R.I.P. Tony Rice
December 25, 2020
Long time Chris Hillman musical partner.
UPDATE Dec. 29 : everything (and more) you want to know about Tony Rice
Update December 24, 2020: I've had several requests for making this compilation available. Watch this space.
Various Artists – Close But…No Byrds
I made myself a compilation of tracks by The Byrds and ex-members…or not.
The tracks are in chronological order of the original Byrds becoming full time members of the band.
Tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 19, 20, 21 and 22 are from actual singles.
Tracks 3 and 4: Jim McGuinn is Jim/Roger’s grandson.
8, 15 and 16 are from actual officially downloadable tracks.
4, 13, 14, 17, 18, 23 and 24 are from YouTube.
As to tracks 23 and 24… our Skip’s complete real name is Clyde Raybould Battin Jr..The closest I could get is some singing and ukulele playing weird guy named Clyde Batton.
Byrds - Bright Lights Big City (3:06)
2. The Byrds - Little Lover (2:02)
3. Jim McGuinn & The Cosmic Cowboys - Underbelly Blues (3:34)
4. Jim McGuinn & The Cosmic Cowboys - Pull The Plug (2:39)
5. Gene Clark And The Playboys - Crazy Kind Of Love (2:24)
6. Gene Clark And The Playboys - Budds Bounce (1:45)
7. Dave Crosby - Me Without You (3:58)
8. Dave Crosby - Forever (4:14)
9. Michael Clark - Sweet Louise (3:26)
10. Michael Clark - Busted Down In Houston (3:00)
11. Chris Hillman - My Little Nightingale (2:17)
12. Chris Hillman - Takin' My Baby Home (1:40)
13. Kevin Kelly - That's Life (2:58)
14. Kevin Kelly - Hard Hearted Hannah (2:21)
15. Graham A. Parsons - Lately (3:30)
16. Graham A. Parsons - Naive (3:15)
17. Clarence White & The Johnny Appleseeds - Can't Expect All That (2:41)
18. Clarence White & The Johnny Appleseeds - Cry (4:52)
19. Gene Parson's Band - Toy Guitar (1:37)
20. Gene Parson's Band - Night Club Rock And Roll (1:49)
21. John York - Star Of The Bar Room (2:13)
22. John York - Another Love (3:00)
23. Clyde Batton - Ukulele Wailin' (0:48)
24. Clyde Batton - Happy Birthday (1:05)
8 mm silent movie featuring the original lineup of The Byrds.
The movie is called THE BYRDS FLIP THEM IN FRESNO and was recorded at the Radcliffe Stadium, Fresno, CA on Saturday, May 22, 1965.
The Byrds opened for The Rolling Stones at this performance.
It is a black and white silent movie (approximately 6 min duration).
From Christpher Hjort's book:
"The Byrds' visit to Fresno was filmed and later sold as a low fidelity 8 mm film in black and white and without sound. It was advertised in the teen press as The Byrds Flip Them in Fresno and sold on mail order basis only."
See stills from the movie, posters and details here:http://byrdsflyght.ucoz.com/index/byrds_in_fresno_movie/0-33
Next find is a set of 3 Byrds tapes from a US radio station, with interviews and music...probably, judging by what's written on them.
Of course, I never managed to play them as they are special cassettes needing radio station equipment to be played.
The lockdown has its advantages, one of them being having spare time to search our archives.
I'm currently searching in boxes that haven't been opened for decades.
Here's the first of my recent finds.
It's a postcard...or...a record...actually both!
A musical postcard that plays Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds.
Well, actually, I never tried to play it on my turntable; it's just a collectible piece that I bought decades ago.
Judging by the cyrillic characters and the statue of Lenin, it's probably from the USSR.
More goodies coming soon.
Doing nothing is not in our psyches. We thrive on working. Now, Roger goes to the studio and records a project that has been waiting to do for over 60 years – the songs from “Gene Tryp”. It was a play that Jacques Levy asked Roger to write the music for in 1968. The play never got on Broadway but Roger got some wonderful songs to sing. “Chestnut Mare” being his favorite.
