I used to either puke before a show or after a show...sometimes both. Absolutely scared to death. But I get over it 30 seconds into the set. Too busy to worry about it.
I'd get nervous before every show but that would disappear after we'd get started. But I'd be really nervous...it was very annoying. gOt a LitTlE kEyEd uP. ARGHHHH!
I know there have been many times on stage when I've enjoyed it - and the opposite is true, too. If Ronnie was still alive, I'm sure I'd want to be back in it. He was the only reason I was there to begin with - and a BIG reason why I LEFT! All of the alcohol he consumed really got to me...but that's another story.
There was VERY LITTLE, if any, improvisation in Lynyrd Skynyrd. Once a guitar solo (or piano solo) was written, it was pretty much played the same way every night. I improvised certain solos at times (just to keep sane) but, as you can tell by some of the readers here, my improvisations were not well received! I'm a BAD improviser. And, as Al Kooper always reminded me, I'd write solos that I couldn't even play.
NO ONE plays 'the bird' like Collins. We try...but that's all we can do.
The road crew definitely makes a huge difference. Although it takes me a while to trust anyone with my guitars.
One time in '74 we did a gig with Blue Oyster Cult in Kentucky. They were headlining and didn't like that FREEBIRD was stealing their thunder...so they had their roadies pull the plug early! Our roadies and their roadies got into a brawl backstage.
The crowd always knew when to start singing...even after Billy's solo before the 2nd verse.
In the old days, before we'd start the song, Ronnie would come up to me and say "Don't forget to come over and give me a nudge when it's time to start singin'." EVERY NIGHT! (Only on that song...don't ask me why.) Even though Ronnie had an idea when FREE BIRD was going to end, he almost ALWAYS did the throat-slash thing on stage.
Q - Did Allen Collins ever teach you guys his Freebird solo, or did you work it out for yourselves?
During that tribute tour I went home every night after rehearsal and listened and practiced that solo. Understand that after the build-up (more than the solo's midway point) I just played whatever I wanted to. But, up to that point, I wanted it as exact as I could get it to Allen's part.
Collins never had to help me with that but he was REAL picky about the start of GIMME 3 STEPS. He enlightened me on that and some other rhythm parts. Allen was a GREAT rhythm player. He had STYLE.
Q - Johnny has said in the past he'd never sing FREE BIRD because he thought only Ronnie should sing it. What made him start singing the lyrics?
We were in Sacramento...can't recall the year...but we were FED UP with playing that song as an instrumental. So we said to Johnny "If you don't sing it, we won't play it." He said "But the place will RIOT!" Didn't matter...we'd just blame HIM.
So Johnny had someone write the lyrics to FREE BIRD and tape them to the floor in front of his mike stand. To this day they're still taped there, I'll betcha. At least they were up until the day I left!
Last Edit: Nov 29, 2009 14:01:12 GMT -5 by ekforum
Q - What were the best years that you had playing with Skynyrd, any particular shows or occurences that stand out?
There's a LOT of shows that stand out. But one we did in Houston shortly after Artimus joined the band comes to mind. We were playing FREEBIRD and all of a sudden havoc broke out. People stormed the stage and road crew guys were literally throwing them off into the air. But the ones that did make it on stage were taking everything in sight....guitar stands, mikes, mike stands, drums.
One guy with a "deer in the head lights" sort of gaze was leaning over in front of Arty's drum kit with his hands outstretched and yelling "Give me your sticks!" Arty was still playing and yelling back "I'm USIN' 'em man! I'm USIN' 'em!!"
Q - This is trivial and only Mr. King would know the answer.
Ed, During the 1991 tour, you played Redrocks (Colorado). A band called Junkyard had opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd. During the opening act, you approached the mixing board almost unnoticed. At that time, I approached you for an autograph. You told me that you couldn't autograph my ticket because it might draw attention away from the Junkyard, who was already playing on stage. I graciously bowed out and told you that I understood. Later, you guys came on stage, and after about two songs, you were hit in the head with a plastic gallon jug quarter full of beer. Your glasses were knocked off and you were pretty pissed. You grabbed a microphone and stated that you knew who had thrown the jug.
