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Moved to discuss merits of Crosby etc
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Gene Clark...but really..even his greatest song with the Byrds (Feel A Whole Lot Better)..which I love....is noted for the Rickenbacker....Mcguinn's Rickenbacker was THE Byrds sound.... Take away that sound...and I would guess that many of the Byrds songs would either never have been heard or mostly forgettable...
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bossaroo



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 92
Location: FL/NC/CostaRica

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, i disagree.
the Byrds sound to me is more "what" the guitar is playing on that intro than "what guitar" is playing it.

the 12-string sounds great on "Tambourine Man" and "Turn Turn Turn"... very jingle-jangle and all that, but it just got old after awhile.
and to me it is absolutely embarrassing to hear Roger clanging away on the Rick when Clarence was in the band. Roger's leads on live tunes like "Eight Miles High" and "Roll Over Beethoven" or that studio cut of "Think I'm Gonna Feel Better" with Clarence singing for example, are absolutely cringeworthy in my opinion. not to mention out of tune.

Even the 12-string acoustic on "Soldiers Joy/Black Mtn Rag" is overkill.
just my opinion guys, but I can't imagine that Clarence really dug it all that much either.
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330rick



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 31
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Gram was the vision behind the 'Sweetheart' album, which is viewed as the first country-rock album (whether you and I agree with that or not)...

Country-rock has become a much bigger genre than folk-rock ever did. From the Eagles to Nashville to alt-country... it's huge.


I think Gram was a big influence on Sweetheart but Hillman had already written a couple of really good country-rock tunes on Younger Than Yesterday.Adding Clarence on those tunes even further defined that sound.I would credit Hillman with the "vision" of throwing country into the mix of the Byrds sound.International Submarine band was a year before Sweetheart and was country rock.As for the country rock genre thing just because the masses gravitate towards something doesn't mean it's better.(It usually means it sucks.)The Nashville sound of today is totally formulaic mindless crap and doesn't even remotely resemble the true sound of country forged in the 50's and 60's.The Eagles were nothing more than a top 40 hit machine after the the exit of Leadon and Meisner.Alt-country what is that?You can't even define it.Is it a country guitar riff in the song?A guy with a southern drawl?Folk-rock was a movement(not just a sound) that encompassed people's feelings and attitudes to the situations of the time period with the music and the Byrds most certainly started it and IMHO is much more important.(not necessasarily popular)
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330rick



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 31
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
well, i disagree.
the Byrds sound to me is more "what" the guitar is playing on that intro than "what guitar" is playing it.


That cool simple little riff doesn't sound right on anything but the electric 12 string.I've heard people try and cover this and other early to mid-period Byrds tunes without the 12-string and it sounds like sh#t.The Rickenbacker 360 12-string IS the Byrds sound.Even after Clarence joined songs such as Just a Season and Chestnut Mare(on Untitled) wouldn't be the same without the 12 and Mcguinn's("weak")voice.True some of the live stuff isn't perfect but I don't think you will find any live recordings of any band from the 60's that is becuse of the limitations of the gear.(ie.. no electric tuners or stage monitors, bad p.a. systems etc..)
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bossaroo wrote:
Roger's leads on live tunes like "Eight Miles High" and "Roll Over Beethoven" or that studio cut of "Think I'm Gonna Feel Better" with Clarence singing for example, are absolutely cringeworthy in my opinion. not to mention out of tune.


To each his own obviously....but IMHO the interplay between Roger's electric 12 and and Clarence's string bender Tele is just magical... Mur and were doing the same thing at Sound Matrix studio in Irvine yesterday... I never get tired of hearing that sound or playing it Very Happy

BTW Clarence could have been in just about any band he wanted...
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bossaroo



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 92
Location: FL/NC/CostaRica

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hillman had already written a couple of really good country-rock tunes on Younger Than Yesterday.Adding Clarence on those tunes even further defined that sound.I would credit Hillman with the "vision" of throwing country into the mix of the Byrds sound.


That's basically what I said, and that's why I put him higher on my list. But while Hillman got the Byrds to flirt with country-rock, Gram convinced them to do an entire album of nothing but... to use Nashville players, to cover Merle Haggard and the Louvin brothers, and to play on the Opry.

I'm not saying that country-rock is better than folk-rock, it just had a much wider influence. Believe me, I'm not a big fan of what the Eagles became, or what Nashville has become, or even a lot of the No Depression scene, but all that stuff is pretty popular.

