The Free Bird Project

Michael Nesmith & The First National Band

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This is one of THE great country-rock outfits of the early 70s, and clearly Michael Nesmith & The First National Band are taking no shit off anybody. DI likes the smiles lurking behind the attitude. Impossible to know what the circumstances surrounding this shot were but it seems like a tour bus on the side of a dusty road, and that setting is often custom built to say “fuck you” to something or other. Thanks to the good folks at the The First National Band Facebook Page for unearthing this gem.

Michael Nesmith and The First National Band

Michael Nesmith and The First National Band

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com

The Free Bird Project

Hells Belles

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From the look of them Hollywood-based Hells Belles might the only burlesque troupe worthy of titillating at a Motorhead show. They sure flip the bird wonderfully, and the Impound thanks you all for contributing a little sexiness to our ongoing archive. We bet you swear with style, too, which we find very winning. Another great shot captured backstage at the inaugural Bottle Rock Festival by Joe Russo.

Hells Belles by Joe Russo

Hells Belles by Joe Russo

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com

The Free Bird Project

Wayne Coyne

The Flaming Lips

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Few folks have done more to keep rock weird and dirty and connected to its earthy, establishment rattling roots than Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. The best part is Wayne doesn’t seem to need to try at any of this – he’s a genuine, dyed-in-the-wool freak – so what flows from him just feels naturally psychedelic, in the most positive sense of the word. Been hoping to add Coyne to our rogues gallery of musicians raising a middle finger for a while, and Joe Russo caught him in a receptive mindset backstage at the inaugural Bottle Rock Festival in Napa, CA. Diggin’ the painted nails, man, and that expression hints at things we don’t even want to conjecture about. Thanks for caring enough to flip off the Impound, man!

Wayne Coyne by Joe Russo

Wayne Coyne by Joe Russo

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com

The Free Bird Project

ALO

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DI Super Pals ALO (with bud Ron Johnson filling in for Steve Adams) took time out to smile pretty and raise a finger for the cause during the inaugural Bottle Rock Festival in Napa, CA. Impound lensman chum Joe Russo was a busy man backstage and we’ll have more Birdy pics from the fest in the next couple weeks thanks to his efforts.

Previously, Lebo offered us an aggro-face (see here), but passes the expression to skin pounder Dave Brogan (who recently shared his Favorite Beatles Songs with DI). We love that Ron seems to be levitating above the others, grin and “fuck you” glowing brightly – also, this man is serious bidness on the bass, so take notice anytime he’s involved in a project. Finally, Zach Gill‘s smile speaks of a near-lustful engagement with life. DI has a new nickname for Zach we want to popularize – Secret Sauce. It suits him because he’s ever so flavorful but you can’t quite place all the ingredients in the Gill recipe, yet you’ll crave it once you’ve had a taste. Feel free to use the nickname when you run into him and we’ll see if it sticks.

(L-R) Ron Johnson, Dave Brogan, Zach Gill and Dan Lebowitz by Joe Russo

(L-R) Ron Johnson, Dave Brogan, Zach Gill and Dan Lebowitz by Joe Russo

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com

The Free Bird Project

Dearly Beloved

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This might be our favorite Free Bird Project entry yet. It gets right to the heart of what we love about this gesture, which stems directly from the roots of a genre dedicated to fucking ‘n’ fighting ‘n’ feuding with the powers that be – rock ‘n’ rollin’ indeed. Yes, members of DI faves Dearly Beloved are front & center in the shot, but many raising a finger are audience members, many beautifully going for it with a gusto that makes our heart swell three sizes. Everyone does this gesture differently, their expression and hands shaped in their own snowflake uniqueness. Flipping the bird, raising a middle finger, just putting it out there can be such a joyous thing. Even when done in anger, brandished at someone we feel deserves it, it still feels good to us. Go on, admit it and you’ll be free.

What DI loves so much about this picture is it encapsulates what a collective experience a rock show is, or at least can be when one is surrounded by folks willing to get into it with the band, leaping and yelling and being taken by the music in ways so wickedly wonderful there are no words to describe it. Big thanks to Dearly Beloved, photographer Alex Moscall, and the fine throng with them at this recent gig in Ireland – the Free Bird flies high and strong in you! Except for that one drunkenly dazed chap on the right. We hope someone drove him home that night.

Dearly Beloved by Alex Moscall

Dearly Beloved by Alex Moscall

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com

The Free Bird Project

Slightly Stoopid

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These cats look like they’ve raised a few middle fingers in their time. Attitude and good humor are two characteristics that have marked Slightly Stoopid‘s career, which has recently found them collaborating a good deal with horn man extraordinaire Karl Denson – nifty pairing indeed. The band is currently out on their Spring 2013 Tour, and you can peep the dates here. Thanks to Slightly Stoopid (making their second appearance in this series) and photog super pal Chad Smith for adding this shot to DI’s ongoing archive. Giving a fuck since 2010!

Slightly Stoopid by Chad Smith

Slightly Stoopid by Chad Smith

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com

The Free Bird Project

Brett Dennen

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This is one of the sweetest, most mischievous entries in DI’s ongoing salute to the raised middle finger in rock. To us, Brett Dennen looks like he’s stopped momentarily to accede to our request on his way to a cool rabbit hole that will whoosh him to a party with Paul Williams (in his Phantom of the Paradise costume), numerous dancing girls and other droll amusements, and a delectable spread drawn from Caligula’s notebooks. Yes, we’ve been told we have an over-active imagination. Thanks to Brett for flipping us off, and to most swell photographer Josh Miller for capturing the moment.

Brett Dennon by Josh Miller

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com

The Free Bird Project

Umphrey's McGee's Jefferson Waful

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Face it, the folks behind the scenes never get the same attention, fan love, etc. as the people onstage windmilling guitars and bashing a drum kit to cinders. But it doesn’t mean the busy operators in the shadows are any less essential to the overall enterprise, and that’s abundantly clear in the case of Umphrey’s McGee Lighting Designer/Director Jefferson Waful, whose nimble fingered poetry is a key part of the dextrous muscle that makes Umph really leap and soar in concert. The Impound finds Waful’s skillz pretty devastating in the best ways, an experience that writes emotions and ideas in impermanent waves. So, we offer the Free Bird spotlight to one of our favorite wizards behind the curtain in a shot courtesy of great DI chum Chad Smith.

Jefferson Waful by Chad Smith

Jefferson Waful by Chad Smith

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com