Once recording begins, his studio door is shut from 1- 4pm, Monday-Thursday. Closets and cabinets beckon me to purge them and so does the kitchen. I have finally used the dusty KitchenAid mixer and all of its attachments. Fresh bread and fresh pasta roll out of the machine like it was made for the task. When the song tracks are ready, Roger invites me in to work on the mixing and mastering.
There is truth to the statement “give a busy person the job that needs to be done”. Not being real busy anymore, my office has stacks of mail and papers sitting all around. I just tell myself, “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll think about that tomorrow. Time to make pasta”.
Two weeks ago, Roger took a break to think about the song for the December “Folk Den”, the online project he has recorded monthly on mcguinn.com for over 25 years. December is the month for a Christmas song. The two 4 CD sets of “The Folk Den Project” were on his desk. He picked them up and listened to all the December songs. It was the Christmas recording he always wanted to do. We tried it years ago, but didn’t feel right about it, but this time we were both amazed at the joy we felt as we were listening.
Technology has come a long way in 25 years. Some of the songs were just two tracks recorded on DAT. Realizing that if we digitally re-mastered the recordings the quality of the mixes would improve. It took two days to master the 13 songs we picked. Then it was easy to put the art work together from photos I had been taking for years to feature on a Christmas CD.
Our intent was to make it for our neighbors and send it to our friends as a Christmas card. I called Oasis Manufacturing to get a quote and realized if we wanted it to be professionally pressed we needed 300 copies. We were happy with the songs, maybe someone else will be also. The process of a simple Christmas card became a little more complicated. CDBABY was contacted, the final product was approved and we are waiting with Christmas anticipation for the gift we have to give.
“Merry Christmas” has an official release date of December 1st. It will be available for download and streaming. The physical CD will be primarily listed on Amazon. CDBABY takes care of distribution to all outlets.
Roger McGuinn has a seasonal new CD out (December 1, 2020)
Go Where I Send Thee (5:04)
2. What Child Is This (2:58)
3. Angels We Have Heard On High (3:25)
4. Away In A Manger (2:46)
5. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (2:05)
6. The First Noel (3:17)
7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (2:57)
8. The Cherry Tree Carol (4:20)
9. The Virgin Mary (2:07)
10. I Saw Three Ships (2:02)
11. Mary Had A Baby (1:58)
12. The Twelve Days Of Christmas (3:58)
13. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1:37)
The ever-present Jean-Pierre Morisset sent us a link with tens of mostly unpublished pictures of Gene Clark (with The Byrds, solo and with group).
The picture above is The Gene Clark Group in 1967.
Left to right: Clarence White, Eddie Hoh, Gene Clark and John York.
Other pictures of Gene alone are labelled "Notorious Byrd Brothers Sessions 1967" (which proves that Gene was present at the recording sessions).
Thank Jean-Pierre for your continuous involvment.
NOTE: we just found this on some website:
In 1967, Gene Clark revamped his Gene Clark Group, this time with Clarence White (guitar), John York (bass) and Eddie Hoh (drums). They performed only once in front of an audience. They recorded “The French Girl” and “Only Colombe” to be released as a single, but it was shelved. Both songs later appeared on the “Echoes” compilation in 1991.
I’m missing one track by Chris Hillman
If any good soul could send a link to get it, I would be eternally grateful.
The source and the link won’t be published.
Thanks in advance.
“Old Rockin’ Chair” (download only bonus track from “The Other Side” - 2005)
One can say that Firefall has a rather strong connection to The Byrds.
Not only was Michael Clarke their original drummer (recording their first three LPs with them), but other original members Jock Bartley and Mark Andes were members of The Chris Hillman Band in the 70s, and Jock Bartley was a member of Gram Parsons’ Fallen Angels.
