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Every been involved in a Freebird trainwreck?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by sondich, May 18, 2017.

  1. sondich

    sondich Commercial User

    Oct 19, 2011
    Fontana, California
    General Manager: Commercial Forest Products
    I was noodling around on Freebird last night trying to get the bass parts down. Between all the guitar and bass parts, there are a ton of notes being played on top of each other. Rarely can a song do that and sound good to me. Hats off to Skynyrd for pulling that off.

    In a live setting, I imagine if even one musician out of 5 was not really up to the task, it could tank really quick.

    Ever been talked into an ill-advised live Freebird performance? If so, how did it go down?
  2. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Last time I did Freebird, it was at a private party with a 3 piece band. Somebody in the crowd yelled out Freebird, and we decided to be smart@$$es and do it. Did the whole spiel complete with jumping on a table during a solo, playing the guitar behind my head, strapping the guitar on a young lady for her to air guitar while I stood behind her and soloed, and generally making an @$$ out of myself for about 15 minutes.
    Man, that was alot of fun.
  3. Ug... crappy open jam nights at bars... UG.

    The song is fairly easy so long as one person can lead everyone into the different parts. But, man, it's been played to DEATH. And it's tougher to pull off in a way that connects with people at a smaller venue, is what I've found. People take the song as a good time to get a drink or smoke.
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    When the tape deck in your truck finally breaks and all you have to listen to is corporate butt-rock crud radio, you get really used to switching that song off five times a day.
  5. This seems impossible, but I've never even heard Freebird. I know of it, and it's reputation, but I've never listened to it.
  6. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I've played that song only twice in my entire musical career that started in 1970. Both times were, um, unremarkable.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    hrodbert696, BurnOut, Rattman and 2 others like this.
  7. TheBear


    Jun 15, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I think I may have played that song once, and then only the intro for about eight measures as a teaser before we stopped. I can't think of anytime that I've heard a band play the song in its entirety.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Used to play the whole dang thing in a band. It's not so bad when you have a couple guitar players who can nail it.

    And the crowd ate it up.

    It's just another song on the list.
  9. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    New Jersey
    Can I have your autograph?
  10. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    Give it a listen. It's got a great bassline.

    But yeah - it was beaten to death. Then shot. Beaten a little more. Stabbed. Got hit with a riding crop, like it was a 50 Shades prop. Electrocuted.

    And here we are today...
    Kawai-chang, Eikari, GregC and 3 others like this.
  11. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    About 20 years ago I saw a local garage band at a coffee shop. For awhile it didn't seem like they couldn't play anything well. And somebody kept shouting Freebird all night. I figured it was one of their buddies. They did something by the Eagles and the bass player broke a string but made it work thru the song. Then they finally closed with Freebird and they did amazing. Blew me away. Maybe it's all they knew well, maybe they were nervous, who knows.
  12. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    No. This is a dead-easy song for the bassist.
    Of course, if your drummer gets away from you (like he's focused on all the guitar wankery), then you can get a bit hosed up. Just keep the count in your head and press forward - make those silly guitarists follow YOU.
    burnunit, Lesgo, Oddly and 1 other person like this.
  13. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i congratulate you :D

    i never liked freebird.
  14. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Well I like the damn song.
    Sure, even here in Ireland it has been overplayed- and I can only imagine that's the main reason it seems to engender such dislike- but personally I've enjoyed playing it.
    Admittedly I don't think I've ever been in a band that got it 100% right - I've played it too fast, too slow, with terrible attempts at the guitar parts, a singer who only knew the first couple of lines...but it's always been well-received.
    BurnOut and soflbass like this.
  15. If requested just play it because a good musician has no problems playing anything at all. But always do your own thing with it jam-wise. DO NOT EVER play it is as originally recorded note for note! Because that's just super lame and lacks creative imagination. You don't want to make it go stale like a "left open" bag O'tater chips!!!! :laugh: :woot: :cool:
    Joebone and Oddly like this.
  16. J Wilson

    J Wilson

    Feb 18, 2017
    In the 80's, I lived in Jacksonville, and keeping a stack of 'Southern Rock' (how I HATE that term), was a given. Allmans, local heroes Skynyrd and 38 Special, some Atlanta Rhythm Section, Tucker, you get the idea. Had 'enough band' and seasoned guys who could do them authentically.

    'Free Bird' was on the list and became a show-closer, and we did, frankly, a great job with it. The weird thing? They'd all stand in the crowd with their lighters ! Still miss those tunes and those days . . .
  17. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
  18. lbbc

    lbbc Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    We've played it...not note for note, but it was requested and we did a pretty good rendition IMHO. I put it in the same category with Rock and Roll All Nite....not our favorite but it gets requested and we are there to entertain, so.....
    theduke1 and Oddly like this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    +1. Although "never liked" is an understatement when it comes to me and Freebird. I strongly dislike everything about that song.

    And that's an understatement too.
    MKent and Gluvhand like this.
  20. Tape deck?
    Helix, tzohn and jefff100 like this.