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"Turn it Up": I Tip My Hat To Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lawd Im Comin' Home To You

Lawd Im Comin’ Home To You

In 1974 Lynyrd Skynyrd hit the radio with the tune “Sweet Home Alabama” at age 9 I was the coolest kid in the entire world with 3 old siblings with diverse musical tastes.

The tune hit number 8 on Billboards chart but we were the children of Americas Top 40.  I had already opted to follow my oldest brother into the world of David Bowie and Robery Fripp. I was on a one way ticket to ‘alternative music” and there was no mainstream crap gonna stand in my way.
 I had options of course and I dabbled in them, a brother and sister who loved Cat Stevens (almost as much as I do now!) and a Beatles loving mother who never failed to amaze with her horrific singing from the kitchen. Dad?  Dad dug Johnny Cash, and some other crap but he was so far outnumbered it didn’t matter. The coolest of all was my grandmother who at her advanced age jammed to Heart and Billy Joel, kid you not “Scenes from An Italian Restaurant” and “Barracuda” remind me of her- tell me what other kid thinks that of their Gran. Oddly both those recordings came out in 1977, must have been her year!
One think our home had nothing to do with was Southern Rock.  Aw, hell no.  British blood in New England.. no sir ree those were Ozark living filth who canoodled with their sister and had less teeth than a jack o lantern. There was nothing worse, and I recall to this day.. for literally my entire life diving at the radio when the first strains of ‘Turn it Up’ came on.  That was shite.  Worse sounds in the world and if you asked me I would tell you that was satans orgasm.  Just awful.  Add the joke of ‘Freebird” into it all and you have a recipe for disaster.  Get your suede fringe bearded asses away from me. I’m too cool, too smart and too hip to ever subject myself to such trash.
It’s 40 years later. Holy shit it is 40 years and here I am listening to ‘Freebird’… and I get it. I guess this bird can in fact be changed.
How the hell did this happen?  I blame Spotify.  Tap 70s radio and its gonna come on.  This time I didn’t dive at the console I let it go.. I let ‘Freebird’ play, it wasn’t conscious I was most likely busy showing my road rage but I let it fly and .. wow.  I’m pretty stoked to have discovered a brand new song that is pretty kick ass!    This got me thinking, if “Freebird” is fucking amazing.. did I miss anything else?
Yeah I did, I missed ‘Sweet Home Alabama”… no  no no not Kid Rock, I’m not that senile yet.  Kid Rock is still a greasy bastard that I cant stomach, gimme 40 more years on that one.  But lets stop a second and appreciate the original
“Sweet Home Alabama” now what scares me here is how catchy the tune is.  40 years later it still has the ability to stop a room and grab the crowd in its chorus.. how the hell did this moonshine sucking bullshit maintain?
Longer than Neil Young’s dissing of Alabamy this tune causes more people to play air guitar than Van Halen.  Also, as I searched the net for live performances I was shocked at the tightness of this bands pants.  Seriously.. what the…
Sweet Home is actually a face off with Neil Young’s “Southern Man”, a twang battle and Lynyrd Skynyrd wins beards down.
So well, yeah, I’d like to take a moment to apologize to the fans and the band (event the dead ones) for the evil I spewed, maybe us Northerners are the ‘slow’ ones, or maybe it just takes time to discover greatness.
God help me don’t let me fall into ZZ Top next….

 

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