Gear Used on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’

April 19, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More

Skynyrd_74_1Not Peavey Maces!

Peave Mace, Peavey Mace, all we’ve heard for years is that the Lynyrd Skynyrd guys used Peavey Mace amps.

Somewhat true. They did, but not all the time – and apparently not on the recording of ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’

Stumbled onto an interview with one of the engineers of that tune (off Second Helping, ’74), here are the deets:

> “The basic track was recorded with just Ed King, Leon Wilkeson and Bob Burns,” recalls [engineer] Rodney Mills.

> To the left of the control room, Ed King played the song’s signature guitar lick on a late ’60s Fender Strat that went through a Fender Twin amp, also miked with a U87.
“Because the rhythm part was not exceptionally loud, I padded the microphone down and put it close to the cabinet,” Mills remarks. “That was it – just one mic.”

> Mills: “King’s first attempt at the long solo was the one that you hear on the record. The band members were in the control room when he did that, and at the end they pretty much fell on the floor – they were just knocked out. However, [producer] Al Kooper thought there was something wrong with it. He wanted Ed to do another solo, so that’s what Ed did and I guess it was put on another track, but to the best of my knowledge the solo that was used was the very first one that he did. That’s what Ed remembers and that’s what I remember.”

> In interviews, King has also stated that, since his Strat had bad pickups, he was forced to crank up the volume on his amp [for the solo]. “His Fender Twin was on the left-hand side of the control room,” Mills confirms, “and he had to turn it almost wide open to get any sustain.” [That’s loud!]

> Allen Collins and Gary Rossington each overdubbed rhythm guitars going through Marshall amps. [Aha!]

No effects man!

More: ‘Turn It Up’

> Ronnie Van Zant’s remark at the start of the song to “turn it up” stemmed from his request to Al Kooper and Rodney Mills to increase the volume in his headphones. “Al had the good sense to leave that in there,” says Mills. “Before a song started I’d usually hit ‘record’ pretty quickly, and in this case I captured Ronnie’s comment as he approached the microphone and was getting ready to sing….”


Live – 13mm+ views of this vid….

Category: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall, Strat, Twin

Comments (4)

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  1. rockman627 says:

    I don’t think Skynyrd got their Peavey deal until after the first album. I believe they used Marshalls(and Fenders) prior.
    As a matter of fact, I seem to recall seeing 38 Special at a club in 75 and they had Marshalls with Skynyrd’s name painted on them (hand me downs from big brother?)

  2. Elad says:

    The guitars on sweet home Alabama scream fender all the way! It all make sence.
    But any idea on what year was that amp?
    At least black face or silver?
    Thanks for the great post.

  3. Gerald Dixon Cummings says:

    Blackface probably eh. Silverface Fenders didn’t even come out until 1968 or so. It was just the tubes that were different. Everyone thinks that Blackface Fenders were so much better than Siverface ones. I’ve got a 1969 Fender “Silverface” looking Super Reverb with Blackface tube set up. It don’t take much at all to take your Fender Silverface whatever and EASILY change it into a Blackface Fender. A few tubes and shit and yer there buddy. Don’t get all your panties in a bunch over Blackface versus Silverface Fenders. It ain’t as big a deal as they make it seem. My “SILVERFACE” FENDER SUPER REVERB AMP is STOCK as a BLACKFACE FENDER SUPER REVERB AMP and it came out of the box like that. No modifications. It’s just the way it was in those early changing years when CBS bought out Fender.

  4. Peter Gill says:

    The second video is Knebworth 1976 (my home town) when they supported The Stones. I am in that crowd somewhere. It was their last major concert before the plane crash.

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