Allen Collins’ Freebird Solo

December 23, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More

If you’ve heard the long solo at the end of Freebird, you’ve probably tried to figure out how to play it. And since that piece was recorded and played in the days before video ubiquity, you might have assumed – like I did – that that outro solo was split between Skynyrd’s great axemen, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington. In fact, I thought I saw them split it on some concert footage somewhere, sometime.

But below is a YouTube link (you can’t embed the vid) to some of the best footage of this solo (is this the Whistle Stop footage? anyone?), and Allen plays it all. Maybe that’s because it’s from ’75, post-Ed King and pre-Steve Gaines, when Allen and Gary were the only two guitarists in the band – but darned if Allen doesn’t get a doubling effect all on his own.

That’s all from his fingers and gear, of course, and it all adds up to be WoodyTone, fer sher. Since we can’t have Allen’s hands, I researched his gear – which on the face of it was a Gibson Firebird into Peavey Mace amps.

I always had this suspicion that the Skynyrd guys said they used Peaveys but really used Marshalls. Turns out, thanks to the exhaustive research done by one of the moderators, the apt-named “Firebird,” at, I was half right. Without giving away all of his research, here’s what he has Allen using at that time:

Nuthin Fancy (1974-75)

> 1964 Gibson Firebird III with P-90 pickup in bridge position with chrome cover (I never realized this, but it’s true – the P-90 part – and you can see it in the YouTube footage). Two, not four, controls – one volume, one tone.
> 1973 Marshall Super Tremolo and Fender Twin

Gimme Back My Bullets (1976)
> Same guitar.
> Amp: Peavey Mace 320T Combo, 6L6 tubes, rewired to fit specs closer to a Marshall (I knew it!), JBL E-120 Speakers installed, Peavey 412S Straight Speaker Cabinet also with the JBLs installed.

And there you have it. Allen got WoodyTone out of that setup, and maybe you can too. Watch it: Allen Collins Freebird Solo.

We miss you, Allen.

Category: Allen Collins, Firebird, Gibson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall, Peavey

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  1. WoodyTone! - Gear Used on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ | April 19, 2011
  1. Ric says:

    Allen's Firebird was a modified Firebird 1,hence the two controls.

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