#1
Just thought I'd get some other frontpeople's perspective on how you handle this inevitable, predictable and obnoxious occurrence?

I've played ~400 shows over the last 6-8 years and if I had to guess, I'd say at about 25% of them, someone will indeed yell out Freebird. I can't wrap my head around the logic. Surely he (it's usually a he) knows it's not funny and it's just cliché.

I used to heckle the offender mercilessly, let him know that worn out jokes aren't funny and then move on. Within the last couple of years, taking a cue from one of my best buddies and a fantastic performer Stevie (RIP, bro), I've decided to play the situation to my advantage and advise him that "that's a $40 song." If he ponies up the dough for the jar, I'll make a run through the verses. That works a surprising number of times, especially towards the end of the night.

How have you all handled the tired old Freebird joke over the years?
#2
It's a great song to play so it should be in your setlist anyway.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#3
I guess that's one way to look at it

I have no problem with the song itself. Yelling it at performers is a tired joke, so I was just curious how other performers have dealt with the nuisance.
#5
Song Request menu over our tip jar:

Gimmie Three Steps- $5

Proud Mary- $10

Smoke on the water - $20

Jessie's Girl- $40

Boogie Oogie- $60

Freebird- $100

We aims to please
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
Quote by TomInReno
Just thought I'd get some other frontpeople's perspective on how you handle this inevitable, predictable and obnoxious occurrence?

I've played ~400 shows over the last 6-8 years and if I had to guess, I'd say at about 25% of them, someone will indeed yell out Freebird. I can't wrap my head around the logic. Surely he (it's usually a he) knows it's not funny and it's just cliché.

I used to heckle the offender mercilessly, let him know that worn out jokes aren't funny and then move on. Within the last couple of years, taking a cue from one of my best buddies and a fantastic performer Stevie (RIP, bro), I've decided to play the situation to my advantage and advise him that "that's a $40 song." If he ponies up the dough for the jar, I'll make a run through the verses. That works a surprising number of times, especially towards the end of the night.

How have you all handled the tired old Freebird joke over the years?


I play Freebird.

Personally, I like to connect with my audience. I am not bigger than they are, and they are doing me an honor by supporting me musically when I play. I'm not arrogant and I like to have a good time. So I play it, (and do some insider secret stuff that I am not going to reveal) and I enjoy the cheers, whoops, and the tips of appreciation.

Beats being arrogant and forgetting where I come from.

Best,

Sean
#8
Oh, please stop being so damned sanctimonious. I'm not being arrogant and I'm not talking about someone who legitimately requests a song - I'm talking about the asshole in the crowd that yells it out because they think it's funny to yell Freebird at a band. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
#9
Quote by Cajundaddy
Song Request menu over our tip jar:

Gimmie Three Steps- $5

Proud Mary- $10

Smoke on the water - $20

Jessie's Girl- $40

Boogie Oogie- $60

Freebird- $100

We aims to please

$100 bucks?! I've been undercharging this whole time?!
#10
We play Freebird.

And by "play Freebird" I mean:

1: Play the intro

2: Badly sing one verse with whole band on improvised 4 part harmony

3. Skip chorus, head straight to guitar solo

4. Use G - Bb - C as springboard, devolve into 30 minute collective improv odyssey, alienate audience.

5. There is no step 5. They knew what they were getting into yelling that.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#11
Quote by Jet Penguin
We play Freebird.

And by "play Freebird" I mean:

1: Play the intro

2: Badly sing one verse with whole band on improvised 4 part harmony

3. Skip chorus, head straight to guitar solo

4. Use G - Bb - C as springboard, devolve into 30 minute collective improv odyssey, alienate audience.

5. There is no step 5. They knew what they were getting into yelling that.

I hope with all of my hope that this is true.
#12
my band has it rehearsed that when someone yells freebird (if and only if it's between songs), our drummer will count us off and we'll jam it for about 15 seconds.

crowd usually loves it
and harry doesn't mind if he doesn't make the scene
#13
Quote by TomInReno
Oh, please stop being so damned sanctimonious. I'm not being arrogant and I'm not talking about someone who legitimately requests a song - I'm talking about the asshole in the crowd that yells it out because they think it's funny to yell Freebird at a band. You know exactly what I'm talking about.


