Podcast Transcript

Taking a walk I never was interested in being you know real flash shredder I guess they should say you know I’ve been told that I told that I do a special plan free bird you know the guitar has saved my life many times.

And music has saved my life many times welcome to the taking a walk podcast with Buzz Knight buzz gets the inside story for musicians about their love of music and connecting with their fans.

Today, Buzz is joined by Ricky Medlocke, who is widely known as a founding member of the band Blackfoot. And what most don’t realize is that Ricky is also not only a long time member of Lynyrd Skynyrd

but he was also a founder and original drummer. His guitar playing and licks are legendary, and his history in and out of music, including his family history, are all fascinating.

Here’s Buzz Knight with Ricky Medlocke. – The great Ricky Medlocke, thanks for being on the Takin a Walk podcast. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

– Hey, let’s take a walk. – Let’s do it. Well, we’re gonna talk about your new project in a bit. Never run out of road, which I know has special meaning for you.

But let’s go back in time and talk about starting out in music at the age of three? Yes.

I’ve got, actually, I can probably pull them up, which I would love to, but I’ve got pictures to back this up. So,

my grandfather Shorty, Shorty Medlocke, who has become pretty infamous, I guess we should say, with Train Train and,

you know, his relation to Blackfoot and his relation to Lynyrd Skynyrd, especially to Ronnie. And it’s an interesting deal.

What happened was my grandparents adopted me and, you know, raised me as their son, which was a great thing. And so there was music all in our family on my mother’s side of the,

my mother’s side of the family, which was shorty. I come from a long line of family members who played instruments incredibly, sang great,

sang incredibly. You know, my mother, when she sang, my biological mother, when she would sing, she sounded as good, if not better than Patsy Cline. She had some opportunities in Nashville to probably go further in her life than she did,

but somehow destiny just did not work out, you know? And being at a young age, she met my biological father who was full Indian and they had their little fling and she ended up having me.

And so being a young girl at 16 years old, you know, back in the 50s like that, it was pretty well frowned upon, you know, much not like it is today.

When my grandparents took me on, I was already having struggles with health. I was born according to doctors then and not really sure what any doctor they would say today,

’cause they don’t know what causes it. It can either be generic or it can be by birth, but they – Holly suspected that when I was born, all my mother’s birthing fluids didn’t come out and it’s been identified as pulmonary fibrosis.

You know, I had a serious operation when I was nine, nine and a half years old. They took a lung part of the lung from me. And I laid in the hospital for months,

you know, and the doctors at that time indicated to my parents that I wouldn’t live to see 14 years old. Well,

here I am 74. And I guess they were wrong on that one, right? Damn straight. I guess angels above have interceded in my life.

Enough times, many times I guess that I’m here now and I really always felt like deep down inside when I started in music that’s where I was supposed to be.

So what ended up happening was when I got to be three years old my grandfather saw that I was taking an interest in stringed instruments and at a young age I would sit around and while his banjo was laying there,

he noticed that I would pluck on certain strings and not just frown on it and beat on it and stuff like that, you know? So he bought me a miniature banjo.

Interestingly enough, he taught me how to play, you know, a couple of songs with him, sing with him And believe it or not.

I mean that you know you can say Well at three years old really how much can a kid sing really but by ear I had emulated what he did and What band members that he had in Jacksonville and you got us think about something my granddaddy You know was a was a musician in and out of Nashville with a lot of your infamous,

I guess you should say country stars, older ones. Pretty interesting. He would come from the road into Jacksonville and then he would grab his band and play around the area.

And then every Saturday night, He would be on a TV show called the Toby Doughty show So one one Saturday what he was on there?

He goes on and asked Toby I’ve taught my grandson how to play banjo And I would like to bring him on the show and he and I Do a song together and Toby at that point responds Well,

how old is he? and he said well he’s three years old he goes three years old he goes yeah he said i’ve got to see this so the following week we uh we show up at the tv station we go on i go on with my granddaddy we played a song and from that moment on the cards and letters came into the tv station now the tv station back then was w mbr which now in Jacksonville it’s a CBS affiliate WJXT and it was a CBS

affiliate back then. Well cards and letters came in about little Ricky and the next thing you know I stayed on it for five years till I was eight years old.

