Workin' For MCA

Album: Second Helping (1974)
Play Video


  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jon - Sunnyvale, CA, for above 2
  • The "seven years of hard luck" in the opening line is the time from 1966 to 1973. 1966 was when the group changed their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and 1973 was when their first album was released. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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.

Comments: 9

  • AnonymousWhat is the intro before they played workin for mca from Atlanta 1976.
  • Joe from Plant City, Florida Just a straight up awesome tune. Not bad for some rednecks from the woods in Jacksonville, Fl. Great guitar riffs, great lyrics.
  • Brian from CaliforniaIn workin' for mca, isn't it slickers steal my money, not suckers?
  • Tom from Bridgeport, CtThe funny thing is they asked Bob Burns who was Skynyrds drummer at the time if he could fill in and he was so drunk he passed out as they asked him.
  • Jon from Tucson, AzJeanette, on I've found footage of Keith Moon passing out at the end of Magic Bus and again during Won't Get Fooled Again. So at least The Who's part of the performance was filmed and there's material trickling out. During The Who's set, Pete Townshend was heard remarking, "They really are quite good, aren't they?"
  • Hannah from Atlanta, GaLynard Skynard is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Jeanette from Mcgrady, NcI would have liked to have been a fly on the wall backstage during the Quadrophenia tour. Can you imagine how scared these guys were? I wonder if any of this tour was filmed?
  • Jacquie from Sparks, NvA horse tranquilizer is what made Moon pass out. Hard to believe that a guy could stay alive after that, but not after taking a few Heminevrin...
  • Jon from Sunnyvale, CaThe Who performed most of Quadrophenia on this tour. The first concert was at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The performers in Lynyrd Skynyrd were so nervous that evening that they did shots of whiskey backstage and blistered through their set in a state of panic. Bassist Leon Wilkeson said they were the first band to open for The Who and not get booed. Later that night, Keith Moon, under the influence of something, passed out during the concert and was replaced by Scott Halpin, a fan in the crowd. It must have been quite the evening!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien Songs

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.

Is That Song Public Domain?

Is That Song Public Domain?Fact or Fiction

Are classic songs like "Over The Rainbow" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the public domain?

Bass Player Scott Edwards

Bass Player Scott EdwardsSong Writing

Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."

Ian Astbury of The Cult

Ian Astbury of The CultSongwriter Interviews

The Cult frontman tells who the "Fire Woman" is, and talks about performing with the new version of The Doors.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Famous Singers' First Films

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.