Tag Archives: Byrds

1960s January 15 Music

1960s January 15 Music

Motown Records

January 15, 1961: Motown Records signed The Supremes. Their first release will be "I Want A Guy." (see Motown Records Begins)

Los Angeles Whiskey a Go Go

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1964: the Los Angeles Whiskey a Go Go opened. The club's opening night featured Johnny Rivers as the headlining act. The club quickly became famous for its music (rock 'n' roll), dancing (the patrons on the floor and the go-go dancers inside elevated glass cages) and the Hollywood celebrities it attracted.

The Whisky played an important role in many musical careers, especially for bands based in southern California. The Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield, Smokestack Lightning, and Love were regulars, and The Doors were the house band for a while – until the debut of the "Oedipal section" of "The End" got them fired. (see Whisky a Go Go for more)

Acid Test

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1966: Portland, Oregon Acid Test. From Searching for the Sound - Phil Lesh (pages 72-73) "There was one more out-of-town tryout for us, the Beaver Hall Test in Portland. The Test itself has receded into the mists of antiquity, except for the vague memory of playing in an upstairs warehouse with concrete pillars everywhere and bare lath and wiring on the walls. What mattered about the Portland Acid Test was the journey toward it.

     It began as our first trip together on Further, Kesey's fabled bus. Bobby and I had day-tripped on the bus to see the Beatles at the Cow Palace earlier that year, but for the majority of the band it was a first. Leaving Palo Alto as early as possible, by midafternoon or so, we were halfway up the Central Valley bound for Shasta and points north, and then: Catastrophe! The bus breaks down! Never let it be said that the show did not go on! What to do?

     We rent a U-Haul truck; we strip the bus and cram all of us -- the band, the Pranksters -- and everything else into the truck. I jump into the shotgun seat up front, and we cruise off into the darkening storm of the worst blizzard in years: over the Siskiyou Mountains in the dead of night. Neal pressing ever onward, the rhythm of the falling snow sweeping through the headlights, sliding in and out of synch with the music piped into the cockpit by means of our patented two-way distort-o-phonic communication system, set up so that those in the back could also hear Neal's multiple personalities conversing with one another. If ever the magic of the open road was distilled into a single experience, it was, for me, that night sitting next to Neal, hurtling into the dazzling play of light and shade on the whirling snow with his voice turning every sentence into a poem, all sensory input synched up (or sometimes not, and that's good too) with the rhythm of the wipers and whatever music happened to randomly penetrate our awareness.

    Upon our return from Portland, all the scuttlebutt was ablaze with the plans for the "Big One"; the Trips Festival, to take place in San Francisco's Longshoreman's Hall."

1960s January 15 Music

And from Owsley "Bear" Stanley: Portland acid test was either on Dec 18 '65, or Jan 15 '66. There were two which I didn't go to after my "initiation" at the Dec 11 Muir Beach event, one was in Palo Alto and the other one was in Portland. There were two before that also. Only one other one did I miss, the first one in LA in late Feb in Northridge. So I missed a total of five of the AT's. The Dead were always the centerpiece of the Acid tests, the real reason for its existence, and it could not have taken place without them. The band at the time rated their participation above any other activity in importance. 

The Rolling Stones

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1967: The Rolling Stones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. At Ed Sullivan's request, the band changed the lyrics of "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's spend some time together."

Notorious Byrd Brothers

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1968: Byrds released Notorious Byrd Brothers album. 

Richie Unterberger from AllMusic dot come writes: The recording sessions for the Byrds' fifth album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, were conducted in the midst of internal turmoil that found them reduced to a duo by the time the record was completed. That wasn't evident from listening to the results, which showed the group continuing to expand the parameters of their eclecticism while retaining their hallmark guitar jangle and harmonies. With assistance from producer Gary Usher, they took more chances in the studio, enhancing the spacy quality of tracks like "Natural Harmony" and Goffin & King's "Wasn't Born to Follow" with electronic phasing. Washes of Moog synthesizer formed the eerie backdrop for "Space Odyssey," and the songs were craftily and unobtrusively linked with segues and fades. But the Byrds did not bury the essential strengths of their tunes in effects: "Goin' Back" (also written by Goffin & King) was a magnificent and melodic cover with the expected tasteful 12-string guitar runs that should have been a big hit. "Tribal Gathering" has some of the band's most effervescent harmonies; "Draft Morning" is a subtle and effective reflection of the horrors of the Vietnam War; and "Old John Robertson" looks forward to the country-rock that would soon dominate their repertoire.

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1969, with George Harrison still not with the band, all four Beatles met to discuss their future, Harrison was in a commanding position, following a series of dismal sessions at Twickenham Film Studios, and was able to set down his terms for returning to the group. During the five-hour meeting he made it clear that he would leave the group unless the idea of a live show before an audience was dropped.

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Byrds Mr Tambourine Man

Byrds Mr Tambourine Man

It was 1965. Bob Dylan had gone electric, had just brought it all back home, and he weren’t gonna’ work on Maggie’s farm no more.

The Beatles were ready for new horizons, too, and by the end of 1965 would release the Dylan-influenced Rubber Soul. That album would inspire more musical changes that blossomed in 1966 such as Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds.

But on April 12, 1965 the Byrds released the single, Mr Tambourine Man. The song had appeared on Dylan’s Bringing It… album. The first cut on side two.

Byrds Mr Tambourine Man
45 of record

The Bringing It… album cover is the one with Dylan sitting in what appeared to be a someone’s living room surrounded by lots of items for fans to stare at and discuss. It also had a long-legged woman lounging red-dressed. Cigarette in hand. Sally Grossman, the wife of Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman.

Byrds Mr Tambourine Man

The living room was the second home of Albert and Sally. The place in a little artsy town in Ulster County, NY called Woodstock. In four years a couple of hippies would hatch the idea for a recording studio there. That’s another story for another time.

Byrds Mr Tambourine Man

The Byrds had recorded Mr Tambourine Man on January 20, 1965 at Columbia Studios in Hollywood. Like many LA bands, the musicianship was not as strong as the session men available and Roger McGuinn was the only Byrd to actually play on that recording.  The players had the nickname of the Wrecking Crew and included including Hal Blaine (drums), Larry Knechtel (bass), Jerry Cole (guitar), and Leon Russell (electric piano). Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Gene Clark sang. 

Columbia Records released the “Mr. Tambourine Man” single on April 12, 1965 and on June 26 it became Billboard’s #1 song. McGuinn’s jangly electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar was part of the song’s hook and formed the Byrds’ trademark sound.

Folk-rock had been born thanks to Bob Dylan and the Byrds.