Rickey Medlocke On Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Determination To Continue Performing ‘Freebird’

Lynyrd Skynyrd is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their debut album ‘Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd’ and what better way than to ask Rickey Medlocke about the longest track on the album ‘Free Bird.’ Medlocke told AXS TV’s Katie Daryl that even though it is an eleven to twelve-minute song, as long his hands don’t give in, he will continue to give it his best shot on stage.

The last track, ‘Free Bird’ on the band’s debut album, sets the tone for them moving forward in the industry. The seven-minute guitar solo was played and recorded by the original guitarist Allen Collins. Rickey briefly joined the band in the early 70s to play the mandolin before returning in the late 90s to be the next guitarist and replace Mike Estes after Collins’ passing.

Medlocke shared that although the track is long, he has no problem playing it all through during sets. The guitarist only hopes that Collins is proud of his efforts to keep his legacy alive and do the track justice with the solo he wrote for ‘Free Bird.’

Rickey Medlocke’s words about still wanting to play ‘Free Bird’ read:

“You know what, no, either you hold it, or you don’t know what I mean. It’s about eleven and twelve minutes long now. Hey, listen, if it kept going, I got no problems with it as long as these hands are still able to shred it. I’m good with it, and I hope that one day when I cross over the great divide, I hope I’m able to see Allen [Collins] and shake his hand, and he tells me that I’ve done a great job in playing it for the last twenty-seven years and gives me a big hug and tells me I’ve done a good job. I hope he doesn’t punch me out; we’ll see.”

As long as Medlocke’s hands have the life in them to keep shredding it with the band, he will continue to keep playing ‘Free Bird,’ and his hope after his passing is that Collins will appreciate him for his efforts in attempting to fill his place and do the tracks justice with his version of the solos.