In 1965, The Byrds had a worldwide smash with Bob Dylan's 'Mr. Tambourine Man', opened for The Rolling Stones in the US, hung out with The Beatles, undertook a disastrous tour of Great Britain, and capped the year with a second US chart-topper 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' Over the next few years they released the groundbreaking 'Eight Miles High' single and a clutch of classic albums, enduring regular line-up changes that would have been the end of most bands but in The Byrds case, fuelled leader Roger McGuinn's innate capacity for reinvention. With hindsight, The Byrds were one of the 60s most influential bands. After virtually inventing folk-rock they pioneered psychedelia and country-rock, and were also the first guitar rock band to use synthesizers. Their influence endures in the mainstream rock of R.E.M. and Tom Petty, a multitude of jangly indie bands from the last 25 years, and just about every alt.country and Americana act on the scene. Now, The Byrds story is unraveled, as it happened, day-by-day, in So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star. From the band's formation and breakthrough hit in 1965 to the brief reunion of the original line-up in 1972/73, this book is the most compelling and complete account of The Byrds ever published. Drawing on hundreds of lost and previously undiscovered sources, not to mention a wealth of previously unseen photos, it is a gripping chronicle of the life and times of this seminal band.
|Publisher:||Outline Press, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||8.40(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Christopher Hjort is a rock historian who combines a love for popular music with an interest in typography and graphic design. He has written record reviews and artist profiles for music magazines and together with noted American researcher Doug Hinman published an acclaimed chronology of Jeff Becks career, Jeffs Book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book that shatters the myths is finally here. The Byrds, known for being aheasd of their time in virtually everything they created, is also known incorrectly as a band that used studio musicians on many of their recordings. Mr. Hjort gives us the dates of the recording sessions along with the names of almost all the guests that appeared on their LP's.
To this day writers and critics claim that the Byrds only sang on their first LP...which is of course wrong...very wrong. The two songs on their first single are the only two songs from their first LP Mr. Tambourine Man that had ringers performing the rhythm tracks (the players were studio cats called the Wrecking Crew). Everything else on that glorious first LP was performed by the Byrds themselves. Not until The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968) were there wholesale changes as drummer Clarke is missing from many sessions.
Mr. Hjort takes us through the Byrds' first days at Ciro's in West Hollywood, through their terrible first British tour...and all the way through their comback years from 1970 until 1973 when they were one of the hottest live acts in the world.
The sadness at the end as McGuinn is recording a new LP with the original members (1973) while he was still touring with his Country Byrds can bring a tear to your eye, and when the world loses Clarence you know that story of that great Country band that eventually took over for the original line-up was gone for good.
Kudos to Christopher Hjort...I couldn't put this book down.