I guess you should say I guess that’s where I cut my teeth you know what I mean. That’s an understatement. My God. Oh yeah, man. What did Shorty teach you that still is with you to this day about life?

Wow. I can’t say that I didn’t learn some really valuable lessons growing up, you know, in a music family. Everything that I wanted to do,

my parents allowed me to do as far as music. Now they didn’t allow me to go out and be a hooligan, which I was at points in my life.

But you know, we all have to cut our teeth on doing something whatever. But I gotta tell you, he instilled in me what the meaning of music that comes from your heart or your voice or from your heart to your hands.

It was a soulfulness that I recognized early in my life. Wow, my granddaddy’s really taught me this.

And he also taught me, he said, “Always keep your feet flat on the ground.” He said, “Because a bird doesn’t fly so high that someday it’s gonna come down.” And he goes,

“You to be careful about all the other birds that you pass on the way down. These were things that I took the heart and understood and tried to live by.

I’ve tried to live by trying to be the best I can to other people. I don’t think that I’m a, I don’t, I don’t never consider of an incredibly great guitarist.

I mean, I consider myself, I guess, good if you wanna really get right down to it. I mean, you know, and people come up to me and go, “My God, you’re such a great, great guitarist.” And I’m like,

I don’t really see myself that way, you know? I do think that I love to entertain. And recently, you know, my manager ask me how I was doing on the road and stuff.

And one day out of nowhere, I just said, and I said this to my significant other, you know, I said, I can tell everybody right now when I’m really the happiest every day,

other than being around family, I’m happy, I love being around family and stuff. But the happiest is when I’m standing up on that stage and I’m playing for everybody.

That’s because I go into a different world. I mean, it takes me away. And I look out on the audience and I see all these people having a great time and just really enjoying themselves and forgetting their troubles and forgetting their blues.

But my granddaddy instilled in me some of the best values I could have ever learned, he and my mom. I think about that and I still carry it with me.

And you know what, I’m forever grateful to them, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be sitting here in front of you today. And I’m like so thankful that I was raised the way I was raised and had them to allow me to explore what naturally came to me.

You know, because back then you didn’t have music teachers. You didn’t have these guitar schools that you could go to and learn the scales and, you know,

learn how to shred and everything. What I did was I listened to all my guitar heroes. That’s what I did So who are the five guitarists that impacted you the most to this day?

Wow And most of them And I have seen live in my life Jimmy Hendrix And Eric especially Eric Clapton Jeff Beck Jimmy Page And of course,

Eddie Van Halen, but before that, my great, great friend that I admire and love the guy I’ve known him for so many years,

Billy Gibbons. You know, also, I’m a very, very good friend and I think that because of his craziness and the stance on the world and politics and all that other crap you know what you can never forget about Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent is probably one of the world’s greatest guitar players. So with all of those I’ve said they all just really in my for me as a guitar player I had the utmost respect.

They influenced me in my life. When I was figuring out licks in my life, being a league guitar player, Eric Clapton played a big role in that because,

you know, I was raised by my grandfather who was basically a Delta Blues guy, you know, Delta Blues country -ish grass, you know, environment.

And when I would hear Clapton and Hendrix and, you know, Beck, whatever, but especially Hendrix and Clapton and Billy Gibbons,

of course, came from that same mold. But when I would hear them guys play, I go, wow, there’s a lick that I recognize or there’s a phrase that I recognize or,

You know, the whole bit, I would sit down with a record player and drop the speed down to where I could hear exactly what was going on. And the way I learned stuff was I would sing it.

I would learn to sing the lead or the basics of it. I was all self -taught by ear. And that’s really how I ended up doing it then,

from there took it, created my own thing, my own style, you know. I never was interested in being, you know, a real flash shredder,

I guess I should say, you know. Although I’ve been told that I do it, especially playing free bird, you know. The guitar has saved my life many times. And music has saved my life many times and you know what here I am like I said I’m 74 talking to you I’m loving every minute of it you know I just love get up every morning and I just appreciate you know and give thanks to every day that I hit the floor and I’m

able to do music and I’m out here right now you know creating new songs and I’m gonna put out another song pretty soon for all the right reasons,

not for the wrong reason, but all the right reasons. And you know what, man, I’m just having them. Honestly, I’m having the time of my life and I just, I’m really thankful and I think about my folks and it was all because of them.

