About ~ Don't Want To Die In Georgia




1971 concert banter

Michael: We'd like to do a song that sprang from our basic fear of the deep south.  Actually our fears were unwarranted."


"Your fears were unwarranted.  I am still expecting to be buried in the swamp down there."


(laughing) "Nah man.  We met a lot of really nice people."


(in southern drawl) "Everyone was real nice to us down there!"


"Real nice.... No we had to go to Atlanta one time, and uh Tom was really afraid”.


“Horrified was the word”.  


“We were flying in, he said uh  ‘Ah man, I don’t want to die in Georgia’..... So we wrote a song about it."

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"Tom and I were traveling all over the heartland, and especially in the South, we pretty much were living Easy Rider. 'Cause here we were, a couple of guys wearing Nehru shirts, beads, and you didn't see a whole lot of that in those days. We really did have to pick and choose where we stopped to get something to eat or check into a motel or get gas." One such experience inspired "Don't Want to Die in Georgia": "One time we were doing something in Atlanta. John Lloyd, a black man who was a regional representative for Kama Sutra, was showing us around. There was so much tension, just because of the way we looked. And here we are with a black man too, and everybody knows how they were regarded, in those days especially. 'Don't Want to Die in Georgia' was sort of a metaphor for 'don't want to die anywhere,' really. It just happened to be Georgia.

"A lot of people would say a lot of that stuff was very political. But to us, it wasn't political at all. It was just social commentary, rather than political commentary. And even though we had social commentary, we also had spiritual commentary. That's probably why we're glad the message came across without slapping anybody in the face, or trying to cram anything down anybody's throat. We were just reflecting our own views. We've always pushed love as the only answer we know of that might fix things. I don't know how that's ever gonna happen, but that's what we think."



"Don't Want To Die In Georgia"