My question to you is: Did you think that it was I who threw the jug at you? I am hoping that you didn't, because after all this time, I often wondered that very thing. I wouldn't do that to anyone. Especially to any of you guys. I was just curious and would like to know.
I'll bet it was YOU who threw that jug. I was wondering when you'd write!
Wow, what a hit I took. It was a five gallon jug more than half full of tomato juice!! Hit me square on the forehead. You've got not only a good aim but a great arm. Good thing it didn't burst, but it darn near knocked me out cold. I didn't say that I knew who threw it...I just said that if they wanted to come up on stage and be a man, then come on! I think I also asked the people sitting next to this asshole to please kick his teeth out for me. That was a good trivia question. I've thought about that incident many times.
Q - Any other weird stuff happen before or after a show that stands out?
Paris, 1992. After the show I tried to dodge a Johnny Van Zant punch and he broke the middle finger on my left hand. The bastard. The finger isn't right to this very day. What a lousy gig that was. I believe Rossington even accused me of spitting on him during that show.
Q - What was Ronnie's take on the band playing too loud?
As long as he could hear himself, he didn't care. Kevin & Joe always made sure he could hear himself. Of course, those were the days before Leon started using 3 Crown amps to power his bass. I wonder if Ronnie was around to hear that. I would think he would've thought that the bass was too loud.
The ONLY thing that bothered me about Leon's volume (post-crash) was the way he held his pick. Because he had his elbow joint fused in a certain position (to make it easier for him to play), the pick would strike the string at an angle creating a constant scratching sound. Combine that with Leon's loss of high end in his hearing, so he ran his EQ as high as he could to hear himself. It was PAINFUL.
You WOULD NOT BELIEVE the grief I got from other band members about this. It's NO WONDER Johnny's voice is so BLOWN OUT. When you hire the world's best sound man (Kevin Elson) and then play SO loud on stage that he can't do his job...that's REALLY DAMN STUPID. And I understand that, when I left the band in '96, the stage volume went thru the roof.
UNDERSTAND ONE THING. When it comes time for a solo, JACK IT UP AS LOUD AS IT CAN GO. My complaint with the guys in Skynyrd was they'd play their rhythms at the SAME VOLUME as their SOLOS.
Q - Did y'all ever miss a show due to Ronnie or anyone else in the band being locked up?
I can't recall ever missing a show. We nearly did a couple of times but we had a 'thing' about not missing gigs. We were always there.
WAIT! One time we missed a gig in Scotland. Wish I could tell you why, but someone might consider it libelous!
Last Edit: Nov 29, 2009 14:04:40 GMT -5 by ekforum
One song that I liked to play - only when the groove was spot-on - was THREE STEPS. I only have a rhythm part on that, but I'd hunker down so far on that part and just try to get it so funky that I'd just about fall on the floor. ALABAMA was always great. Oh hell...I liked them all.
Q - I noticed Ed changed the solo in WORKIN' FOR MCA during the Tribute Tour, but then on The Last Rebel tour I noticed he went back to playing it the way it was recorded on Second Helping. I wonder why.
Because people like you got on my ass big time for ever changing it. Got tired of the endless nagging.
In '74, while trying to get Artimus rehearsed, we did a charity gig at a club in Jacksonville called Sgt. Peppers. The place was packed to overflowing, no A/C and it was SO HOT in there that the skin on our fingertips was pruny and wrinkled within 5 minutes. I'm serious. I believe Allen Collins got a pretty bad cut that night...I quit playing out of fear of injury...so others came up and jammed. It was the hottest & most humid place I have ever played in my life.
Q - Are you saying it was hotter than Hell House?
Oddly enough, we never got pruny fingertips at Hell House. It had fairly good ventilation...though we sweat plenty and had to wipe down our guitars all the time. Yeah...the charity gig was THE HOTTEST place I've ever been.
