Am I the only one who doesn't mind playing Sweet Home Alabama?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Yer Blues, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. toasterdude

    toasterdude Member

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    Ironically the song was a response to coastal habitants that probably dig NPR painting the south with a broad brush. Anyone that listened to another song on the album would know race had zero tk do with SHA. Curtis loew was the finest picker to ever play the blues.

    Neil Young loved the tune. Certainly better than southern man or alabama and he wanted them to record powder finger.

    They got to the top by looking at the business as if it was a fight. They met eric clapton while warming up for him. Collins in particular was an EC fan. They were fawning fans meeting their idol and drunkenly telling him “play it for duane”, which freaked EC out and he asked for them to be “taken away”.

    They do their set, and after a ferocious version of Freebird, the previously fawning fans stop at EC’s dressing room. RVZ opens the door peeks in and says to clapton “top that mofo”. He didn’t.

    They had a far too short career but they were on fire for much of it. Since we are talking about ed king in the SHA thread, even he who was sort of an outsider being from cali and not one of the core guys at first said “allen collins plays freebird” . . . SHOW OVER!
     
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  2. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, you are. ;)
     
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  3. sonofspy

    sonofspy Member

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  4. sonofspy

    sonofspy Member

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    I'm sure there are dozens who don't mind it.

    Makes me puke every time.
     
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  5. gtrdave

    gtrdave Member

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    They definitely weren't racists based on all of the words, interviews and song lyrics that I'm aware of.
    And the whole Confederate Battle Flag thing was both a nod to The Who...one of Ronnie's favorite rock bands which they got their first major tour with...and their use of the Union Jack backdrop and management who pushed for said imagery for marketing purposes.

    But, yes, RVZ was a little guy with a big attitude and allegedly would fight a lot of people for a lot of things, especially if he was drinking, which was quite often for a while. Had he lived, I believe that his being a father and husband would have (hopefully) taken over as his priorities and mellowed him out a bit.

    As far as playing SHA, I've been doing it since I was a kid and can play it note for note, but I haven't played it in years. Only by special ($$$) request.
     
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  6. Rumble

    Rumble Instrumental Rocker Silver Supporting Member

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    With the way things are going, I don't think the song is aging very well. And I think Mr. Young hit the nail on the head.
     
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  7. DRS

    DRS Member

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    I've never played it .
    I've played "Brown Eyed Girl," "Margaritaville," and a bunch of Hank Williams songs for appreciative audiences and I enjoyed it. I've played more "noble" songs for people who were indifferent and it was a drag. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.
     
  8. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    The Who didn't use the flag of the Republic of Ireland...
     
  9. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Supporting Member

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    The song is about dynamics, groove. and working the chorus and the transition from verse to chorus. It's an easy song to butcher.
     
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  10. don carney

    don carney Silver Supporting Member

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    I've played it a few times over the years at jams etc but our band does not do it. Some years ago we tried it once at a practice but I did not think it was worth the time to get it right so we dropped it. That said, somewhere in the past here on TGP there have been discussions about this song and so inspired, I sat down and learned the leads note for note which required some work. The problem for me after learning it is that if you do not play the song often, memory fades. And so if this song came up as an audience request, I would have to fake it which I do not like to do. So we don't do it. Unless it was a very well oiled crowd and gig.
     
  11. Hiighway Chile

    Hiighway Chile Member

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    On that last tour run he had his friend Gene Odom with the band to help Ronnie curtail his drinking.
     
  12. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

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    I don't mind it as long as the drummer's good. If the drummer's good, I can enjoy just about any tune. Freebird being the exception that proves the rule.
     
  13. cottonmike

    cottonmike Member

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    Very accurate poast. I was at the Memphis Jam, 1975, and witnessed that beat down Skynyrd put on Clapton. Mass exodus during the first 3 songs of Clapton's set. Clapton was messed up, bad. Had a guitar player standing in the back stage shadows, covering his guitar parts.
     
  14. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Could never hear that song ever again and be just as happy. Love plenty of Skynyrd but it, Freebird, and Simple Man are just worn out.
     
  15. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Silver Supporting Member

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    IMO it is very clearly not a racist song. It's a matter of lyric comprehension.

    It is quite clear that the following verse means essentially "We, and our friends, do not support George Wallace or the racists, and any negative stuff regarding them have as much to do with us as Richard Nixon has to do with Northern folks or all Americans."

    In Birmingham they love the Gov'nor, boo hoo ooo
    Now we all did what we could do
    Now Watergate does not bother me
    Does your conscience bother you?
    Tell the truth


    While the reality may be that Southern folks - especially southern rock fans - may or may not have done as much as they could have, the song says that they opposed it and did all the could.
     
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  16. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Those words you quoted are ambivalent at "best"...
     
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  17. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I don’t have huge feelings one way or the other about it, feel it is overplayed on the radio or used to be but...

    When I was getting back into playing electric again, I started out doing open mics at a local place (here in Oslo, Norway) that had a house band backing.
    One of those nights where not many non playing patrons in the bar. Most were waiting their turns, but had others with them.

    So in comes this guy, with his hot GF, and maybe his mother and father. Little entourage.
    Guy is like classic handsome, wearing rock star clothes (leather pants, seventies billowy rock star shirt) and signs in or already had (he went on ahead of many others, somehow).

    Normally folk get up, one guy, or a couple of folks from a band, and play three or four songs.

    He goes up on stage, goes into SHA, and nails it. He sings it perfectly, plays the guitar parts perfectly. I was impressed with the playing, sitting at a table with a few other folks I didn’t know, turn and say “that guys nailing it” and then others kind of shrug...like “meh”...I thought that was weird.

    He gets done, and it was just quiet (as I recall), maybe very polite clapping but nobody enthused or supportive even, no yays. It was like the whole barrel of folk just showed disapproval.

    He walks off stage, not pissed or anything, just seemed like he wanted to do the song and go. And he did. Walks off, puts his guitar in the case, and he and his hot GF and family march out.

    I tried to ask a few others about it, couldn’t figure out if this person was disliked for some reason or was it the song somehow? I go the feeling folks were just totally turned off by the song, and that he played it note for note. Like “...and so what?” Really seemed like the whole crowd was just “don’t play that”

    It was the oddest response at an open mic I’d ever seen.

    I’ve never dug it so much that I wanted to really learn it, but it’s a good bar song. I’m sure “normal” crowds would eat it up, just very weird response that night.
     
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  18. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Sounds like the wrong song for that venue and crowd...they didn't care if a song they think is crappy is played perfectly, it's still crappy!
     
  19. JasonElGato

    JasonElGato Silver Supporting Member

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    This right here. The song isn't hard per se but it's not trivial to play 100% correctly. I've only see that done once locally. The whole band has to nail that hard stop on the off beat after the words "Sweet Home Alabama" and around here no one does that very well including me.
     
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  20. NamaEnsou

    NamaEnsou Supporting Member

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    Sure, I play it, and have fun with it too. I'm a performer, and while there's songs I absolutely refuse to do, this ain't one of them.
     
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