Did you know they had a feud in the ’70’s?
As you know, Neil Young is a singer-songwriter, and all of his songs are about subjects that matter a lot to him.
And Lynyrd Skynyrd is a country-rock band known for popularizing that particular sub-genre of rock in the 70’s.
Simply put they’re both original badasses of 70’s rock who are still widely popular today! Radical!!
In September of 1970, Neil Young released the song “Southern Man” it holds a clear and direct message against racism and violence in the south. And Lynyrd Skynyrd are proudly from the south. So…you can see where the trouble might have started.
Neil’s ‘Southern Man’ features lyrics like: “I saw cotton and I saw black, Tall white mansions and little shacks. Southern man when will you pay them back?” and, “Southern man better keep your head, Don’t forget what your good book said, Southern change gonna come at last. Now your crosses are burning fast”
(released in 1970)
But when Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant heard the song, he felt it painted the south with too broad a brush. He felt that too many good people were being lumped in with the shitty actions of some other people… hmm sounds familiar…
Anyway, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ was written as a response. It feature they lyrics, “Well I heard mister Young sing about her, Well, I heard ole Neil put her down, Well, I hope Neil Young will remember, A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow”
But in the end, it wasn’t really even a feud. Both have repeatedly declared their respect for each other and have repeatedly laid feud rumours to rest. And even though for some reason, people crave music feuds (?), this war of words resulted in two amazing, classic songs, so, worth it.
Neil even paid tribute to Ronnie with a mash up between ‘Alabama’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’