Byrds Nyrds: Talk about anything Byrds related here (Part 04)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by stereoptic, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    October 28th, 1969.

    McGuinn talking about the Easy Rider album;
    "It has more meat, it's more together.
    I thought Sweetheart of the Rodeo was a good album, but it was rather specialized.
    This one has more variety. Rock. Gospel. ...
    There's some country of course , but really country music was just a trip for me- something Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman got me into."
     
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  2. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    January 1971

    McGuinn;
    "Country music was like going to a sanitorium for a rest. It was so peaceful after all the noise .
    I make the analogy that we are basically like an electronic magazine. The country music was like a special issue and Sweetheart an exploration into new fields of music."
     
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  3. Dee Zee

    Dee Zee Forum Resident

    And now some stock footage company owns it or controls it.
     
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  4. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Last one .

    McGuinn, June 1972.
    He starts talking about Gene Parsons.

    " He's a hell of a good country drummer , but I wanna get out of country music.
    See, the thing is , I've changed my mind about what I want to play, which is my perogative and also my track record.
    I've always gone through a lot of different bags of music, mostly becuase I don't want to be classified .
    I guess I'll always be an experimental folk musician of some sort."

    He goes on to say that he wants to do more rock and roll and synthesizer things ala Notorious Byrd Brothers but
    " I feel like I've been loaded down by people who weren't sympathetic or tolerant of that in me."

    I'm not going to post his entire rant but it's in a small way not unlike some of John Lennon's Rolling Stone interview. :D


    "It's my band , man, my session and
    they're beating me up"...

    "I'm happy with Skip, he's a good bass player but like he sort of monopolized the last album for material"...

    Bass players . It didn't matter if it was McCartney or Skip Battin. They are all problems. :laugh:
     
  5. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    Some of McGuinn's comments about his own band towards the end of the Byrds are fairly shocking (well, maybe shocking's too strong a word...). Still, he's basically slagging off his fellow members whilst they're still in the band...at the same time that McGuinn himself was barely able to write one or two original songs himself per album. If I'd been Skip or Gene I'd be pretty pissed off, but then Gene's comments about McGuinn in the Kindling Collection aren't exactly complimentary either I guess.
     
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  6. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    Sure Crosby and McGuinn swapping roles is fun to see, and the main talking point from that clip, but how effortlessly cool does Gene Clark look there?!
     
  7. Maggie

    Maggie run james run

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I don't know if I'd call it a "rant"-- McGuinn seems pretty clear-headed about the strengths and weaknesses of the latter-day Byrds, at least as a vehicle for his own ideas.

    Great as Clarence and Gene were, I can see them throwing up their hands at certain material on McGuinn's first album (like "Time Cube" and "M'Linda" and even "My New Woman") and saying that there was nothing they could contribute to it. And I can see both sides there.

    It's probably significant that McGuinn had more originals on his debut album than on the last two Byrds albums put together. (Indeed, almost as many as the last four.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  8. I loved the Clarence, Gene and Skip years (Unititled, etc.) and continue to listen to this line up regularly.

    Does anyone know why the beginning of 8 Miles High was cut from the side 2 of Untitled? (I'm guessing flubbed start or technical issue).
     
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  9. zobalob

    zobalob Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    McGuinn, Clark and Hillman with George Grantham (Poco) on drums, just the four of them...might as well call them a later incarnation of The Byrds, they sure do sound like them, the classic lineup. The arrangements here are (IMO) far superior to the lamentable (again IMO) treatments of Gene's songs on their first album. For a change Gene's rhythm guitar can be heard clearly in the left channel, don't know about anyone else but I love this performance. Sydney, 1978...play it loud. What that first MCH could have been...wasted opportunity, sigh.

     
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  10. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Here's a nice clip from the Roy Orbison tribute. Stunningly-good vocals for a one-off appearance. The glances and smiles all look genuine and warm. Love when Roger looks at David near the end of the song just before the harmonies come in. Nice backing from the Desert Rose Band as always. Ron


    mcguinn, hillman and clark live - Yahoo Video Search Results
     
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  11. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Location:
    Eastern Iowa
    The band segued into Eight Mikes High, from a jam...hence why it fades in :)
     
  12. Maggie

    Maggie run james run

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Once again, I'm struck by how closely Roger's contemporary sense of the value and integrity of various Byrds projects lines up with my own. I do think Ballad of Easy Rider is close to definitive of what McGuinn wanted to do with the Byrds -- maybe it has a bit more country in "Tulsa County" and "There Must Be Someone" than McGuinn would permit on his own albums, and a bit more Southern on "Oil In My Lamp," but otherwise it has everything: the updated commercial folk, the unobtrusive synth experiments, the electrified genre exercises, the de-emphasis on solo guitar, the wryness, the earnestness. It lays the exact blueprint for his '70s solo albums, Cardiff Rose aside -- except it's good.