More, the original founder and leader of Firefall was Rick Roberts, who replaced Gram Parsons in The Flying Burrito Brothers and became the leader of that band when Chris Hillman left.
Rick Roberts was also a member of the Gene Clark Byrds Tribute bands in the mid-80s.
Firefall underwent many lineup changes over the years, always with Jock Bartley at the helm.
Since late 2014, three original members, Jock Bartley, David Muse and Mark Andes, reunited and toured along with long time member Sandy Ficca (since 1984) and, since 2015, Gary Jones.
Firefall will release a new album of studio recordings on December 11, titled COMET.
It is announced as "Firefall's first album of new music in 25 years".
01 Way Back
02 A Real Fine Day
03 Hardest Chain
04 Nature’s Way
06 There She Is
07 Ghost Town
08 Never Be The Same
09 Before I Met You
10 A New Mexico
See and hear a Mark Andes interview and a preview of "Way Back Then" here:
Rick Roberts and Larry Burnett aren't part of the reunion but they play together again.
Byrds fans often argue about John Guerin having or not having to be considered an official member of The Byrds. He appears as a band member on the 2 live tracks on the Banjoman soundtrack LP, so this leaves the question open.
For those interested in his carreer outside The Byrds, here's a link to a fantastic blog (the title says it all).
It lists 374 albums he plays on!
In 1990, Michael Clarke had secured the rights to the 'Byrds' trademark and toured Europe with his bunch of Byrds (with Skip Battin, Terry Jones Rogers and Jerry Sorn).
When in U.K., he did an interview at the Preston Guild Hall, Lancashire, England.
The complete interview, as broadcast by some local radio station, is available on YouTube, with Byrds songs thrown in between spoken parts.
You can download the spoken parts only (10 min) here:
One week ago (November 15), we posted an article about a promotional video clip done by French TV for a concert by The Flying Burrito Brothers in Blois, France, on October 19, 1985.
A couple of weeks ago, the ever-present Jean-Pierre Morisset sent the complete video of the concert to Thomas Aubrunner in Austria, telling him it was a very amateurish audience VHS taping ... but Thomas decided to make something of it and put the 'highlights' on YouTube. Great work!
Watch it here:
Thomas’ Burrito Brother website:
Many thanks to Jean-Pierre and Thomas
The Byrds are on the cover of the latest issue of Shiding! (#109) (November 2020)
There's a long article about them, with many pictures.
The article also includes a version of Toulouse Engelhard's review of his early 1973 concert as an opening act for The Byrds.
Pictures courtesy of Jean-Pierre, taken when the interviews took place:
Chris Ethrige and his wife with Jean-Pierre and Jean Marcou (a well-known French rock journalist and rock writer – he co-wrote the first French language book on the Rolling Stones)
Gib Guilbeau and his wife.
More from the vaults of Jean-Pierre Morisset. Here comes the second part of hitherto unreleased interviews done by him when the revamped Flying Burrito Brothers toured Europe in 1975. This time, hear Chris Ethridge and Gib Guilbeau talk.
In this zip file:
Part one is the Chris Ethridge interview.
Part two is the Gib Guilbeau interview.
Once more, don’t expect high quality audio.
And don’t forget that the questions were asked by someone who isn’t Englishspeaker by birth.
These interviews are fascinating with many details unveiled about Chris Ethridge's and Gib Guilbeau’s carreers before this incarnation of the FBBs.
Many thanks to Jean-Pierre.
Download the interviews here:
The revamped Flying Burrito Brothers (Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Skip Battin, Greg Harris and Jim Goodall) toured Europe again in 1985. When in France, they had a concert booked in Blois, capital of the Loir-Et-Cher department, on October 19.
The ever-present Jean-Pierre Morisset persuaded the local branch of the official French TV channel France 3 to record an exclusive performance of the instrumental “Oklahoma Stomp” by the band, to be broadcast the previous day as a promo for the concert.
Jean-Pierre just found the VHS tape of the promo clip, as the lockdown leaves him plenty of time to search his archives. He sent a DVD rip to Thomas Aubrunner in Austria, and the latter put it on his YouTube channel two days ago.
