Lynyrd Skynyrd: Native American Fan Leaves After Being Told He Was Not ‘American Enough’

Last night, rock and roll icons Lynyrd Skynyrd launched their farewell tour with co-headliners Bad Company to a nearly sold-out crowd at the Xcel Energy Center. Two rock and roll legends drawing different crowds, on the same stage, performing songs spanning both of their iconic careers.

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Bad Company hit the stage at 7:35 and started the evening with the anthem, “Can’t Get Enough,” and continued there set by energizing the crowd with hit after hit. Paul Rodgers classic voice howled through eleven chart-topping hits followed up by two encores including their namesake, “Bad Company.” The energy of the of performance spanned highlights from their whole catalog which started in 1973.

In between sets, as the crowd gathered in anticipation, a different vibe was present. Perhaps fueled by alcohol, or merely a drunken ‘mob rules’ mentality some in the crowd seemed to show their lack of education on the music and true meaning behind original singer Ronnie Van Zant’s writing, confusing protest songs to racist definitions.

As a few Confederate flags started to fly, accompanied by a few chants of “Make America Great Again,” it seemed some in the crowd could have replaced their red ball caps for their white hoods. Again, it was only a few. I had a Native American friend leave because some in attendance let him know they thought his skin color did not qualify him as a real American.

I reiterate, these simpletons told Native Americans they were not American enough to be there. Granted, the original and still-remaining guitarist for the band they came see and to rev up an outlet for their hate, Rickey Medlocke, is Lakota Sioux and Cherokee. My suggestion is take off your hat and Make America Educated Again. Oh, and shut up and listen to the music and the lyrics.

Rock and Roll Hall Of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd are to music what apple pie is to Americana. Starting their musical journey in 1964, it wasn’t until 1969 when five kids from Jacksonville, Florida changed their name from The Nobel Five to now legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, thus beginning what would be become an American musical institution. As the main musical force behind a genre known as Southern Rock, they continue to influence generations with their timeless music.

At 9:10 pm, Lynyrd Skynyrd took to the stage, bidding farewell to the thousands of people in attendance who were only there for Bad Company. They kickstarted the night with the classics, “Workin for MCA,” “Skynyrd Nation,” and “What’s Your Name.”

The crowd came alive with an unexpected pro-gun control song, “Saturday Night Special,” followed up with the patriotic “Red, White & Blue (Love It or Leave),’ reminding the crowd that Lynyrd Skynyrd won’t back down from their southern values, even as some of the original values seemed to change with the changing members.

Skynyrd proves to us that in art, as in life, some things are not what they seem. The history of Lynyrd Skynyrd is as amazing as their music. Everyone knows about the 1977 plane crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines.

Some have known about the so-called feud between the liberal-hippy Neil Young and founding member Ronnie Van Zant, but few really know and understand the true meaning behind songs such as “Sweet Home Alabama.”

How it has been used to transcend racial boundaries in the nineteen-seventies, as Skynard’s writing has always equaled their musicianship, though the original singer’s brother, Johhny Van Zant, who stepped up to the mic after Ronnie’s death, through his stage demeanor, seemed to not share the same values on equality.

A Little musical history lesson from The Drive-by Truckers

Even though few in the crowd tried to ruin it for others, seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd on their final live performance is like witnessing the end of a chapter in American history. The self-proclaimed street survivors have laid bricks in the foundation of Americana, Southern Rock, and just plain old Rock and Roll.

The answer to the question first asked in the encore, ” If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?” Yes, you will never be forgotten nor will the original intent behind the music.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Set List:

1 Workin’ for MCA
2 Skynyrd Nation
3 What’s Your Name
4 Travelin’ Man
5 That Smell
6 I Know a Little
7 The Needle and the Spoon
8 Saturday Night Special
9 Red White & Blue (Love It or Leave)
10 The Ballad of Curtis Loew
11 Tuesday’s Gone
13 Don’t Ask Me No Questions
14 Simple Man
15 Gimme Three Steps
16 Call Me the Breeze
17 Sweet Home Alabama
Free Bird

Bad Company Set List:

1 Can’t Get Enough
2 Live for the Music
3 Feel Like Makin’ Love
4 Movin’ On
5 Burnin’ Sky
6 Run With the Pack
7 Ready for Love
8 Gone, Gone, Gone
9 Honey Child
10 Shooting Star
11 Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
Encore: Bad Company
All Right Now

Richard Dollarhide
Author: Richard Dollarhide

Photographer, Photojournalist, Executive Chef and Full Time Artist

Written by Richard Dollarhide

Photographer, Photojournalist, Executive Chef and Full Time Artist


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  1. I’m calling bs. I was there. No chants of “ making America great again” or anything resembling that happened. Not led by the band, (otherwise it would be impossible to hear a chant making it pointless), and not between bands or songs or I definitely would have heard. But I get it. Classic southern rock. We must all be racist. What a stupid lie.