    I admire and enjoy it more with every passing year. The only other Byrds that's true of are Notorious and perhaps Mr Tambourine Man. Although I will say that, as an instrumental unit, their peak was 5D.
     
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  13. Maggie

    Maggie run james run

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Did it really come out of a jam? I don't think the Byrds at this stage were in the habit of segueing into "Eight Miles High" from something else (as they had been doing for a couple of years prior). The Royal Albert Hall version is in the same arrangement, in fact it's near identical, and it starts cold with some brief Southern-rock riffing before moving into the same vamp we start with on Untitled.
     
  14. czeskleba

    czeskleba Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    These comments have always puzzled me. McGuinn was the boss, the leader of the band. The others were employees. If he was unhappy with the situation (either musical direction, or the amount of songs Battin got on an album) it was entirely in his power to change that. Based on Rogan's account, he was having alcohol problems at the time and was preoccupied with his disintegrating first marriage and his affair with his soon-to-be second wife, and he basically ceded a lot of control to his bandmates over the last two Byrds albums. But it seems pretty disingenuous to do that and then later complain as though he was powerless to do anything.
     
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  15. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    McGuinn and his lofty ambitions to use more synths. You'd think when he got around to doing his solo stuff he'd suddenly be shooting off into futuristic synth-rock realms. Instead we get a few little sound effects on Time Cube and... yeah that's about it. You've only got to listen to Moog Raga or Fiddler a Dram to see that his ambitions outweigh actual skill in that department. Kinda glad his bandmates weren't that sympathetic of his ambitions.
     
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  16. milankey

    milankey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kent, Ohio, USA
    I was watching the Tom Petty documentary Runnin' Down A Dream the other night and there was a scene where they were making the Back To Rio album and Petty was standing up to the record company men who wanted McGuinn to include a song that Petty thought wasn't good. McGuinn just stood there and didn't comment while Petty fought for him.
     
  17. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    I only posted part of what Roger said .
    It was a rant in my book. :D

    I actually enjoy artists talking in that era, the bad and the good, before everyone became afraid or unwilling to say what they think.
    Now, instead of the reality, it's the "we thank him for his service but we have decided to go in a different direction . We wish him the best in the future" syndrome . :D

    Here's Chris and Parsons in July 1969:

    Hillman :
    "It's very difficult to work for McGuinn on anything. He's the type of guy that- it's just a job. He goes up on stage to be a musician . Offstage he's not. He doesn't buy records, he doesn't listen to the radio, he doesn't really keep up with what's happening in music. The last album that they did (Dr.Byrds & Mr. Hyde), it was McGuinn and the rest was a hired group"

    Parsons , talking about McGuinn:

    "He's always found a way to either buy the information or gather the information that he needs to keep up with what's goin' on. He himself doesn't live that life and he brings you down...
    McGuinn wouldn't know Clarence White from- Mighty Sam, if it wasn't for
    Chris. As a matter of fact, he's probably never heard of Mighty Sam."

    Hillman again:

    "All McGuinn's doin' now is ridin' it out till it ends, just for the money. It's not a creative, productive thing anymore .
    He pays everybody's salary every week , and he's the head Byrd."

    Ouch.

    By the way, I am not posting these quotes to specifically diss Roger.
    I'm just posting these quotes because I found them and I find it fascinating that nobody felt an obligation to put a nice spin on everything back then. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  18. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I honestly couldn't tolerate hearing another second of that. Eight Miles High is one of my favourite songs ever and I find bands jamming pure tedium, so that's musical hell to me. Especially the bass solo!
     
  19. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    I know a lot of people hate Skip's contributions (though I don't), but it strikes me that Skip's stuff like Tunnel of Love or Citizen Kane, stuff criticised for not sounding like the Byrds, has rather a lot in common with McGuinn's genre exercises on his debut solo album. So yeah, slightly disingenous for McGuinn to criticise Skip's songwriting IMO.
     
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  20. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Yes, when I read all of Roger's quotes in Hyort's book, from at least the Sweetheart era and beyond he seems unfocused, at least as far as what he said he wanted to do, in comparison with what the band (with him as band leader) actually did at times .
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  21. Ma Kelly

    Ma Kelly Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol
    Speaking of Eight Miles High, I was listening to Neil Merryweather earlier and he has an insane cover from 1974. Pretty decent!
     
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  22. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I'll have a listen later. I actually don't mind Bryan Ferry's cover of it.
     
  23. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Location:
    Eastern Iowa
    That’s what I was getting at. They probably started on something, a laAlbert Hall and then swing into EMH.
     
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  24. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Where are all of these quotes from? They’re fascinating.
     
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  25. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    They are all from So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star, The Byrds Day By Day 1965-1973 , by Christopher Hyort.

    I highly recommend it.
     

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