So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day 1965-1973

One way to tell a music hipster from a legitimate Byrds fan is to ask them their favorite Byrds’ album. If they say Sweetheart of the Radio, you can be well assured that’s all Gram hype related and not the words of a Byrds obsessive; after all, The Byrds were sonic travellers with musical accomplishments far richer than a one-off country record. Read all about Gram Parson’s time with The Byrds, performance reviews, the South Africa debacle, forgotten interviews and other commentary in So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day 1965-1973.This is a pretty excellent and also exhaustive account of the near day-to-day activities of The Byrds through the years 1965-1973. This work is made for the Byrds fan whose experience has succeeded “Mr. Tambourine Man,” and “Turn Turn Turn.” In essence, this is a perfect encyclopedia to go along with Johnny Rogan’s own extensive Byrds breakdown – Timeless Flight Revisited.

I’m not sure how many times, or from how many sixties’ rockstars I’ve heard reference David Crosby as the man with the best grass, hottest girls, and best music collection. In this book there are such indulgent dates as when Crosby and The Byrds were feeling ill; when Crosby’s patented hats and the cape came about; television appearances, days spent with The Beatles up in the canyon, and how Clarence White’s Telecaster twang was initially received by fans. With So You Wanna Be A Rock and Roll Star, you can follow The Byrds on their journey involving stylistic changes varying from folk ‘n’ roll, raga-rock, to hippie long hairs, with stops inbetween featuring some nice photographs. I went through this book listening to the albums from the corresponding eras as I read it in entirety.

By the end of So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star, I was once again well assured that The Byrds are not only one of the greatest groups ever, but more precisely, the most resilient band in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. I’m well aware of many bands and their history. I can’t think of one that went through as many personel changes, as well as philosophical reincarnations, while still managing to create timeless valid enjoyable art. I can think of a few bands that kept going that should’ve stopped; including, one super huge band from the sixties who haven’t made a decent record in near thirty years. I’d rather have my Byrds on the desert isle anyway. This book is a fabulous good time.

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