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Neil Diamond makes a rare live appearance

The Byrds: 1964-1967 will recount the beginnings of a pioneering country-rock group with 500 photos.

September 30 will be released The Byrds: 1964-1967, which brings together 500 photos (some previously unseen) over 400 pages, all documenting the legendary Los Angeles band that created folk-rock, country-rock and arguably psychedelic rock as well. Focusing on the original lineup of Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke, this volume includes studio shots, alternate album art, behind-the-scenes and tour bus preview, publicity photos goofy ones (including one of them in a bathing suit with a beauty pageant winner) and plenty of shots of a surprisingly cherubic-looking Crosby.

The book also includes new commentary from surviving members McGuinn, Crosby and Hillman, and concludes with a final section devoted to photos from the sessions from their particularly underrated 1973 reunion album. About this project and how he governed it, Crosby admits, in his comments, ” I tried to be nice, but I’m pretty sure I was a jerk “.

These memories are going to cost you dearly. A so-called “standard” edition of the book will be sold for $125. A deluxe edition signed by McGuinn and Hillman will sell for $350; another limited edition, signed by McGuinn, Hillman and Crosby, will sell for $475. If you really want to cut your savings account, another autographed Super Deluxe Edition, complete with a print of one of the book’s photos and limited to 700 copies, will set you back $1,700.

Among the many aspects of Byrds history that are rekindled by the book is the fan adoration, comparable to the Beatlemania, to which the band was subjected the year after the release of ” Mr. Tambourine Man “. Photos show fans clinging to the group or crowding around Crosby as they exit a limo. ” America’s answer to the Beatleslaughs McGuinn, who turns 80 next month. It was like being in A Hard Day’s Night. It was exciting, but a bit dangerous. Sometimes our limo would be parked on the street and we had to run from the car to the concert hall, and the girls would come up to you and say, “I got them!”. They didn’t have good security back then.. McGuinn also remembers a fan who stole his glasses in Chicago: We were doing a concert in a store, we were going down the escalator and a girl caught them. They were no longer there. »

Throughout the pages, The Byrds 1964-1967 chronicles the departures of Clark and Crosby, with McGuinn, Hillman and Clarke being reduced to a trio (as seen in rare live photos of this incarnation, which even McGuinn had not seen). ” It’s a bit of a sad story when you think about the departure of these guysadmits McGuinn. We managed to make some good records even without everyone. The Notorious Byrd Brothers is a very good record, and it had David on it too. But it would have been great if we all stayed together, more or less like the Stones. »

What fans won’t find are photos from the years 1968-1972, when various incarnations of the Byrds led by McGuinn continued with the likes of Gram Parsons, Clarence White, Skip Battin and Gene Parsons. McGuinn says it was publisher BMG that decided to focus on what he calls ” the early Byrds “, adding:” It would have been great to have Clarence. He was a great friend and one of the best guitarists I’ve worked with. Hendrix came to see us at Whiskey A Go Go and came backstage to shake Clarence’s hand. »

In 2018, for the 50th anniversary of Sweetheart of the Rodeo, McGuinn and Hillman reunited to play the country-rock pillar album from start to finish. McGuinn says no more gigs like this are to be expected, but continues to tour solo and has a few more Byrds ideas up her sleeve. In 1969, he wrote, with the late lyricist Jacques Levy, more than twenty songs for a musical, Gene Trypbased on Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen. A few of these songs, like ” Chestnut Mare ” and ” Just a Season have appeared on the Byrds’ albums. But McGuinn, who plays all the instruments himself, eventually recorded most of the other unreleased material for this project, including the gospel.” Are You Right with God “. No release date has yet been revealed.

McGuinn wrote his own memoir a few years ago, which he says was rejected by his publisher. He recalls the reason for this being the parts of the book devoted to his Christian beliefs, which appeared in the late 1970s.” The editor said, “Can you pull all that Jesus stuff out?”he says. They said, “That’s not what you expect from a rock autobiography.” But looking back, there was a lot of sex and drugs and rock and roll in there and there’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t want anyone to know. »

The Byrds’ often complicated dynamic continues to this day. Earlier this month, McGuinn tweeted publicly in Crosby, ” David…please unblock me “. (The pair, who seemed to be getting along well after years of ups and downs, fell out in 2019). ” I’m still stuckexplains McGuinn. It did not work. We love David, but it’s just a little hard to get along with him. »

david browne

Translated by the editor

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