The Byrds 1967

The Byrds- Early ’67, Crosby’s Last Stand.

The Byrds Late ’67 .

I loved the Byrds as a kid, so cool, mechanical and mysterious. At least until David Crosby started talking in public. Even if there whole sound came from two Beatles songs, maybe one (Rain, their best).
I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen the top clip before, if I did, it was as an eight year old and I drove it out of my mind.
The Byrds, post hair iron, Mike Clarke high enough to fall out of his drum chair (and sporting a precursor to his Firefall look), Chris Hillman with a natural ‘fro,  David Crosby, looking full of himself enough to smack, as I’m sure the other bands members would agree. Lip syncing, but not to the record, but an alternate version of their peak moment– Eight Miles High.
Below we see ’em later the same year, the offensive David Crosby given the boot and replaced briefly by Gene Clark, who oddly enough had been booted out for making more money than the rest of the band due to his songwriting credits on the first two album, he’d be gone again within months.
Skip forward to around the six and half minute mark on this version out take of Universal Mind Decoder to hear a funny studio argument, the word fuck was removed at the Byrds requested 17 times, anyone have the uncut version out there?
Universal Mind Decoder.

23 thoughts on “The Byrds 1967”

  1. Nice vids. Not to be too bean counterish, but Gene Clark does not have an “e” at the end of his name. But, Michael Clarke does. Also, I think Gene was not booted, but left on his own accord. He and the members of the Byrds worked together on and off for years and years on various projects. Too bad they could not keep it together because they seem to have all been best when together. Keep em coming. Flip-Side

  2. “Also, I think Gene was not booted, but left on his own accord.'Not according to Johnny Rogan's bio. Clark and McGuinn both remember it was the publishing money and his fear of flying that led the others to give him the boot. Pages 164-174 The Byrds- Times Less Fight Revisted, Rogan House, 1997.

  3. I think Crosby hung around past the Monterey Pop Fest in June, though the band was pissed he joined the Buffalo Springfield on stage for their set. The top vid shows Crosby's nice rhythm vamping behind McGuinn's solo. Michael Clarke is a bore in these videos, chewing gum, but Hillman is great to watch. Gene Clark looks like he'd rather promote his own LP, or just not be there at all.John Einarson's bio of the Springfield has an anonymous quote about how Crosby liked to get so stoned he'd be practically paralyzed, stuck on the sofa.Some of the best Byrds stuff are the instrumentals unreleased at the time – Stranger in a Strange Land, Bound to Fall.

  4. To add, I don't think this is an alternate take of 8 Miles High, at least, not the legendary earlier version that showed up years later.Sorry to criticize (it's easy to type and post), but “even if there wholes sound” must be the worst bit of grammar I've read of yours. On the other hand, I like your characterizing the Byrds' sound as mechanical.

  5. Never thought I would be moved to defend the Byrds (whom I consider a tad over-rated, and certainly not as cool as the Sir Douglas Quintet, for instance) but “Mr Tambourine Man” was released over a year before the Beatles' “Rain” — and the Fabs were rather forthcoming in admitting there was a back and forth influence trip going on between the two bands. But yes, it all changed for these moppy pop-folkers when they saw “Hard Day's Night” and those Rickenbackers…

  6. Another great post and thank you very much, it is great to have you back. Just a couple of quick thoughts:1)I think M.Clarke looks much more tweeked than bored.2)I still think that it says volumes that Crosby was replaced with a horse on the cover of “Notorious Byrd Brothers”. I had heard that they wanted to use the picture with the horse's ass for the front. Sadly, it doesn't say much for the horse.3)I always hear a huge McGuinn influence when I listen to Reed's “Ostrich” Guitar on VU&N. Just say'in…

  7. “I always hear a huge McGuinn influence when I listen to Reed's “Ostrich” Guitar on VU&N. “I think you're right, according to the late Bob Quine who later joined Lou's band for a few years, the first time he met the Velvets (in Frisco '68), they bonded over a love of McGuinn's playing.

  8. In the Beatles vs. Byrds debate I always like to point out who played what before they became famous: Gene Vincent covers=Beatles”Michael Row the Boat Ashore”=Byrds members on the pass-the-basket folk circuitHound, I second every comment you made about Crosby in this post.

  9. I think the Byrds might have been the only band among their contemporaries that the VU ever admitted to liking. Put that together with Ron Asheton taking a riff from “Notorious Byrd Brothers” and turning it into “1969” and there you have it: The Byrds were the original proto-proto-punks.

  10. ” Got to see 'em in a small venue during the “Untitled” era, a l-o-o-n-g version of “Eight Miles High”!”I saw 'em at that time ('73), 8 Miles High sounded a lot like In-Da-Gada-Da-Vi-Da complete w/drum solo.

  11. i've always thought david crosby was a complete douchebag. i could never figure out his appeal. to hear people bubble with praise over that absolutely uninspired, soporific solo record always made me grind my teeth. it kinda seemed perfect that melissa etheridge wanted his jizz for her spawn. eeeeeuuuuyyyy

  12. Contrary to what you said earlier, Johnny Rogan certainly NEVER said Gene Clark was fired from the Byrds. On both occasions, he left of his own accord as is clearly indicated in his Byrds' book.

Spit it out, partner...

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