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Thu, Dec 8, 2022

The Byrds

Shows: 566
Earliest: Feb 4, 1965
Latest: Aug 3, 1997

[WikiPedia] The Byrds () were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with guitarist and vocalist Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) remaining the sole consistent member. Although their time as one of the most popular groups in the world only lasted for a short period in the mid-1960s, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be among the most influential rock acts of their era. Their signature blend of clear harmony singing and McGuinn's jangly 12-string Rickenbacker guitar was "absorbed into the vocabulary of rock" and has continued to be influential.Initially, the Byrds pioneered the musical genre of folk rock as a popular format in 1965, by melding the influence of the Beatles and other British Invasion bands with contemporary and traditional folk music on their first and second albums, and the hit singles "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!". As the 1960s progressed, the band was influential in originating psychedelic rock and raga rock, with their song "Eight Miles High" and the albums Fifth Dimension (1966), Younger Than Yesterday (1967), and The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968). The band also played a pioneering role in the development of country rock, with the 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo representing their fullest immersion into the genre.The five original Byrds, McGuinn (lead guitar, vocals), Gene Clark (tambourine, rhythm guitar, vocals), David Crosby (rhythm guitar, vocals), Chris Hillman (bass guitar, vocals), and Michael Clarke (drums), decreased to four in February 1966 when Clark left due to problems associated with anxiety and his increasing isolation within the group. He would rejoin the group, for three weeks, in October 1967, to replace the newly-departed Crosby. After Clark left for the second time, McGuinn, Hillman, and Clarke continued, briefly, as a trio, before Clarke departed at the end of December 1967. McGuinn and Hillman decided to recruit new members, including Hillman's cousin Kevin Kelley (drums), and country rock pioneer Gram Parsons (rhythm guitar, vocals), but this second, more country-influenced, era of the Byrds was short-lived, and by late 1968, Hillman, Kelley, and Parsons had all exited. McGuinn elected to rebuild the band's membership; from late 1968 to early 1973, he helmed a third era of the Byrds that featured Clarence White (lead guitar, vocals), Gene Parsons (no relation to Gram) (drums, vocals), and John York (bass guitar, vocals), the last of whom was replaced by Skip Battin (bass guitar, vocals) at the end of 1969. McGuinn disbanded the then-current lineup in early 1973 to make way for a reunion of the original five members. The Byrds' final album was released in March 1973, with the reunited group disbanding later that year.Several former members of the Byrds went on to successful careers of their own, either as solo artists or as members of such groups as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Flying Burrito Brothers, McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, and the Desert Rose Band. In 1991, the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an occasion that saw the five original members performing together for the last time. Gene Clark died of a heart attack later that year, while Michael Clarke died of liver failure in 1993. McGuinn, Crosby, and Hillman remain active.