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MCA was Lynyrd Skynyrd's record company. This song is based on how they were signed. The "Yankee Slicker" is Al Kooper. They actually were signed for $9,000.
After recording "Sweet Home Alabama," Lynyrd Skynyrd performed at the "Sounds of the South" press party. According to the booklet included with their box set, "When Skynyrd hit the stage with a roaring version of 'Workin' For MCA,' written especially for the event, the party stopped while 500 hardened industry vets stood on chairs to get a glimpse of the unknown band." A few months later, Lynyrd Skynyrd opened for The Who on their "Fallout Shelter" tour. (thanks, Jon - Sunnyvale, CA, for above 2)
The "7 years of hard luck" is the time from 1966 to 1973. 1966 was when they changed their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd and 1973 was when their first album was released. (thanks, Aaron - Twin Cities, MN)
In spite of the suspicious tone to this song, "Workin' For MCA" had its perks. Al Kooper, in his memoir Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards
, goes to great lengths to describe the studio where Second Helping
, Skynyrd's second album, was recorded. The Record Plant in Los Angeles was a Hollywood crib of decadence and hedonism, with all the hallmarks of 1970s sleaze. Jacuzzis and bedrooms in the building, squealing groupies bounding naked down the halls, and a staff which had standing orders to cater to every whim of the guests. And as for the decor, if it wasn't wood paneled, it was tie-died.
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