– Take me back to when you saw Elvis Presley perform. What was that like? Well, you gotta, let’s get into the beginning of it because my dad was very good friends with a lot of your local pretty heavyweight musicians.

There was a lady there by the name of Mae Axton. And Mae Axton was the aunt of Hoyt Axton. And she was a very popular lady about town,

lady around, businesswoman. And she sang and she was a, she was a, you know, into music. She was well into music and my parents knew her.

In fact, she babysat for me several, several times in my life. And so what happened was Elvis was coming to town and May Axton,

Tommy Durden, And a guy named Glenn Reeves, who my dad knew all of them, they had written a song together. And they were able to get a meeting with Elvis at a hotel back then in Jacksonville.

And the way the story goes, they get in to see Elvis and they play him this song. And the king is sitting there listening to him go through his tune and at the end of it,

he goes, “I really like that song. I want it.” But he goes, “The only way I’ll do it,” and that’s the way Elvis was. If everybody’s read a little bit of his, you know,

his history and stuff, he always had to own 50 % of the song. He always wanted 50 % of the publishing. At that time,

from my ending is that the only two people that was present that wrote the song was May Axton and Tommy Durden. Glenn Reeves was not present so they made a deal with Elvis.

They cut Glenn Reeves out of it and in comes Elvis Presley for half of it May Axton and Tommy Durden and the song I’m talking about is Heartbreak Hotel.

Wow. In the midst of this, May talks to my parents, my dad. Shorty, we got in to see Elvis, you know, and he loves our song and gave us tickets.

He says, “I have four tickets for his performance tonight at the Florida Theater.” Well, I love the Florida Theater, and as a kid, I used to go to movies there all the time.

And even right now, Skynyrd recorded two nights and filmed it at the old Florida Theater here within the last, you know, what, six, seven years.

My dad said, “Yeah, I’ll take him.” Ricky will go crazy when if he knows he can get in to see, she goes, “Well, you take him.” So come that night, my, you know, my dad puts me in the crazy,

we’re going somewhere special. and him and myself and my mom. We go down to the Florida theater and I’m sitting on the floor about the third or fourth row back and out comes the king.

And this is when the king was really the king. And I just was, I mean, as a six year old, almost seven year old kid who used to lay at night with his video under his head of his pillow,

listening to the rock and roll station and listening to Elvis over and over buying his records. And it was so cool, man, because back then you could go to a place in Jacksonville called the Record Bar.

And the Record Bar had these private booths that you could go into and you could try records out. Well, I used to pitch a fit with my mom.

I not only wanted to buy one of them, I wanted to up because I figure if one got damaged, I always had another, right? So here I am sitting at the Florida Theater,

I’m looking on stage, and the guy is right in front of me. So when it was over with that night, I mean, I’m looking as a young kid, I’m seeing what effect this guy’s got on people.

I mean, at that time as a young boy, I was hard to fathom. So we left and we get in our car and I’m between my mom and my dad.

And Shorty looks over at me and he goes, “Well, son, what did you think about that? You haven’t said a word.” He said, “What did you think about that?” I said, pop.

That’s a dead. That’s what I want to do. I want to do that. And I never veered from it when I owed. I stuck to my guns and I learned everything that I could about music about the business.

I still remember that I still remember that night like it was yesterday. >> Great story. Yeah, tremendous story. Thank you for sharing that. >> Oh Oh sure.

We’ll be right back with more of the Take In A Walk podcast. Welcome back to the Take In A Walk podcast.

So I think I want to make sure we set the record straight here on your career specifically with Skynyrd because I think sometimes it is forgotten about your your two runs that you had still have with Skynyrd

So yes, talk about that if you would please. Well, you know, there’s been a lot of positive and negative comments, a lot of thoughts about he was an original guy,

he wasn’t an original guy. The band gets inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame and you know I’m there and I knew that who was going in I knew that the band that had the guys in the playing crash and Ed King and Bob Burns all these guys Steve Gaines and all of a sudden I was counted out the inquire you know we inquired what the hell you know and it was said that my tenure with the band didn’t validate me being

inducted with them I guess you can imagine my thoughts on this I mean to be real real honest with you for the Rock Hall of Fame To do that,

it’s like a severe slap in my face. And I know that there’s other rock musicians out here that deserves to be in there, Wade deserves to be in there.

I mean, we just talked about Ted Nugent, or for whatever he is or he isn’t. Hey, come on. The guy sold, you know, 50, 60, 80 million records,

played stadiums. I just really believe that there’s a certain bias when it comes to being inducted in there. You’ve got to realize it took Skynyrd seven times being nominated to be inducted in and I think that because of the outcry of the fans,

the pressure, I think is the and why they finally got inducted in. But for me not to go in with the band look, people can sit there and say all they want to.

When I joined the band, I signed management, production and publishing contracts with those guys under the heading Skynyrd members,

Ronnie Van Zandt, Gary Rossington, Alan Collins, Larry Johnstrom, who went on to play with 38 and myself. I go to Muscle Sholes.

I want a studio musician like a lot of these geeks, you know, they get on there that argue, you know, about I was just a studio musician, bullshit, you know? I was already out playing live gigs with the guys and writing songs with the guys and a full band member I had contracts to the effect all of a sudden I’m sitting there and everybody else goes but I have to sit there and watch it and that was a serious slap

in my face and I’ll always feel that way no matter what you know what I mean yes I understand I went up on the Of course you play a couple of songs and I got up and I played sweet old Alabama with the band and free bird But let me tell you something that happened.

That was so freaking cool After free bird, I’m coming off and my guitar tech is there and I hand him the guitar and there was a young gentleman there He goes,

excuse me Ricky. I said, yeah He goes there’s somebody over here sitting out here at a table that wants to shake your hand And I went who he goes you’ll see and I’m like,

okay Wonder who this is going to be so I start following him and Lo and be all I’m walking around his table. Here’s Ozzie and the guys and Ozzie stood up and shook my hand and I’m thinking,

well, is this who wanted to shake my hand? But the guy kept going, come on. Sting was there, stood up, shook my hand, said, incredible job. I get down,

and this tall gentleman stands up, and it’s Brian May. And Brian May goes, I want to shake the hands of the person that just played that solo and free bird he goes oh my god he goes I went you know what don’t worry about that I want to shake my hands that played all that great Queen leads is what I want to do and he got a big laugh away we got we got such a laugh out of it I knew that that they were out

on the road and he was going to be in Las Vegas along with Paul Rogers And I knew Paul and I got all of a friend of mine and I wanted to go and I went out to Vegas and a friend of mine,

Mr. Paul Crook, had done this like, I forget what they called it, it was like a thing that they put together to celebrate Queen songs and it traveled all over the world.

Paul played the part of Brian May in the band. And he knew all those Queen Leeds and all that stuff. Well, Paul knew I was coming.

And I said, I want to be able to get in to say hello to Brian. He goes, we can make that happen. So after the show, I got in, I said, my hello’s to Paul Rogers.

And the next thing you know, in walks Brian May, and I said, “Hey, Brian,” he goes, “Hey.” I said, “Man, what an incredible show. I just love your guitar playing,

and that little guitar you play is just unbelievable.” He goes, “Something to the effect, I might have something for you.” And I’m thinking,

“Wow, what could that be?” Lo and behold, not long afterwards my friend Paul Crook got a hold on me and said I’ve got something for you from Brian and I’m thinking wow what in the world could this be you know we get to Vegas he brings it to me it’s the number three guitar out of his out of his road case I got one of Brian’s guitars wow and I sit around and play it you You know that whole thing with the rocker

all the fame at the end of the night Something good came out of it But to get you know to get back to the old bit. I don’t know what’ll ever happen with it You know recently I guess I went viral forgiving the finger and all that stuff like that But you know man,

it’s just out of out of frustration and it’s out of frustration and anger sometimes because anybody that gets rejected like that and turned down like that and when you know you’re supposed to be there it’s frustrating it’s a slap in the face and I’ll tell you one thing further I’ve got it and I’m getting ready probably to be honest with you I’m getting ready to post it up on a lot of social media I’ve got a video

that lo And behold, Gary made several years before his passing. And he’s on video telling. He said,

I’ve been seeing stuff all over social media and all over the internet about Ricky, people arguing about if Ricky wasn’t the original band and should be counted as an original member and this.

And he goes, look, we’ve always considered Ricky an original member. That’s it. Bottom line, he was an original guy. For Gary to do that,

man, what is people gonna argue against Gary Rossington? Right. And the whole bit is, man, we’ll see what ends up happening with it. I don’t know.

Maybe they’ll put me in there with with Ronnie Gary and Allen and Billy and Leon. you know what I mean yes I mean I’ve even heard that Artemis once said to people that I deserve to be in there you know that I should have went in with them you know yep you know what man that really was really was a disappointing night for me you know but hey it is what it is I have to ask you I know You could have been on

that plane that fateful plane. Do you ever have survivors guilt about that? Well,

I Had taken my granddaddy shorty Over to see Ronnie at their studio. I Had talked to Ronnie Ronnie said please bring shorty over to let me see him So they had a studio over on Riverside it and I took my dad over to see Ronnie and the guys and we got there and up pulls Ronnie and his little Mercedes and he gets out man he hugs my daddy and on he gave me a hand shaking a hug he said you y ‘all come on in man

so we go into the studio part in the control room and Ronnie had the engineer to put up the new record, the street survivors record, and I’ll never forget,

he put on that smell. We listened to it, my dad listened to it, you know what I’m, my dad had the most interesting look on his face when he was listening to it,

you know, he’s listening to the lyrics and so am I, and I found it to be just incredible. And Tom Dowd had been the producer and,

you know, did a phenomenal job. And we’re getting ready to leave saying our goodbyes and Ronnie says to me, “Ricky, what are you doing “for the next week or whatever?” And I said,

“Nothing really, I don’t have any gigs “coming up or anything like that.” He says, “Well, why don’t you come out and ride with us?” I said, “Well, that sounds like an interesting idea.” So we You know my dad said I don’t know if you should do that,

you know cuz Ronnie said we have our own plane About two days before they left We end up getting two weeks worth of shows Blackfoot did you know and so I had to go and I Called and said I couldn’t go well.

I just found out recently Johnny was supposed to go. I did not know that so it would have been me and Johnny Wow well I got these shows Johnny’s parents refused to let him go made him go to school he was what 16 I think it was or 17 I get these shows with the band I can’t go and here’s them here’s the interesting part on That day,

we were pulling into Columbia, South Carolina as Skinner was leaving Greenville. That’s how close it was. That night,

I’m playing a show and some joker runs up on the side of the stage and I’m changing guitars. I hear the guy go, “Hey, man, didn’t you play at Skinner?” I was like,

“Yeah.” He says, “Well, your boys just had a playing crush.” And I just thought he was being a smart -ass, you know And I said man somebody get this guy out of here, you know at the end of the show My guitar guy Says Ricky,

you know what the guy was saying? Well, I go I said yeah, he goes true. I Went oh my god. I Beat it back to the hotel with the band And I get back there and the first thing I did was,

of course, I called home. And back then, you didn’t have cell phones, you just had phones. I call home and the phone didn’t even ring once, and my old man picked it up,

and I said, “Pop, please tell me it’s not true.” He goes, “It is.” He said, “And they just announced “that Ronnie was one of the casualties.” And I just was way.

I thought to myself at the time maybe if I’d have been there I could have said something or done something whatever to keep it from happening what happened and I think everybody that survived kind of thought that and I think even Johnny probably thought it of course I’ve never really talked to Johnny about those days you know Because,

I mean, my God, the boys lived through enough tragedies in his life. When I got back with Leonard Skinner in ’96, we’re doing our first European run together.

We played London that night at a great turnout at the Hammersmith Odeon, great run, sold -out shows. The band is just stomping.

I get on the bus, and over there you had those double -decker buses at the front lounge. You had a great big picture window. You could sit back, man, and the bunks were all behind us.

