Lynyrd Skynyrd: Gimme Back My Bullets
GW But Rickey, you really are putting yourself out there as a sort of Ted Nugent character. You recently went on Fox News’ Sean Hannity Show to talk politics. Gary, are you comfortable with that?
ROSSINGTON Sure. He’s got a right to his opinion. Some of the guys in the band don’t believe the way we believe, and we don’t push it on them. It’s just the way we feel. I respect everyone’s opinions, including ones very different from mine. Live and let live.
MEDLOCKE I’m honestly not as right wing as Ted Nugent is. I don’t run in the woods and shoot everything I see. But I do have staunch beliefs about religion and politics. As far as the religious part goes, I’ve got a lot of Native American blood in my body, and I’m more of a spiritual guy, and God could be whatever you really believe in.
As for the gun part, I happen to be old school and own a lot of guns, but I collect them. Guns to me represent your choice, your freedom to be an individual. People shouldn’t take it so bluntly and verbatim, but Skynyrd’s always been pretty damn bold and outspoken and known for pushing the envelope. One of the reasons we didn’t call it “Still Unbroken” is we wanted to move past all the bad stuff and make a new statement, something that reflected contemporary America.
GW There’s always been some controversy about whether or not you guys were supporting segregationist governor George Wallace in “Sweet Home Alabama.” When Ronnie sings, “In Birmingham they love the governor” the background singers go, “Boo, boo, boo” and some people have said Ronnie was saying he did not like Wallace. So which was it?
ROSSINGTON At the time, Ronnie liked Wallace and was for him, and the whole country seemed to be against [Wallace]. The background singers did sing “Boo boo boo” because that was supposed to represent everyone else saying they didn’t like him. The very last ad lib Ronnie did on there [during the piano solo] was “Montgomery’s got the answer.” Montgomery was the capital where Wallace was. No one’s ever really noticed it’s on there.
GW I always thought Ronnie had a sense of humor about the redneck image thing and you guys were sort of making fun of it.
ROSSINGTON Yeah, we made fun of it more than we thought it was a way to be and think. Some of the cats that are rednecks are just goofy and funny, but most of them are real-deal salt of the earth. So you got to pick and choose who you hang with.
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