Watch it here:
You can download the whole October 19 concert here:
Visit Thomas’s website here:
With many thanks to Jean-Pierre and Thomas
The Flying Burrito Brothers with Jean-Pierre at Jean-Pierre's home
From the vaults of Jean-Pierre Morisset, France’s biggest Byrds-family freak, here comes hitherto unreleased interviews done by him with Gene Parsons and Sneaky Pete Kleinow, when the revamped Flying Burrito Brothers toured Europe in 1975.
The lineup of these FBBs also included Gib Guilbeau, Joel Scott-Hill and Chris Ethridge.
Interviews with Gib Guilbeau and Chris Ethridge done at the same place at the same time will follow.
You can watch a 7 minute video of their soundcheck here:
In this zip file:
Part one is the Gene Parsons interview done at the Alhambra in Bordeaux, France, on May 26, 1975, before the concert.
Part two is the Sneaky Pete Kleinow interview, also done at the same place before the concert.
Part three is the Gene Parsons interview recorded after the concert, in the car that brought Gene back to his hotel.
The places where the recordings took place explain why you shouldn’t expect high quality audio.
And don’t forget that the questions were asked by someone who isn’t Englishspeaker by birth.
We at Byrds Flyght found these interviews fascinating, with many details unveiled about Gene’s and Pete’s careers before, with and after the Byrds and the first version of the FBBs.
Total length = 41:25
Many thanks to Jean-Pierre (pictured here with Gene Parsons)
The Crown Prince of the Rickenbacker 12 String strikes again!
Horst-Peter Schmidt, the unstoppable leader of Starbyrd, has just released a CD of new songs.
WHIRLWIND OF TIME
Liner notes by Eric Sorensen.
The first 6 songs are about pandemic-related issues. Horst-Peter lives in the present, illustrated by sounds of the past.
As usual, we don’t have enough kind words to say how much we appreciate Horst-Peter’s work.
We still have his early recordings, that he sent us on cassettes decades ago, and we are always positively surprised by the quality of his on-going releases.Strongly recommended by Byrds Flyght
Go here to get it:
We were informed (by Brian QTN) that 2 albums by Connie Cohen that we were unaware of, have been available at BandCamp for a long time.
Thanks Brian for the info and the links.
Standing In These Bones (recorded 1993)
John York is with Claudia Lennear's band October
29th, at 9:15pm.
Real name Ronald Clyde Crosby, country singer/songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker passed away October 23, 2020.
He is best know for writing "Mr. Bojangles".
Michael Clarke plays drums on his 1982 "CowJazz" LP, and also was the drummer for his 1982 concerts in the USA.
Michael Clarke, David "Crosby" and "Clyde" (Skip) Battin; three good reasons to mention his passing here.
We know of songs by 2 different artists or bands using the same instrumental backing track for different vocals (for instance, “California Dreamin’” first by Barry McGuire and later by The Mama’s And The Papa’s)…but THREE TIMES??? This must be the only time it happened.
Gene Clark wrote the song, recorded it in 1967, but it wasn’t released at the time and the backing track was first used for David Hemmings’ version on his “Happens” LP from 1967, then by Canadian Kelldecaut Réan on a single in 1967, and Gene Clark’s original version was finally released in 2018.
Chronologically released by:
Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen guested with David Crosby and his band at the Lowell Summer Music Series, June 14, 2018 at the Boarding House Park, Lowell, MA
Watch it here:
"This week, we paid special tribute to The Byrds! When we first got together, we were coming from two different musical backgrounds -- Maura from a power-pop and Americana background and Pete from the world of rock 'n roll, folk and blues. We did share some common ground in our musical tastes, including a few critical bands like The Beatles, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris and Patsy Cline. But the band we both loved above all others was The Byrds. Imagine our joy when Roger McGuinn agreed to play his signature chiming Rickenbacker 12 on our Life Is Large album back in 1995! This week, Pete gave his own 12-string Ricky a good workout and we let those modal harmonies fly as we played our favorite songs by this influential band. Scroll down to see a list of the songs we played along with songwriter credits.
