show in Denver, and they wrote this song.
Named after a comet then approaching Earth's orbit, "Kohoutek" bridges the sounds that Rolie and Schon made earlier as part of Santana with those to come from their new band. Makes sense: This track dates back to Journey's earliest rehearsals. Their slow-fast approach gives "You're on Your Own" a noticeably modern feel; Rolie's heartfelt singing centers it all.
Steve Smith only appeared on three Raised on Radio tracks, but that doesn't mean he didn't have an undeniable impact. His anticipatory rhythm builds an undeniable tension on the underrated "The Eyes of a Woman," as Schon's echoing chords surround the vocal. Perhaps Journey's heaviest-ever pop song. Rolie had a knack for Beatlesque touches see their earlier cover of George Harrison 's "It's All Too Much" , even if it was buried in a cacophony of sound from Schon and Dunbar see their earlier cover, etc.
If Steve Perry sounds a little overwhelmed on the second single from this album, there's a reason for that. This No. Real or not, she's real in the track. Journey's first attempt at a power ballad was devastatingly effective, though it arrived years before "Open Arms. Side Two of Frontiers gets off to a roaring start. Buckle up, though. As things progress, you're in for a bumpy ride.
A throwback Top 10 rocker, "Be Good to Yourself" had little in common with the sleeker, more adult-contemporary feel found elsewhere on Raised on Radio. It didn't make for the most representative lead single, but manager Herbie Herbert prevailed. Well, too many of the other songs sound too much like a glorified Steve Perry solo record. Journey's recorded output begins here, with a seven-minute jazz fusion-influenced, at times Pink Floyd -ish excursion that boldly stepped away from Rolie and Schon's previous work in Santana.
The last thing I was to see for the rest of my life is conga drums! Schon, who earned a co-writing credit with Cain and Perry, tried out a then-new guitar in search of a distinct sound for this song. Best known for using a Fender Stratocaster, Schon experimented with a graphite Roland to see if he could get a different, more even tone.
Unjustly forgotten, and barely used in the film at all, the hooky "Only Solutions" would have greatly enlivened what turned out to be a letdown on Side Two of Frontiers. A circular vocal effect makes the song's larger point, as Perry and Rolie combine to examine life's maddening duality. The last song on the first album to feature Perry, "Open the Door" begins like every gorgeous, ear-wormy love song they ever hit with a few years later — but after Perry's initial three minutes, Rolie joins in a huge vocal bridge "Yeah, you opened Drummer Aynsley Dunbar, on his final recording date with Journey, sets a thunderous cadence, and Schon powers the song — and this career-turning album — to its quickly elevating conclusion.
Cain has said this No. They finished the song with a memorable back-and-forth between Perry and Cain, also completely unrehearsed. Perry chirps and coos his way through this winking tease of a song — that is, until about a third of the way through, when Schon provides a moment of release. He never got much credit, but Robert Fleischman played an important role in Journey.
Schon added a guitar melody, and they handed it to Steve Perry after Fleischman's ouster. The rest is, as they say, history. A great example of the way Journey songs evolved in the studio. Perry brought in a rough sketch, Schon added a blues-inspired riff, then Smith picked up his brushes. All that was left to complete things was Rolie's greasy Hammond B3 groove, reportedly one of his favorites. A delicate, beautifully conveyed song of encouragement, "Too Late" was aimed at a friend of Perry's who had fallen into drug abuse.
Perry essentially took control of Journey in the run-up to this album, switching out band members for sidemen with whom he'd worked before then serving as the project's de facto producer. That led them to some song treatments that moved well away from anything Journey had done before, or since. This was classic Journey, spit-shined up for a new era. Perry began this song on the bass, perhaps an early indication of the changes in store for Journey. Smith departed too, but not before proving himself utterly invaluable here. The initial single from Escape , a No. The first inklings of the track came to Perry as he was driving up to San Francisco on Route But "Who's Crying Now" was a song with no real direction until Cain suggested the title.
They worked out a cool b-section featuring only voice and keyboard, and their very first co-written composition was completed. Roy Thomas Baker's familiar stacked vocals propel the bridge to untold heights. The final major vocal collaboration featuring Perry and the soon-to-depart Rolie and, still, one of the more memorable for its thoughtful optimism. There were plenty of reasons for this upbeat outlook, even though "Someday Soon" appeared on Journey's next-to-last album with Rolie. Departure reached the Billboard Top 10, then the band's highest-charting effort ever.
Meanwhile, a subsequent, wildly successful tour was chronicled on 's Captured. If you dislike power ballads, blame Jonathan Cain. He brought this seminal example of the genre to Journey after John Waite , the frontman in Cain's former band the Babys, rejected an early version. Schon didn't really want "Open Arms," either. But Perry intervened, and they turned it into a soaring paean to renewal. Oh, and Journey's highest-charting single ever.
Related All I Can Do is Write About it: One Boy’s Journey Through Music with Lynyrd Skynyrd
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved