Tuesday, January 03, 2006


David Crosby always seems to have a bit of a twinkle about him. It seems that he is a bit of a bugger, even as a walrus-like elder statesman of folk rock there seems to be something a bit mischevious about him. His personal problems have been well documented but his songwriting talent and wonderful voice are less highlighted. Although The Byrds were marketed as America's answer to The Beatles they were not the tight little unit that the Fab Four were. The story of The Byrds is one of a power struggle to achieve domination of the band, a battle won by the brilliant but austere Roger McGuinn and lost by the sensitive Gene Clark and mercurial David Crosby. The straw which broke the camel's back was 'Triad' in which Crosby tries to persuade his woman that they should 'go on as three'.

The Byrds- Triad

Crosby had been irritating the band for a number of months, hanging out with the Airplane, the Springfield and generally being pushy. McGuinn found 'Triad' tasteless while contributing his immacualate 12 string. The Byrds competed with each other to get their material onto their albums, Crosby's 'Lady Friend' is a good example of a song which had to fought for. A brassy 'hurrah' of a song, it showcases what made The Byrds so special and particularly Crosby's spirited vocals. Eventually Crosby had to go.

The Byrds- Lady Friend

Apologies for getting all 'Johnny Rogan' on you's but the story of The Byrds is a fascinating one, while I think McGuinn basically invented one of rock music's hallmark sounds my favourite Byrd will always be David Crosby.

'Timeless Flight' by Johnny Rogan is an essential rock read

The Notorious Byrd Brothers was Crosby's last album as a Byrd (not counting reunions), buy it here

Rickenbacker- obviously!

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