Home Local Humor The Chew Coronavirus Thwarts Local Man’s Lifelong Dream Of Yelling “Free Bird!” At Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert

Coronavirus Thwarts Local Man’s Lifelong Dream Of Yelling “Free Bird!” At Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert

Coronavirus Thwarts Local Man’s Lifelong Dream Of Yelling “Free Bird!” At Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert

TUPELO- Tupelo resident Mel Faggard was not please when he arrived at the BancorpSouth Arena Friday night to see Lynyrd Skynyrd just to find out the the concert wasn’t happening.

“I rolled in honking my custom Dixie horn expecting to be greeted by drunk good ole boys waving Feddy flags,” remembers Faggard, “but instead I was met with silence.”

The Skynyrd show, originally scheduled for March 20, has been postponed until October 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Faggard did not get the memo.

“I ain’t got Facebook, so I didn’t know nothing about the Crayola virus.”

Faggard says that he is not just upset about the concert, but is more upset about its significance.

“Everyone calls me ‘Free Bird’. It’s my nickname. It’s because I yell ‘Free Bird’ at everything. Concerts, movies, plays, ball games, weddings, funerals. Heck, I yell it every Sunday at church. It’s kind of my thing. It gets a laugh almost about a quarter of the time. But if you can believe it, I’ve never yelled it at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.”

This would not have been Faggard’s first Skynyrd show.

“I’ve seen Skynyrd a few times. But every time I’ve always been too hoarse to yell ‘Free Bird!’ because I was yelling it at something else the night before,” Faggard laments. “One time I tried to see how long I could hold one out while I was waiting for the Crosstown train. The next night was the Skynyrd show, and my throat hurt so bad I couldn’t speak a word. I coulda kicked my own butt. It’s been my lifelong dream to yell ‘Free Bird’ at an actual Lynyrd Skynyrd show.”

Faggard had been taking measures to ensure his voice was ready for the concert.

“I’ve been social-isolating so that I’m not tempted to speak to anyone, much less yell “Free Bird!” I even missed the birth of my child last month because I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. It’s that important to me,” says a tearful Faggard, “but now I’ve lost my chance.”

Faggard is now keeping vigil in the BancorpSouth Arena parking lot, lit cigarette in mouth, playing air guitar as “Free Bird” blasts from his truck’s cracked factory speakers.

Zach Bragg
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Zach Bragg is a Tupelo-based comedian and satirist whose inability to requite his lofty goals with adequate follow-through makes him wonder why he ever agreed to do this in the first place. His experience in journalism includes writing current event summaries for social studies class in middle and high school, as well as reading some Hunter S. Thompson. Originally from Hattiesburg, he moved to Tupelo in 2005 and has called it home ever since, like your classic poser. He achieved modest regional success as the creator of the Tupelo Tourism video series, but has managed not to get a big head about it. Bragg can also be seen every other month as the host of Bees, Dude! (A Comedy Show) at Queen’s Reward Meadery in Tupelo. Zach lives just outside of Tupelo with his wife, kids, and the ceaseless anxiety about things he did and said in middle school.


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