in praise of roger mcguinn

PRW

Member
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1,803
I saw him a few years ago at one of his solo concerts ... out-freaking-standing, and he only played like eight Byrds songs in a 28-song set, but nobody wanted their money back.

Killer guitar player too, he played his 7-string (doubled G) Martin way more than his Rickenbacker, and he WORE THAT THING OUT! He can do much more than jangle.
 

sonofspy

Member
Messages
530
proof that pipes aren’t required. what a crazy mix of a natural voice and that rickenbacker. still stunning.
As a player who, prior to being in the Byrds, had been a session musician, Roger was the ONLY member of the Byrds allowed to play when they recorded the album.
The rest of the recording was done by the Wrecking Crew.
 

wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
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7,336
He played the last ever Halloween Ball on the quad in the middle of the University of Florida in 1976, which I was fortunate to attend. Great show, great player, singer, and songwriter.

And one of the early makers of what we call "jam band" music today, for which he gets too little credit.
 

wombat66

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2,733
As a player who, prior to being in the Byrds, had been a session musician, Roger was the ONLY member of the Byrds allowed to play when they recorded the album.
The rest of the recording was done by the Wrecking Crew.
This is not true.
Roger was a professional musician but not a "Session Man" (Crosby, Hillman, and Gene Clark were also professional folk singers when they started the band). It was only on the "Mr Tambourine Man" single and "I Knew I'd Want You" that the band (except McGuinn) was replaced by the wrecking crew.

Although the band's musicianship improved following the recording of their debut single, it was assumed by both Columbia and the band's management that their entire debut album would be recorded with session musicians.[18] The band, however, had other ideas and insisted that they be allowed to perform the album's instrumental accompaniment themselves.[18] By the start of recording sessions for the album, Melcher felt satisfied that the group had polished their sound enough to be able to produce professional sounding backing tracks and the Byrds were allowed to record the rest of the Mr. Tambourine Man album without any help from session musicians.[19][20] However, a persistent and widely circulated rumor about the album is that all of the playing on it was done by session musicians.[4] This misconception is likely due to confusion between the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single and the album of the same name. Hillman has stated that the contrast between the more polished sound of the two tracks featuring session musicians ("Mr. Tambourine Man" and "I Knew I'd Want You") and the sound of the rest of the album is quite noticeable.[21]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Tambourine_Man_(album)

I hate having to use Wikipedia as my source because its so cliche (its on the internet so its got to be true). But this myth of the session men on the first album was first dispelled in the 60s when I was first a fan and yet somehow continues to this day.
 
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wombat66

Member
Messages
2,733
I bought the first Byrds album when it was released, one of the first records I ever bought, and have been a fan ever since.
McGuinn is quite obviously the man.

A young wombat (circled) Byrd watching on Mt Tamalpais 1967. (Hugh Masekela sat in with the band)
 

beatcomber

Member
Messages
626
I bought the first Byrds album when it was released, one of the first records I ever bought, and have been a fan ever since.
McGuinn is quite obviously the man.

A young wombat (circled) Byrd watching on Mt Tamalpais 1967. (Hugh Masekela sat in with the band)
Whoa...!!!!
 

sonofspy

Member
Messages
530
This is not true.
Roger was a professional musician but not a "Session Man" (Crosby, Hillman, and Gene Clark were also professional folk singers when they started the band). It was only on the "Mr Tambourine Man" single and "I Knew I'd Want You" that the band (except McGuinn) was replaced by the wrecking crew.

Although the band's musicianship improved following the recording of their debut single, it was assumed by both Columbia and the band's management that their entire debut album would be recorded with session musicians.[18] The band, however, had other ideas and insisted that they be allowed to perform the album's instrumental accompaniment themselves.[18] By the start of recording sessions for the album, Melcher felt satisfied that the group had polished their sound enough to be able to produce professional sounding backing tracks and the Byrds were allowed to record the rest of the Mr. Tambourine Man album without any help from session musicians.[19][20] However, a persistent and widely circulated rumor about the album is that all of the playing on it was done by session musicians.[4] This misconception is likely due to confusion between the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single and the album of the same name. Hillman has stated that the contrast between the more polished sound of the two tracks featuring session musicians ("Mr. Tambourine Man" and "I Knew I'd Want You") and the sound of the rest of the album is quite noticeable.[21]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Tambourine_Man_(album)

I hate having to use Wikipedia as my source because its so cliche (its on the internet so its got to be true). But this myth of the session men on the first album was first dispelled in the 60s when I was first a fan and yet somehow continues to this day.
Right you are. In this case my memory was faulty...
"While having reluctantly agreed in
the interim to allow the other four
members to now also play their own
instruments (through heavy pressure
from the band’s management), Melcher
still found the occasional need to bring
in Hal Blaine to “sweeten” some of the
percussion. Having a rock-solid rhythm
track was vital for any song—it was the
foundation upon which everything else
was built. But the unrelenting Michael
Clarke saw Blaine’s presence in a
different light.
“We don’t need another drummer in
here,” a still-resentful Clarke said to
Melcher one afternoon as they and the
rest of the band listened in the booth to a
song on which Blaine had contributed.
“It should just be the five of us. I can
handle all the playing. I’ve been doing it
onstage every night at Ciro’s, you
know.”
Here we go again, thought the
producer.
“We’ve already been through this,
Michael,” Melcher said evenly, trying
his best to remain patient. “Playing live
is very different from what is needed in
the studio. In some ways, I just don’t
think you’re quite there yet.”
“********,” Clarke replied.
That finally tore it. Clarke never did
know when to quit. And Melcher had
taken all he could of the rookie
drummer’s constant complaining.
“Listen,” said Melcher, his voice
rising as he spun around in his chair.
“You need to sit down and shut the ****
up right now. Or leave this studio. Your
choice. Got it?”
The Wrecking Crew
 

GrungeMan

Supporting Member
Messages
6,423
And one of the early makers of what we call "jam band" music today, for which he gets too little credit.
My favorite era of The Byrds. They definitely were a tight oufit in the 70's with more guitar. In this era I always thought Clarence White was the bonafide gunslinger in the band with McGuinn doing his chimey thing with the Ric...
 
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twotone

Member
Messages
3,166
I remember a video clip of him showing how he played Turn! Turn! Turn! on the guitar. He used banjo fingerpicks to pluck the strings. I always wondered how he played that song.
 

Rockledge

Member
Messages
5,557
I wasn't a fan of the Byrds and haven't heard a lot of his solo stuff, but I have a copy of Back From Rio and it kicks ass.
 


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