I get on the bus, and Gary is here. Dale is here, his wife. And I sat down next to him. All of a sudden, he slaps me on the arm. And he said,

“Hey, bro, where were you?” And I went, “Well, I was at the hotel.” He goes, “No, no, no, no, no. I didn’t want to talk about it.” Well, it was on the anniversary of that day.

He goes, “No, you know what I mean. Where were you?” I said, “Oh, as we pulling into Columbia, South Carolina, you guys were pulling out of green.” And I said,

“You know, Gary, it’s something stayed with me if I’d have been there, you know, maybe I could have said something or done something to change whatever he goes,

you know what Ricky? It wasn’t meant for you to be there then, it’s meant for you to be here now. And you know what? That settled everything in my mind from then on,

you know? Yes, completely. What was it like being in the band fresh garbage and then having a and I use this term with air quotes residency at a topless bar You know what there’s so funny that you’re asking me this cuz I just explained this We played six days a week Night after night man.

We only got a day off. We played six nights a week, five sets a night. And I mean, these girls are by the stage and around and you got so numb to it.

I mean, if you see one Titty, you’ve seen them all, you know what I mean? So At first it was interesting,

okay, because I was 19 years old and you know why I’m in a club where you know they’re dancing topless. Of course my mom, she was like, oh my god,

you know, there goes the neighborhood. It was interesting, but I’ll tell you when it was really interesting. So in Gainesville, they always had,

this was in Gainesville, Florida. So We got the University of Florida there. During the week, it was stragglers in, you know. But boy on Thursday, Friday, Saturday,

I mean, it was full on. College guys, college gals, you know, the whole bit. And they on Thursday nights, they had what is called the wet T -shirt contest.

Oh my God. This is when College girls or girls around Gainesville area of Alachua County, whatever would come out and enter the contest and they would soak ’em down and then they would get up and do their thing and dance and then whoever took the best applause,

they got the prize. And I have seen some wild stuff. I mean, the competition was owned. I mean those girls come out there hoping that their lady boobs were better than the other and No,

no kick against women. Trust me, please It was something for a young boy young guy of 19 to be standing there every night Staring at him,

but you got numb to it. You got to be a you know, I got to be an every night thing So finally you just didn’t even look so anyway there you go yeah oh let’s talk about never run out of road the song and why it’s important to have people listen to this and and the cause involved that you want to highlight as most people know I’m I am native uh part native I shouldn’t,

but I’m not full native. I’ve never professed to be full native. My father, my grandparents always told me who he was, what he was,

was full, you know, he was, he was Lakota. And my mother, I’ve got pictures of her as a young girl with my grandmother. My grandmother was Cherokee Creek.

And And it was pretty cool, man, that being, you know, all of this native blood in me, you know. Here, quite a few years ago, I discovered what has been happening probably for a hundred years or better.

And that is, there are more indigenous women, older women, middle -aged women, younger women, and /or children That go missing They found them deceased or they never find them at all.

I Started getting interested in this missing and murdered indigenous women thing and I found it heartbreaking because When a crime is committed on a reservation Actually,

that land is sovereign land Okay, So when a crime is committed, only the federal government can investigate it.

If a homicide is done, only the federal government can investigate. A native or an indigenous woman is found deceased or is gone or whatever.

They might investigate it, maybe. But you know what? Not like the rest of society. I got really interested in this thing. Being in Skinner,

I’ve been introduced to a lot of incredibly beautiful native people that has become a part of my life. West Studi has become a really good friend of mine.

Gil Birmingham, Graham Green, on and on and on. A guy named Braveheart has become a great friend of mine and all of these people are very knowledgeable and very aware of all this,

of course. You know, some of the worst has happened up in Montana at the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. I got my cousin, Jason,

out in Oklahoma. He was a cop and had investigated had been called to a scene where, you know, a 30 -something -year -old woman they found her deceased in a ditch.

So I’ve been interested in this to the point where I got in with some people to do to host the narrator show about the MMIW,

it was going to be called Women Erased. And somehow They started the project and the next thing I know some other people came into it and erased me out of it Which was to me was another slap in the face,

but okay What happened when I went when Mark warple and I which he had been in blackfoot years before We’ve been friends ever since the real late 80s When he and I got that together,

I had this wild idea one day, sitting at my house here, that when Skinnerd would be off the road and take time off, I wanted to play. I’m a player,

I just love going out, and I love playing music. And so I knew Mark had a band, and I said, “Mark, what if I interjected myself “in your band?” And the name of his band is called Them Pesky Kids.