If there is one Byrds album that people cite as a real breakthrough and major influence, it's 'Sweetheart'. If there is one song, it's "Mr. Tambourine Man"... fair enough. (But I do think "Feel A Whole Lot Better" would be a contender if it had been a single, and not the B-side to yet another Dylan cover. It is one of the most perfect pop songs ever made. And I really do enjoy McGuinn's playing on that one. Great solo.)
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bossaroo wrote:

If there is one Byrds album that people cite as a real breakthrough and major influence, it's 'Sweetheart'.


Actually for alot of Byrds fans that grew up with them in the 60's.... the many lineup changes and such were sort of puzzling...ie we didn't have internet or instant information the way we have today...

That said... to many fans the Sweetheart album was the 'last straw' and they Byrds lost many fans... of which they gained some back with when Clarence, Gene etc joined and they became a completely different band again.

For myself.... I could never listen to Sweetheart of the Rodeo end to end until it was re-released by Sony (the single CD version with the bonus tracks) about 5 years ago..., And then I only bought it since I ran out of all the other Byrds CD's to buy! LOL... I've come to appreciate it now....or at least the songs on it...some of which I like the alternate versions or live versions better.
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getbent



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 116
Location: San Benito, CA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same feelings about sweetheart. While I wasn't 'of age' when the Byrds first hit, my cousin was a huge fan and turned me onto them when he got back from vietnam... in adulthood, I knew that Sweetheart was considered an 'important' record, but it never took with me...

I've had interest in the 'cult of Gram' and watched and read all of the materials, but I still find the other byrds far more musically interesting. I love and respect Emmylou's talent and clearly she sees something in Gram that I don't.... so I continue to choose to withold judgement as maybe I am blind to something that is obvious to others.
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bossaroo



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 92
Location: FL/NC/CostaRica

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just found a cool interview with Roger from 69-70 that I'd never seen before. some interesting tidbits about Crosby, Clark, and Clarence:

Flanders: What happened to Gene Clark?

McGuinn: Gene Clark is earlier in the picture, right? Well, it was a combination of things. David was sort of riding and hounding him. David had a better background in the English language, sciences, mathematics, and other things. He took advantage of those things to make Gene feel inferior. Gene is really an intelligent person, but he's not well educated. He's a nice guy and he's a bright cat really -- underneath it -- but he's hung up and awkward and like a country boy -- you know what I mean? Like he's not really a city slicker. And Crosby like took advantage of his country background, of Gene's country background, and sort of hounded him into giving up the guitar, in the beginning so David would get to play it.

David wasn't playing guitar at first -- Gene was. It worked for about a year-and-a-half. Gene went flying with us and everything. But one day all the pressure and a bunch of bad experiences with a chick Gene went through with -- after all this he had a crisis on an airplane just about to close the doors and take off for New York from LA. We were all going to do a Murry the K special. Gene flipped out on the airplane, man -- couldn't stand it, got off the airplane. We said, 'Hey man, if you get off the airplane, if you can't fly you can't be in the group any more.' Gene said, 'I know that, but if I stay on it I'll go crazy,' so he split.

Flanders: Why did David Crosby leave the group...

McGuinn: He was fired.

Flanders: For what reason?

McGuinn: He just wasn't making it, man. He's a great talent, you know, and a nice cat -- I like him you know -- but he was getting a little too big for his britches, you know, trying to rule the machine, you know; getting hard to work with, you know. So it was by mutual consent, you know like the three remaining Byrds got together and decided that it would be better if he wasn't around any more. (This section shows you why you have to edit an interview. This is a word-for-word transcription. If I had a dollar for every "you know," I'd be rich.)

Flanders: Where did you find Clarence White?

McGuinn: Clarence worked on Younger Than Yesterday as a studio musician. And at the time when I first heard him I said, "Wow, man that's far out," and I wanted to hire him then but he was busy. He was with a group of his own with Gene Parsons. He was working with Gene and a couple of other guys and he worked on that project for awhile until it didn't happen. Finally, he was available and I hired him as soon as I could. Gene Parsons came along shortly after that, right around the time Chris quit.
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Don Miller



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 238
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was one of the oddballs..played I played Sweetheart alot when it came out but that was the last Byrds Album I bought for a while...I heard some of "Ballad of Easy Rider" at a party.."Gunga Din", I think it was and then bought that LP.

When I was playing "Sweetheart", alot-68 thru 70 or so, it was the "first wave" of Americana music...the Band, Delaney and Bonnie, Ry Cooder , early solo Rod Stewart were all coming up and alot of folk people...Dylan with Nashville Skyline, Tom Rush, Ian and Syvia, etc were adding mandolins and pedals steels and such...so it didnt seem too out of place...unless you were with the crowd who liked King Crimson and Foghat. Every the stones were sliding a little into the country realm with "Country Tonk"

What was unique about Sweetheart was the song selection...aside form the Dylan covers, they dug back into the country catalog for most of the tunes (Except "You Dont Miss your Water" which was an R&B song)...they werent like alot of others...Elton John with Tumbleweed Connections for instance, creating new songs to fit the current style...and they arranged the recorded versions of the songs in a "Traditional " style...no old country with a phase shifter as other people did...or the Byrds did on occassion in their live shows.