Or you could just ignore the "assholes" existence and move onto the next song without acknowledging it. Why be a dick about it.

Saying "thats a $40 song" sounds really arrogant and obnoxious. Even more so if you're playing in a cover band.
#15
Quote by Rebel Scum
Or you could just ignore the "assholes" existence and move onto the next song without acknowledging it. Why be a dick about it.

Saying "thats a $40 song" sounds really arrogant and obnoxious. Even more so if you're playing in a cover band.


Just because you act one way doesn't mean another guitarist has to. Were all different.

I laugh when someone yells out Freebird, but it doesn't mean I want to play it. I'd rather use it as an opportunity to be playful and connect with my crowd.
#16
Quote by goldenlunari
Just because you act one way doesn't mean another guitarist has to. Were all different.

I laugh when someone yells out Freebird, but it doesn't mean I want to play it. I'd rather use it as an opportunity to be playful and connect with my crowd.

That's why I asked. Saying "it's a $40 song" isn't being crappy to the crowd, it's playing along. If they are going to be "funny" and yell Freebird, I can play back.
#18
Play freebies then. It's not like that are yelling SLAYER!!!!!
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#19
Slayer would be fun as a 4-piece with an acoustic guitar and mandolin.... hmmmmm
#20
Quote by TomInReno
That's why I asked. Saying "it's a $40 song" isn't being crappy to the crowd, it's playing along. If they are going to be "funny" and yell Freebird, I can play back.

Unfortunately tone and or sarcasm doesn't travel well on the internet so just by reading what you've said it sounds that way.

But what the guy above me says about playing Wonderwall is pretty damn funny.
#21
Quote by Rebel Scum
Unfortunately tone and or sarcasm doesn't travel well on the internet so just by reading what you've said it sounds that way.

But what the guy above me says about playing Wonderwall is pretty damn funny.

Tis true. I'm not on stage yelling at a dude trying to get him to give me $40. The post was tongue in cheek, and out of curiosity because the "Freebird" heckling phenomenon is a thing - which is why I'm surprised to be getting such backlash over the post. "Just play Freebird, man.. gosh." Ooook, then.
#22
I wouldn't call it a heckle. Its just a dad joke that needs the timing just to be right to be funny.
#23
Best time I ever heard the joke was at a Celtic rock concert, a violinist put on a purple cat beanie and asked if anyone could guess what song they were going to play next, a crowd member shouted, "Freebird?!" The singer then replied, "What an educated guess, but no." I nearly died in laughter.

Or you could act like you misheard and say "Reaper? Someone wanted Don't Fear the Reaper?" And do that instead.
Try adding more delay.
#25
Quote by TomInReno
Oh, please stop being so damned sanctimonious. I'm not being arrogant and I'm not talking about someone who legitimately requests a song - I'm talking about the asshole in the crowd that yells it out because they think it's funny to yell Freebird at a band. You know exactly what I'm talking about.



As I read this topic, you asked a question.

You don't have to like my answer, and I could do without the accusation.

You came across initially as quite arrogant, and then wheeling on me and accusing me of being sanctimonious only moved the sticks forward.

Truth is, you asked, I answered.

My comments were specifically in regards to your saying that you "used to heckle the guy mercilessly" which didn't paint a complimentary picture of you or respecting the audience. You might be a nice guy, and all, but the words I read didn't paint that picture.

But to tell the truth, I haven't had that person in the crowd that does that to be a "jerk". I get that it could be a bit rude, when you have your set list already planned, and rehearsed, and it's like a guys trying to change that, but I don't think they realize that.

Even if they thought they were being funny, I'd be funny back. To me a Freebird catcall means they are having a good time. I haven't had anyone heckling me. I have had people yell requests all the time - a drunk woman screamed out to play a Bob Dylan song, and then tipped me $40.00 when I worked out a 10 second version of Lay Lady Lay.

People do things all the time. Some are quite drunk when they do so, but I've learned to always show respect for the audience.

