Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

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Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:47 am

Here's some basic lowdown on the Byrds book as of page 155:

The author of this book is very, very, very into The Byrds. He's not only written a large book about them, he's written the same large book about them several times. In fact, he's written it so many times that the interview subjects in the book often talk about "in your first book about the Byrds" and even "in your last book about the Byrds" so you get the feeling that what this guy does all day everyday is write this book about the Byrds. Which is all to the good because I love this band and I'm happy to know all there is about them such as:

Roger McGuinn was a total robot with no feelings or else he was just "cool" but mostly just really hard to talk to.

David Crosby you know all about and neither this book or I can tell you anything new. He's not fat yet though.

Gene Clark is shy and will soon become an alcoholic and will also I guess develop a fear of flying. Doesn't seem to be a problem yet, though. Oh and he just bought a corvette because he has more money than the other guys because he wrote more songs.

Chris Hillman plays the bass.

Michael Clarke has an 'e' at the end of his name and is good-looking. Despite photographic evidence to the contrary.

There are a bunch of managers and producers you don't care about and the Beatles turn up an awful lot to get all their ideas from the Byrds and remind us how much they loved the Byrds implying that the Byrds were actually better than the Beatles themselves.

That's about it for now. But they're just about to do "Eight Miles High" so it will only get better from here. And then it will get much, much worse.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:28 am

David Crosby Ousted From Byrds' Nest In "Tambourine" Band Flare-Up!

Or so I assume screamed the NME headlines back in 1967, which is where I'm at (chronologically speakin') in my great big book o' Byrds as of page 237. And for the first time in my life, I'm siding with Mr. Crosby over former favorites McG (not the director) and Hillman. I mean, surely David was a royale with cheese pain in the V-neck, but they could've kept him on a little while longer to finish Notorious and maybe learn how to play "Lady Friend" a little better.

Because that's the other thing I learned: they played "Lady Friend" at the Monterey Pop Festival but I'm afraid they didn't play it terribly well (you can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTFnfWmWuKY), but it's still pretty exciting because it's probably my favorite Byrds song and therefore on my favorite songs ever list.

Annoying that I'm only find this out now, though, since the whole reason I bought the Mont Pop Fest box set was because of the promise of unknown footage of this crazy band. And what did they include instead of this semi-crummy version of my favorite tune? An even worse version of "Hey Joe!"

Then again, if I hadn't bought it I'd never know the wonders of The Association's stage show or the greatness of that guitar player who played with Country Joe.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  choogle on Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:18 pm

Well this is more my fave stuff when it comes to Monterey, I mean besides Otis just coz that's the best ever.



That one lady sure is digging into that orange. I can't imagine why she's so into eating that orange. Health nut I guess.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:42 pm

Well, as of page 333, things are looking pretty grim for this greatest of great bands. Their last two albums have been real big stinkers and nobody in the band really cares about being in the Byrds anymore, including McGuinn who just stands there saying "oil can oil can oil can."

But a mere thirty or so pages ago they hit their last really great peak (at least until the unsung reunion album which by the way is very good no matter what you heard) with this song I've posted below. Watch for the crazy floating lady hologram speaking some alien tongue! And also a very very good live version of this amazing song.

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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:48 pm

I guess they excised the weird bridge part for time, which I think is ok. Much as I love that part, it might have meant that the giant ghost lady would come back and blow smoke on McGuinn's head or something weird.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:55 pm

Also, I can inform you all because I'm reading a book about this band that the guy playing bongos and tambourine and stuff is their former roadie who I've come to really like because he has the best perspective on this period of the band and says things like "They sucked" and "McGuinn was a robot" and "Clarence White was awesome at guitar."
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  choogle on Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:58 pm

Bill Bruford: Drums wrote:Also, I can inform you all because I'm reading a book about this band that the guy playing bongos and tambourine and stuff is their former roadie who I've come to really like because he has the best perspective on this period of the band and says things like "They sucked" and "McGuinn was a robot" and "Clarence White was awesome at guitar."

does he elaborate? I would say it seems more like "burnout robot in love with a horse wearing ill-fitting suit for no reason and adding "far-out" (kinda lame) asides throughout great songs"
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:20 pm

The roadie just got fired for being "too outrageous" though it can't've helped that he was going around calling McGuinn a burnout.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:48 am

Things're getting depressing as we move into the very-late 70s (p. 389). Gene Clark, always a short-hitter at the bar, is now pretty much drunk all the time. McGuinn looked like he was in trouble with cocaine but then just-like-that he turned his heart over to Jesus and now he's just Jesus Jesus Jesus all hours of the day (he got a Jesus wife, too -- she sounds like a drag). I preferred the Subud deal. Chris Hillman, due to be born again himself any day now, really thinks the Byrds should get together for one last album but we all know that didn't happen.

Crosby was last seen crawling around on the floor during a Graham Nash session trying to put his broken freebase pipe back together and I think Michael Clarke is managing a hotel in Colorado.