I said, “What if I interjected myself into it?” And maybe we write some tunes, maybe put something out because you always need something really to promote to go out and play,

to make sure that you draw a crowd and you make the promoter you know, the whole bit. So he came down here to my studio here. We sat and listened to all these songs that I had.

And we all of a sudden came across this one tune, “Never Run Out of Road.” Years before, my great friend,

and you just mentioned him a while ago, Charlie Star from Blackberry Smoke, He and I would throw ideas back and forth, and this was an idea we came up with that we started writing on when I threw it to him.

He would throw it back to me and we’d come up with the lyrics and there it was. And it was kind of a reflection of both my life and his life.

‘Cause as a musician, you’re touring, touring, touring, you never run out of road. Mark and I wouldn’t work on it, we did some changes and Mark added some changes and we record it and a guy by the name of Scott Harold,

the owner CEO of Rock the Cause Record, which is distributed by a subsidiary of Sony. Scott comes in and says,

you know, look, here, I’d love to take the song, but my agreement is with the artist is that when you, when we do a song, you have to agree to donate the proceeds,

part of the proceeds to your favorite charity. So I was trying to figure out who to donate to, who to put in there a link on the websites and the link,

you know, everywhere on YouTube or whatever of who to donate to for people to come to it and so I called my friend native actor great native actor you might be familiar with him but you’ll know who I’m talking about his name is Gil Birmingham and Gil plays the tribal chairman on Yellowstone I call it Gil Gil’s an incredibly talented actor people will remember him from the Twilight series He played the father of the

of the wolves of the werewolves He’s always in the wheelchair He did a movie with Jeremy Renner Which he played the father of what we’re talking about right now of a missing and murdered indigenous Daughter and it was heartbreaking.

He did such an incredible job Well, I call up Gil and I say, Gil, this is what I’m getting ready to do, but I need a good charitable organization that’s trustworthy,

that I know that the money’s gonna be handled right and goes to the right people and gets in the right hands. He said, you know what, Ricky? And I told Gil,

I said, Gil, I know you guys did one of your episodes in the third season about this justice subject he said you know what let me call Taylor Taylor Sheridan I’ll get all the Taylor and find out who he’s who he donated to just about this I said okay a couple of days later Gil calls me said I talked to Taylor and Taylor said,

“The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center is who he donates to.” And he goes, “Ricky, they’re very reputable. They’re very straight up.” So we put the record out and on my website,

probably I think on YouTube and some of the other platforms, if you care to donate for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women movement. The link is there for the National Indigenous Women Resource Center.

Also there’s another one that I’m highly involved with, which is called the Dreamcatcher’s Charitable Fund. They’re another Indian organization. And the National Save the Wolves Foundation for the North American Wolf.

I’m big into animals. So there you go. That’s, that’s why I did it. Uh, congratulations on it. And really, well, I appreciate it.

You know, something, man, I know that I’m just trying to be in some small way, trying to give back and trying to bring awareness to a serious problem.

Think about this. Think about the fact that Native Americans make up less than 10 percent of the population and out of that 10 % 40 % of the native women end up missing or murder.

That is a huge number. I’m just trying to bring awareness. I’m not beating the drum for myself. I’m beating the drum for them.

You know what I mean? Yeah, well I’m going to, you know what, I’m going to keep on doing this and donating every song I put out is going to go to the same place.

Ricky, keep on keeping on. Thanks for being on, taking a walk and sharing your journey and your continued journey and your good work and it’s been a pleasure.

I really appreciate it. Hey, thank you. I’m honored to have shared this moments with you. And you take good care. Come see us. You got it, my friend. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Take In A Walk podcast.

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About The Author

Buzz Knight

Buzz Knight is an established media executive with a long history of content creation and multi-platform distribution.

After a successful career as a Radio Executive, he formed Buzz Knight Media which focuses on strategic guidance and the development of new original content.