Here's a list of the songs we played during this stream:
1) Mr. Tambourine Man - (Bob Dylan)
2) Chimes of Freedom - (Bob Dylan) (Kennedys version on "Half A Million Miles" CD)
3) I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better - (Gene Clark)
4) My Back Pages - (Bob Dylan)
5) Here Without You - (Gene Clark) (Kennedys version on "Evolver" CD)
6) Turn! Turn! Turn! - (Pete Seeger)
7) It Won’t Be Wrong - (Jim McGuinn & Harvey Gerst)
8) Ballad of Easy Rider - (Roger McGuinn, assist from Bob Dylan)
9) Lay Down Your Weary Tune - (Bob Dylan)
10) You Ain’t Going Nowhere - (Bob Dylan)
11) Bells of Rhymney - (music by Pete Seeger; lyrics by Welsh poet Idris Davies)
12) Mr. Spaceman - (Roger McGuinn)
13) She Don’t Care About Time - (Gene Clark)
14) Eight Miles High - (Gene Clark, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby) (Kennedys version on "Songs of the Open Road" CD)"
The day The Byrds landed
at Palos Verdes High School
by Toulouse Engelhardt
On the Friday before Halloween in 1965, the rumor spread quickly across the campus at Palos Verdes High School, ricocheting from locker to locker, down the halls across the senior park and off campus to the entire South Bay. Could it be true? The Byrds, the third most popular rock and roll band in the world, behind only the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, were going to perform at our high school?
Somehow, Mr. James Kinney, the iconic activities director at Palos Verdes High School since opening day back in 1961 had worked out a deal with the Byrds management’s Eddie Tickner and Jim Dickson to get the Byrds to come to Palos Verdes High School and perform a 45 minute set for the sum of just $300. Proceeds from the concert were to go to the construction of a campus.
I remember seeing small football pep rally cards pinned to the shirts and blouses of the students going down to the gym for the weekly football rally that said in the bright school colors with red, black and white lettering, ”Turn,Turn, Turn the Falcons,” referring to our football rivals from Aviation High School and the arrival of the Byrds.
The night of the gig, at around 6 p.m., a helicopter landed on the edge of the football field on the west side of the campus with all five of the original members of the group: Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke. Greeting the band was none other than, who else, activities director James Kinney. Mr. Kinney and a volunteer student staff escorted the band to the “green room,” which turned out to be the girl’s dance recital room at the rear of the gymnasium. On the large wooden wall of the gym, behind the stage where the roadies were setting up the drum kit and amplifiers, students from the school’s art department had hung large colorful murals of each of the band members.
Shortly before 8 p.m., over 1,500 excited students and faculty packed into the gymnasium. It was warm and humid inside the gym simply because of the huge crowd, even though the Palos Verdes Estates Fire Department had set strict limits on the number of people allowed in the gym. The doors were shut tight when the crowd reached the allowable occupancy. Bouncers at the door had their work cut out for them too, holding back crowds of outsiders hoping to crash the concert.
When the lights suddenly went out and the Byrds entered from stage left, the crowd went wild.
The Byrds performance that evening lived up to everyone’s expectations with their newly invented “folk rock” twang, beautifully interwoven vocal harmonies and intricate interpretations of classic Dylan and Pete Seeger songs. Their set included their two number one hits; “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and Gene Clark’s classic “Feel A Whole Lot Better,” .
To get the dance crowd “stomping” they surprised everyone in attendance with an extended version of Chuck Berry’s classic “Roll Over Beethoven.” “Turn, Turn, Turn” came at the end of their set. After strumming the final chords, the band unplugged their guitars and quickly left the stage. They had been on stage for just 35 minutes.