So, needless to say, the best is decidely NOT yet to come, both musically and readingwise, and yet I've got hundreds of pages left! This may be the final update in this thread's what I mean.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  choogle on Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:19 am

All those guys really loved Colorado, and there was a big 70s scene out there, which always seemed odd to me. Hey Bill, any remnants of groovy cowboy-rockers when you lived in those parts? Fringe jackets? White wine? Turtlenecks? Beards?
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:36 am

choogle wrote:All those guys really loved Colorado, and there was a big 70s scene out there, which always seemed odd to me. Hey Bill, any remnants of groovy cowboy-rockers when you lived in those parts? Fringe jackets? White wine? Turtlenecks? Beards?

They might have all been down in Durango. Certainly, the Rockies are full of rich jerks who might've taken some cues from the Desperado photo session in the seventies but by 1998 or so they were content with patagonia fleece chic.

You know where I bet it's still pretty heavy? Taos!
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  choogle on Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:45 am

WEED, WHITES, AND WINE
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:57 am

choogle wrote:WEED, WHITES, AND WINE

It's odd that the song "Willin'" doesn't mention Taos. Instead it mentions a bunch of other place names that start with T that I've never heard of and maybe Lowell George just made them up.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Plonk on Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:05 pm

Bill Bruford: Drums wrote:Things're getting depressing as we move into the very-late 70s (p. 389). Gene Clark, always a short-hitter at the bar, is now pretty much drunk all the time. McGuinn looked like he was in trouble with cocaine but then just-like-that he turned his heart over to Jesus and now he's just Jesus Jesus Jesus all hours of the day (he got a Jesus wife, too -- she sounds like a drag). I preferred the Subud deal. Chris Hillman, due to be born again himself any day now, really thinks the Byrds should get together for one last album but we all know that didn't happen.

Crosby was last seen crawling around on the floor during a Graham Nash session trying to put his broken freebase pipe back together and I think Michael Clarke is managing a hotel in Colorado.

So, needless to say, the best is decidely NOT yet to come, both musically and readingwise, and yet I've got hundreds of pages left! This may be the final update in this thread's what I mean.

what could possibly be discussed for hundreds of pages at this point? maybe the author will say, "oops, I forgot to mention this cool story about Miss P and a really cute kitten." and that will account for at least a hundred of the pages left.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:29 pm

Plonk wrote:[quote:9bdd="Bill Bruford: Drums"]Things're getting depressing as we move into the very-late 70s (p. 389). Gene Clark, always a short-hitter at the bar, is now pretty much drunk all the time. McGuinn looked like he was in trouble with cocaine but then just-like-that he turned his heart over to Jesus and now he's just Jesus Jesus Jesus all hours of the day (he got a Jesus wife, too -- she sounds like a drag). I preferred the Subud deal. Chris Hillman, due to be born again himself any day now, really thinks the Byrds should get together for one last album but we all know that didn't happen.

Crosby was last seen crawling around on the floor during a Graham Nash session trying to put his broken freebase pipe back together and I think Michael Clarke is managing a hotel in Colorado.

So, needless to say, the best is decidely NOT yet to come, both musically and readingwise, and yet I've got hundreds of pages left! This may be the final update in this thread's what I mean.

what could possibly be discussed for hundreds of pages at this point? maybe the author will say, "oops, I forgot to mention this cool story about Miss P and a really cute kitten." and that will account for at least a hundred of the pages left.[/quote]

It looks as though the book proper ends around 500-something. And then after that it's loads of "supplemental" material like discographies and bootleg descriptions and kitten stories. And we still have to hear about the sad declines and deaths of a couple members, so I'm gonna ride it out. Whatever happens, this book is already way better than that book about Pete Townshzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  choogle on Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:38 pm

Has this gotten into Gene Clark's solo stuff? I'm curious. So many flowing silken shirts, so much weight loss, so much blow.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:42 pm

choogle wrote:Has this gotten into Gene Clark's solo stuff? I'm curious. So many flowing silken shirts, so much weight loss, so much blow.

A bit, I think toward the end of the book it will take a closer look at the individual solo careers. There was talk about how great "No Other" was but how nobody bought it because Gene was crazy and wouldn't tour. Also how Jesse Ed Davis was a monster. But we knew that from May Pang's book.
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  choogle on Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:02 pm

Bill Bruford: Drums wrote:
choogle wrote:Has this gotten into Gene Clark's solo stuff? I'm curious. So many flowing silken shirts, so much weight loss, so much blow.

A bit, I think toward the end of the book it will take a closer look at the individual solo careers. There was talk about how great "No Other" was but how nobody bought it because Gene was crazy and wouldn't tour. Also how Jesse Ed Davis was a monster. But we knew that from May Pang's book.

Like he was awesome or like he was mean? I mean I know the first part's true! Also part Kiowa!
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Re: Reading Books So You Don't Have To: The Byrds Book

Post  Bill Bruford: Drums on Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:45 pm

Jesse Ed was a booze monster. As with Lennon, he took Gene Clark on a dark ride through alcohell. Not saying he wasn't a nifty guitar player with a fascinating cultural heritage! Just saying that he was a drink-sodden injun.
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