Daniels was close friends with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, including Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, who died in a plane crash
in 1977. He recalled hearing news of the tragedy in the lyrics, "It was October in St. Louis town, when we heard that the Free Bird had fell to the ground."
He elaborated in a 2017 Billboard
interview: "It was a strange night. We had a sold-out show in St. Louis, and it was the first night of a tour, and everything was just wonderful. Somebody - I don't even know if I knew the person or not - walked in and told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane had crashed, and some people had been killed. To be honest, I thought it was just some rock n' roll rumor, and I didn't believe it. So, I had it checked out. I found out it was true about 30 seconds before we went on stage, but they hadn't released the names of those killed yet. So, we went out on stage night that night knowing we had some friends that were killed, but not knowing who they were. We just took it out on the music, and did our thing, and worked through it. It was definitely a sad night."