  2. Obviously this article and review was written by an extremely narrow minded asshat who had his mind made up before the show. Article was probably written before he ever stepped foot in the venue. Skynard is the southern band all southern rock bands strive to be like. In the 70’s, hell until just recently, the Rebel flag was about being southern, not racist. Yes, there are those who have made it it about that but for 98% of southerners it’s about our heritage and pride in being a unique culture. A culture who prides ourselves of being made up of many, many races, backgrounds and cultures. The person who wrote this article obviously never had the intention of presenting a fair and honest opinion of this band but only intended to espouse his extremely narrow minded view, opinion and political mindset that he is being employed to spew. Not being bought nor excepted here.

  3. LYNYRD SKYNYRD FANS ALL know the band has a true blue native american member, ricky medlocke (from the band Blackfoot). And all LS fans know RVZ and the original skynyrd (and current band) NEVER wrote one single word of racism and NEVER turned back ANYONE coming to their shows. This was not skynyrd fans doing that but a group of the TRUE HATERS, antifa and democrats who have been doing this same thing posing as conservatives at conservative rallies and country music concerts for the past two years. I mean really dude!! They all got together, skynyrd fans, the bands last show in their town to harrass some poor native american while they ALL just happened to be donning MAGA hats? These tactics were the invention of George Soros AND his good pal hillary clinton who were busted several times doing almost this very thing, paying and handing out Trump signs and MAGA hats and sent them in to a hillary rally to rough a few up and yell pro trump calls. Charlotte, caught doing the same only with Klan hats on, all caught just down the block handing out clubs, hats, signs and envelopes out of a van (that didnt contain happy words to grandma). Skynyrd has a conservative side but the new band has a few liberal dems in it. I am sure this incident happened, no doubt. But who was TRULY behind this, sadly wasn’t brought forth!! Funny how this happens just WEEKS after ANTIFA again called an all out disruption of everything conservative including country music concerts. Even though Skynyrd isnt a country band, they have always been a target of liberals and their thugs, both with fists and paper (see rolling stone magazine, americas voice for communism) and their decades of pot shots and out right hatred for the band. Once more…., THIS WAS NOT SKYNYRD FANS WHO DID THIS!! What would be nice is if you did research on these Soros/Antifa tactics and did a much deserved op-ed to get the unwarrented stink off of lynyrd skynyrd and true skynyrd fans. And for what it’s worth, i am STAUNCHLY an INDEPENDANT politically. What i am is a true skynyrd fan from their first album up till now and forward. I ran a web page dedicated to the original band for one of the survivors of the plane crash. And their legacy, with all its warts and triumphs and tragedy are my ONLY motivation for this reply. How about that op-ed mr. dollarhide? Is it in you? For the sake of ALL truths, i hope it is.

  4. I was going to say something about an American Indian in Dallas because those are few and far between and we have more Mexican ppl here but then I saw its Minn which makes sense. There are stupid people on BOTH sides. Humans equal shit as a whole. Its the good humans that are still here that help kill the evil. Im sorry for your friend. Only if he was a Muslim with a woman wearing a hijab looking like a garbage bag does he deserve this kind of treatment.

  5. sweet home alabama is a push back against the racist rant of neil young. at a time when we were trying to keep america from coming apart at the seams neil, for reasons of profit, did southern man. he tried to place all southern males in the role of racist by spewing out some racism of his own. and nothing could be farther from the truth. remember the line “muscle shoals has got the swampers”? muscle shoals is where a number of black entertainers, and some white ones too, recorded some great music. who could forget wilson pickett doing hey jude and the new kid, duane allman, playing guitar like no one before. even eric clapton wanted the know who that was. between racism and the vietnam war this country was deep in the hurt locker. exactly why ronnie wrote the line ” souhtern man don’t need him around anyhow.” I hope neil made enough off that song cause it sure caused a lot of pain in dixie. damn neil young

  6. I believe this story is a complete lie from a political activist pretending to be a writer….

  7. Lynyrd Skynyrd story above is a lie from a political activist pretending to be a writer…..

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