As they headed down the hall to the exit, they were intercepted by a very angry activities director. Mr. James Kinney dangled his ring of keys in their faces like they were just another bunch of high school delinquents. He pointed his finger right in Roger McGuinn’s face and ordered, “You boys turn right around and march yourselves back on stage. You owe us another couple of songs! We have a contract with you, remember?”
The band quickly turned around and went right back out to rousing applause. They ended their encore with a shimmering performance of Bob Dylan’s classic ”Chimes of Freedom.”.
Earlier that night I made it a point to work my way through the crowd all the way up to the front of the stage. I stood as close to McGuinn as I could, so close I could see the reflections coming off the Ben Franklin glasses that had become one of his trademarks. I was mesmerized by the “twang” of his Rickenbacker 12 string guitar blasting through his Black Fender Bandmaster amp. I was especially impressed with his intricate fingerstyle arrangement of the instrumental bridge in “Turn, Turn Turn,” just as I had been earlier listening to “Bells of Rhymney” from their first Columbia release.
I sensed the unlimited possibilities of the 12 string guitar and more importantly the potential for limitless lyrical expression using all of your fingers to pluck multiple melodic lines in synchronicity, not just a single line with a flat pick. It was a pivotal moment in my musical career. As I continued to watch the band perform, in a moment of serendipity, I Thought to myself, I need to explore the 12 string guitar for its expressive power, tonal range and shimmering chorus of sounds and that’s exactly what I did.
Little did I know at the time that almost eight years to that day, I would join the Byrds on their final American tour through the Rockies and across the plains of America as the band’s support act. That dream didn’t last long. Before I knew it the band was off to the East Coast and I had to pack up my Martin D-12-28 guitar and return home here to a life of normalcy in the South Bay and to ponder my next career move.
Reflecting back now, if it wasn’t for the tour exposure that I received those weeks and the encouragement I received from the band, especially from the Byrds’ brilliant guitarist Clarence White, where would I be? I had no idea then how much his words would help advance my career. The press covering the tour asked Clarence to comment about my performance and he was quoted as saying in his quiet, soft mild mannered way; “I’m becoming a big fan of this young fingerstyle guitarist”. Without that acknowledgement, I probably would have never gotten the attention of Chris Darrow of Kaleidoscope and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame, who went on to mentor me through my first record contract and introduce me to Denny Bruce the co-owner of Takoma Records and the personal manager of fingerstyle guitar greats John Fahey and Leo Kottke. That turned out to be my first big break in as a solo instrumental guitarist.
I still have the guitar pick Clarence White gave me when we said goodbye in 1973 I keep it as a good luck charm whenever I go. In the mid ‘90s, Hollywood Records released Roger McGuinn’s “Live from Mars,” a series of live recordings and cool folk stories from his solo performances in the post-Byrd years while, at that same time, the same record label re-released my first album, “TouIlusions,” with its iconic “Sailkat” cover design by another Palos Verdes High School alumnus the legendary artist Rick Griffin.
Looking back, 55 years later, I will always remember that concert at Palos Verdes High School with great fondness. Now I know why I keep hearing the words of James M. Barrie, who created “Peter Pan”, dancing in my head. “God gave us memory that we might have roses in December”.
To hear an audio clip from this concert go to
For the record; This is the only known “live” recording of the Byrds in existence with all five of the original members.
For more info on guitarist Toulouse Engelhardt go to:
This concert has been released many times already on various bootleg LPs and CDs, so we think this is just another unofficial release.
Hereunder, that lineup miming to the studio version of Mr. Spaceman, filmed at the Colosseum in Rome during that tour.
The Gary Usher / Byrds Interview
Gary Usher produced 3 historic Byrds albums 1966-1968:
Younger Than Yesterday
The Notorious Byrd Brothers
Sweetheart Of The Rodeo.
On April 15th 1988, he answered a set of questions by Goran Tannfelt about his work with The Byrds.
recording is now made public. Thanks to David for the info and links.
Gary Usher died 30 years ago, May 25, 1990.