The Byrds have gotten the coffee-table-book treatment.
The Byrds 1964-1967 was released September 20th, 2022 by BMG. It’s a large 400 page book, with 500 photos of The Byrds. It’s not cheap. It’s listed on Amazon for $149. But wait, you can spend a lot more! There’s a deluxe version with the signatures of Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman for $350. Spend $450, and you’ll also get David Crosby’s signature. If you really really love The Byrds, you could get the Super Deluxe version for $1,700! That version will let you choose one art print of one of the those three Byrds.
I love The Byrds, but I know I’ll get by without the signatures and the art print. Along with all those photos, the three remaining original members provide commentary. Although The Byrds continued on past 1967 (and had some influential albums), their greatest popularity was over three years… ‘65, ‘66, & ‘67.
Here’s a shot of an early ‘60’s folk group…at least that’s what it looks like. David Crosby, Gene Clark, and Jim McGuinn (who changed his name to Roger in 1967, because a guru told him it would vibrate better with the universe) were all involved with folk music before they got together. This photo is from 1964. All three were singers, songwriters and guitarists. By the time they released their first hit, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, as The Byrds in 1965, they had added Chris Hillman on bass and Michael Clarke on drums. By then, they also looked a lot more like The Beatles. It’s also true that Michael Clarke was chosen because he looked like Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones.
Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, & Michael Clarke. This lineup was responsible for “Mr. Tambourine Man” (#1), “Turn Turn Turn” (#1), “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better”, and “All I Really Want To Do”.
By the third album, singer-songwriter Gene Clark had left the group, partly because of a fear of flying. Ironically, their next hit was “Eight Miles High”, which McGuinn says was inspired by a ride in a Learjet.
The Byrds’ last album under the time frame of the new book was 1967’s Younger Than Yesterday.
Among the photos BMG sent out to promote the new book is a photo used for the album cover, as shown above. It was superimposed with another pose and given a psychedelic treatment to complete the cover. The hit songs from this album were “So You Wanna Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star”, and “My Back Pages”, which includes the line “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now”.
Byrds fans can now put on their Byrds albums, while they enjoy all the old photos and first-hand stories by Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and David Crosby.
Extra: Wanted to add this photo of Roger McGuinn & David Crosby in harmony, plus a couple group shots.