The band would drink a bit just to get a buzz but RARELY played drunk. I can think of three occasions where we (they) did and they were all relatively small gigs shortly after PRONOUNCED came out. Joe (Barnes) may disagree with me.
One time backstage at the Woodlands in Houston, I asked a crew guy to pour me two bottles of water into blue plastic cups for the stage. After he did that, I took a huge swig out of a cup and IT WAS PURE VODKA!!! Seems that BP had done a switcheroo.
Daily routine: Sound check @ 4:30 Gig @ 8:30 or 9 Back to hotel @ 11:30 Collect bags @ 1 AM....roll @ 2 AM Usual distance between cities ... 6-8 hours Hotel @ 10-11 AM If you can sleep, more power to you 11 AM - 4 PM
Q - When you were on tour back in the day with Skynyrd if you ever had to play someones else's parts due to sickness or injury. If so did you ever have to play the FREE BIRD solo with the original band?
I never filled in for anyone in the 70s....never played FREE BIRD til '87.
Q - Who was responsible for writing out the set lists when Skynyrd played live?
In the 70s era band, I'll bet Dean Kilpatrick did that. Ronnie would pretty much dictate what songs he wanted to sing. I can't remember EVER making up a set list in the 70s. And the entire time I was in the band, a set never lasted more than an hour.
The Tribute Tour era, I picked the set list ONE TIME. And EVERYONE, except Leon & Custer, hated it. It was 1993...we were in Iowa and we were bored, so I told everyone that I refused to play the gig unless we played the entire set backwards. Closing with FREEBIRD was ok...but I wanted to start with ALABAMA and work backwards. CALL ME THE BREEZE, 3 STEPS, SMELL...all the way to the front of the set...closing with WORKING FOR MCA.
So the three of us LOVED IT. It really did away with the boredom factor BIG TIME. Sure, we made mistakes...but at least we had FUN. Rossington hated it...Johnny forgot the lyrics to several songs, and Billy just grumbled from start to finish. Just not adaptable to change, I guess.
Myke: Happy Memorial Day 2016-Thank You Veterans !
May 29, 2016 12:45:16 GMT -5
michaeljames: Thanks for the add........... !
Sept 28, 2016 15:57:05 GMT -5
Captainkirk: He Ed , Kikk here just felt like saying Hi
Nov 5, 2016 13:09:42 GMT -5
findthesun: I love the old RCB photos, brings back a lot of great memories!
Nov 21, 2016 14:42:43 GMT -5
tonytrout: Howdy, fellow Ed King fans!!! How are we on this bitterly cold Sunday morning??
Jan 8, 2017 11:26:04 GMT -5
macfangus: New member here. I'm a huge fan of Ed King era LS.
Feb 7, 2017 19:54:58 GMT -5
shaw: I wonder if Zap is around.I found a guitar someone was throwing out and it has Zapp on the headstock. Turns out its one of those Law Suit era Les Pauls. I'm putting it back together it was only the body & neck, with no hardware but I got all the parts now.
Apr 8, 2018 12:09:40 GMT -5
Zap: No relation to me, LOL, but you can gift it to me when you are done restoring it if you like! LOL!
Apr 17, 2018 6:34:05 GMT -5
rebel1222: Whats the point of having a forum if noone can reply to, or create threads?
Nov 28, 2018 8:49:07 GMT -5
gman620: @ rebel1222: Anyone is free to start a new topic or reply to any thread, anytime he or she desires. You've been a member for over three years now, with zero posts, so what's stopping you?
Nov 29, 2018 21:48:09 GMT -5
rocker2462: Looking for info on Ed's red Strat with the tele neck? point me in the right direction please.
Feb 19, 2019 0:47:14 GMT -5
stevecamp: I believe it was was a Warmoth body, aftermarket pickups, an old tele neck.
Mar 5, 2019 16:59:18 GMT -5
stevecamp: Pick ups may have been "lindy Fralins"
Mar 5, 2019 17:00:08 GMT -5