If I start getting heckled, then I feel like it's something I did that made them lose interest. I've had my share of drunks grabbing at the mic, asking to air guitar with me on stage, you name it - I just maintain control of the situation while not putting the guy in a bad light. If they become a problem, the security can manage that.

Now what I do when I do play Freebird, on request is I say "I don't know it"

...Play the opening to Sweet Home Alabama, get the cheers...

....Stop abruptly and play the Intro to Freebird....

...Say, "oh wait, I don't know Freebird...my bad"

... Play the opening to Gimme Three Steps

... Stop...say "Oh wait, was it Freebird you wanted?" Play and sing the first verse to "Oh no I can't..."

....Play The Opening to Saturday Night Special....

....Revert to another section of Freebird

...."Oh wait I don't know that one..."

...Play "On The Hunt" Intro (Gets the true die hard fans)

Works em into a frenzy of cheers, catcalls, laughing...and then in the end I do a scat singing of the solo in a terrible falsetto till I cant breathe from laughing so hard with the cheering audience.

"All right guys I'm done...you broke the guitar player...no more!"

Standing ovation.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 13, 2016,
#26
Well, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

You obviously have a routine for when this happens to you, so that answers my initial question.
#28
Great work Sean. I'll totally steal that idea if I ever go back to the covers scene (not likely in the foreseeable future, love originals too much).
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#30
I like Sean's routine.

I also usually say something like "That will be our last song of the night in our special medley with Stairway to Heaven, Smoke on the Water and Margarettaville". They usually get the point.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#31
"That will be our last song of the night in our special medley with Stairway to Heaven, Smoke on the Water and Margarettaville".

Now THAT's a level of passive aggression I can get behind! Stealing this.
#32
Quote by Sean
Miss talking to you brother!


I'm still lurking now and then
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#33
Quote by TomInReno
$100 bucks?! I've been undercharging this whole time?!


Hehe,

Our Tip Jar song request menu is tongue-in-cheek but it gets the conversation going.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#36
Quote by Parac
Am I the only one wondering what this "Freebird" joke means?


I think it must be an American thing - is never heard it in that context until I moved to the States. I played my first show here 3 weeks ago, with a thrash metal band (not my kind of music, but I'm always happy to play)' there's a hundred people there. One guy yells 'Freebird' and no-one responded, a couple of people smirked. I was confused, what with the different genre and all, but just ignored it. Afterwards the other guys explained it was a hack thing to do, clichéd. I found it quite amusing, but then again it was the first time! I can imagine it getting very old, very quick!
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#37
If it's just some guy shouting it out for the joke of it, I usually point at em in a friendly way and give a quick sort of nod and chunkle showing that I heard them and got the joke. If someone actually wants me to play Freebird, I'll do it.
#38
Quote by Vlasco
If it's just some guy shouting it out for the joke of it, I usually point at em in a friendly way and give a quick sort of nod and chunkle showing that I heard them and got the joke. If someone actually wants me to play Freebird, I'll do it.



Hey Vlasco! Forget Freebird....

I wanna hear you "cHUNkLE"!



Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 19, 2016,
#40
I play in a cover band that's been getting a little bit of a local following, and playing more shows and whatnot. Our wheelhouse is 90s pop-punk/radio rock, but we've been expanding a little bit into some cheesy 80s songs and some classic rock. We've had joke requests for freebird before, and always just laughed it off, but I've recently proposed a new idea, that I hope the other guys get on board with. I want us to go ahead and learn it, enough to do one verse/chorus, and then jump into the solos. If someone calls it out, we immediately jump in, no hesitation. Then, when the solo gets to that lick that he just repeats like a thousand times, the rest of the band drops out, and I just keep going on guitar, repeating that lick, over and over and over, getting more and more into it, with a ridiculous guitar o-face. The other guys try to start another song, but I just don't stop with that one lick. Eventually, the singer turns to the guy who requested it and says something like, "look what you've done. I hope you're happy".

Oh yeah, also, if I'm not the guy playing the guitar on the stage, I'm usually that asshole who yells Freebird.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
Last edited by the_bi99man at Apr 21, 2016,