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Johnny Van Zant Shares The Humorous Reason Why Radio DJ's Play 'Free Bird'

Lynyrd skynyrd Songs | Johnny Van Zant Shares The Humorous Reason Why Radio DJ's Play 'Free Bird' | Country Music Videos
Photo credit: Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News File Photo

If you've ever been to a concert before, you've undoubtably heard someone shout "Free Bird" toward the artist playing on stage. It's become a tradition for concert goers to yell out the song's name during concerts, but only a few artists actually rise to the challenge of playing Lynyrd Skynyrd's iconic hit. 

Part of the reason why few artists decide to take on "Free Bird" is because of the song's length. It's actually Skynyrd's longest song, and can last up to 14 minutes when played live. Because of its long length, some hardcore Skynyrd fans even measure the passage of time by how many "Free Birds" can be played in that span.

During an interview with Huffington Post's Mike Ragogna in November 2015, Skynyrd's lead singer Johnny Van Zant talked about "Free Bird" and how it has gone on to have a legacy in its own right. He also talked about the length of the song, and explained the humorous reason why radio DJ's enjoy playing it for their stations.

"Way back when, there was FM radio, and jocks used to say, 'Man, we love 'Free Bird' and [Led Zeppelin's] 'Stairway To Heaven' because we can put it on and use the bathroom and when we come back it'll still be playing.'"

That's pretty smart thinking, don't you agree? 

Johnny said that Skynyrd plans to keep making rockin' music for much longer, but he knows once they're gone that songs like "Free Bird" will continue to make an impact on people.

"Hey, the music will be around a lot longer than we will," he said. "That's a cool thing about playing music, that music will be here long after we're gone."

You can tune in to the clip below to watch Skynyrd perform "Free Bird." Don't worry if you have to go to the bathroom, because as we've learned, it will still be playing by the time you get back!

Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd & Second Helping Live' is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats - it's the perfect gift for the Lynyrd Skynyrd fan in your life. Buy it here on Amazon!

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