It would have been interesting to see a live attempt to duplicate the recorded "Sweetheart..take JD and Llyod and Clarance and Earl and whoever else on the road...of course it would have sank like a stone...

Back to Crosby...I think his guiar parts were very invovative..at times he played a counter lead to McGuinn..His singing angelic..the harmonies wouldnt have been the same with out him...I aint even going to try ranking the Byrds..they all had their moments of good and not so good...I took a road trip the other day and listened to the Boston tea Party CD part of the way...John Yorks harmonies were only second to Crosby's in my opinion
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Mur



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 377

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow ..some of you guys are off the mark ..did you get your head shaved like Britney or something?

Anyway ...
Quote:
I like Gene Clark...but really..even his greatest song with the Byrds (Feel A Whole Lot Better)..which I love....is noted for the Rickenbacker

Sorry Bri, but that quote is loco. Gene Clark is a fantastic writer, singer, and musician. Way.
Writing is wonderful ..heartfelt lyrics is the thing he could do that almost nobody else could. Check 'em out, he does it different, Better. Another part of his genius, chord changes. Had a nak for chord changes ..study the music, not just Byrds (which he was in for only two years) ..but his whole career, he churned out great songs the whole way. I become more amazed the more I look into his work. And sure, someone like Neil Sedaka charted more, but that doesn't mean Gene's talent was lesser in any way. Quite the contrary.

And that voice. Nicest voice I can think of. Listen to "Here Without You" ..Clark and Crosby took vocal sound to a new level.

And good thing! ...with easy downloads of vids and audio files, the world has access to show why Gene Clark will go down in history as a very talented writer, singer, and musician.
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mur... I agree with what you said about Gene Clark.. my point is I just can't imagine any of these Byrds songs with McGuinn's distinctive Rickenbacker. They just wouldn't have been the same...for me anyway...

edit: I've been trying to make my comments....by keeping in mind the band members' contribution to the Byrds (considering the entire Byrds' existance as a band)..not the individuals' careers as a whole or who's better than who statements..

When I think of the Byrds....the first thing that pops into my mind is hearing Mr. Tambourine coming out of transistor radio speakers in 1965. I'll never forget it.. It immediately conjures up 12 string Rickenbackers, granny glasses and beautiful vocal harmonies. There were other groups that had great vocals\ and harmony too...for me it's the 12 String Rick and more specifically McGuinn's unique mastery of it with his banjo roll picking. Take that away and there were no Byrds... IMHO... That contribution and all the rest of the 12 string contributions on other Byrds songs and his ability to keep re-inventing the group with new members...put McGuinn at the top of my MVB (Most Valuable Byrd) list...

Which I thought of incidently, by trying to assess Crosby's importance and contribution to the Byrds...
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Cosmic Cowboy



Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey what's wrong with a "Firearm Fetish"? I love guns. And saying that Roger should have given up the 12 string Richenbacker is like saying Clarence should have stopped playing the Stringbender Tele and started playing a Gibson SG. Blasphemy!!!!
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Paul Honeycutt



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 55
Location: Fort Collins, CO

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't afford albums so I bought the singles. I loved the hits, but then I flipped 'em over. It was the Gene Clark songs like, "She Don't Care About Time" and "It Won't Be Wrong" that made a fan for life. And my 14 year old buddies and I must have listened to 5D and Dylan's Blonde on Blonde a million times in the summer of '67. Stacked 'em up on the ol' record changer and flipping them over when they finished. I still hear that order in my head when I listen to those albums.

It wasn't until later that I really appreciated Crosby. I had a song book of his that had all of his songs in actual TAB the way he played them. That book changed the way I played guitar. I still pull it out and mess with it.

And the Rickenbacker 12 string was the glue that held it all together through the years. The solo on "Just a Season" on Untitled is one of my favorite pieces of music the way the Rick and Clarence's Tele dance together.

I think I need to pull out the CDs and put 'em in the five disk player...
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rickhouston



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
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Location: houston

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: it won't be wrong Reply with quote

agree with most you said, BUT- surprise, while this gorgeous tune sounds like Clark all over- it was written by Jim McGuinn !

still think Crosby is an infinitely lesser talent than any of the other Byrds, originals or laters.
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