After a concert in South Carolina in 1977, the band boarded a chartered plane for Baton Rouge to play at LSU the following night. After running out of fuel, the pilots attempted an emergency landing before crashing into a forest 5 miles outside of Gillsburg, Mississippi. Most of the band was killed.
On Skynyrd’s 1976 live album, Ronnie Van Zant asks the crowd, “What song do you wanna hear?” They shouted “Free Bird!” and got a 14-minute rendition of it. Today it is a comical tradition for audiences to shout “Free Bird!” regardless of the performer or style of music. During a Nirvana concert in ’93, shouts of “Free Bird!” resulted in a short rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama”. In 2016, someone in Berkeley shouted for “Free Bird” at a Bob Dylan concert and Bob and his band unexpectedly obliged. You gotta love Dylan. – Indy Beagle