Are the Byrds still relevant?

Those who flock to The Byrds

Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:28 pm

Borrowing a concept from another thread...

So if the Beatles are, or are not, relevant to kidz these days, how about the Byrds? The Shadows? Or any of the other great sixties bands? Don't the musical explorations of past artists have influence on newer artists, even if the younger folks don't recognize these influences?
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (jimk) » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:09 pm

Oh man....how do I respond to this question? I'm a geezer. I was a kid when "Mr. Tambourine Man" was a huge hit for the Byrds. I have no idea whether or not the Byrds are relevant....whatever that may mean, for kids nowadays. I should think that any guitar player who picks up a Rick 12 string either consciously or unconsciously is influenced by Roger McGuinn in some small perhaps unacknowledged way.
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:30 am

...and the beat goes on and on and on...
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (Byrdfan1948) » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:41 am

Interesting question. At the risk of sounding like a politician I think the question has a yes, as well as no, answer. I realize the question was meant to ask if they are still relevant with the generation that today is the same age as those of us who were in our teens and early 20's back in the 60's. When I can bring myself to try to listen to what passes for popular music today, not only do I think the answer is No, but I almost HOPE the answer is no.

On the other hand those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up with groups like The Byrds seem to be doing a decent job of keeping their memories alive. It certainly isn't very hard to find many very good bands all over the country who's focus is music of that era. From that stand point they are IMO still very relevant.

Both my son and daughter now in their mid, to late 30's, grew up in our home listening to The Beatles and The Byrds , as well as most other 60's and 70's groups. Not just with the records I would play, but what I would sing and play on my guitar. As a result they are both appreciate the Beatles and Byrds, and many other 60's groups. But if I listen to what they listen to, or what they buy for music it's not Byrds or Beatles etc.

As the song goes to everything there is a season. I think The Byrds have had a far longer season than 95% of the groups ever to have come and gone. But while their relevance to what is called music today maybe very small, their relevance to the history of popular music will never be questioned or diminished. Just my 2 cents. Al
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (12_strings) » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:19 am

In one sense it is a tough question due to the state of the music industry and how people listen to music now. In the good old days, listening was more of a tribal experiece because of AM then FM radio. You would hear something in the car or at home then tell your friends then buy a 45 (remember those!!!?) or an album if you could afford it.

Now people seem to be more solitary in their listening habits, putting together play lists on their digital appliance for their own listening enjoyment. Sharing does occur but it seems to be less of a group experience. Maybe it's just that I'm an old fart and not part of the digital revolution and not fond of much of today's sampled, enhanced homogenized music. I do listen to CDs but also kept my turntable. Vinyl has made somewhat of a comeback but it is more of a boutique medium and expensive.

As far as the Byrds, their music is timeless because of its integrity, originality, and in many cases, beauty. That does not go away. I discover something new every time I listen to their albums, especially the first four. Knowing their story, the individual personalities of the group's members and the times in which they were so influential also helps add to their importance as one of the seminal groups in rock n' roll.

My two cents worth...
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (buddycoyote) » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:28 pm

I would say no. I would say they could have been except for Mcguinns reluctance to keep a Byrds group recording ao touring even though he makes a living touring and performing Byrd songs. It's a shame since Crosby, Hillman, and Gene Parsons are all alive and capable of performing.
Would be cool if Tom Petty and his guitar player along with the remaining Byrds less Mcguinn put a Byrds group together. Worked for the Grateful Dead by adding John Mayer.
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (drumbob) » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:29 pm

They are relevant in terms of their music being influential on bands old and young, but as musicians in their own right, no, they are not relevant. That doesn't mean I don't love the Byrds' music to this day. Quite the contrary. And no, I would absolutely not want to see Gene Parsons playing in a reformed Byrds lineup. Gene was one of the worst rock drummers I have ever heard. I remember trying to listen to his drum solo on the live version of "Eight Miles High" and cringing after about a minute. The man was a terrible drummer, sorry to say. I don't know why McGuiinn ever hired him in the first place.

How did I arrive at this conclusion? By being a rock drummer myself for over fifty years and by writing a book on 60's rock drummers.
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (pathelms) » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:03 pm

Its been a bad year for the Cros - diagnosed with tendonitis. He might never play guitar again. If they can all survive the virus, RM needs to relent and agree to reform and tour again. They are going to need the money! Has anybody seen the outtakes from REMEMBER MAY NAME? Both Chris and RM say some very sweet things about Crosby. I truly believe there is potential for some very valuable healing here.....and some great music to be made.

Of course, it could be bloody mess again as well....... :roll:
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (drumbob) » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:27 am

pathelms wrote:Its been a bad year for the Cros - diagnosed with tendonitis. He might never play guitar again. If they can all survive the virus, RM needs to relent and agree to reform and tour again. They are going to need the money! Has anybody seen the outtakes from REMEMBER MAY NAME? Both Chris and RM say some very sweet things about Crosby. I truly believe there is potential for some very valuable healing here.....and some great music to be made.

Of course, it could be bloody mess again as well....... :roll:


We can wish and hope all we want for a Byrds reunion, but it's not going to happen. I have personally spoken to both McGuinn and Hillman and was told, no, not going to happen. Both have stated this repeatedly and just recently at that. There is over 50 years of history here and as far as I know, Crosby owns the name The Byrds. That puts him in a position of authority and McGuinn and Hillman don't want to deal with that. Part of the reason Crosby was fired in 1967 was because of his tendency to control. He's said publicly that he would behave himself if the band toured again, but take that with a grain of salt. Crosby has alienated almost all his old friends with his big mouth. Stills, Nash and Young want nothing to do with him, so you can forget seeing CSN&Y together either.

McGuinn, Hillman and Crosby get along fine when they're not a band. They say nice things and play on each other's records. It should stay that way. The closest you're going to get to a Byrds reunion was the Sweetheart of the Rodeo 50th Anniversary tour of two years ago, where McGuinn and Hillman played with Marty Stuart and his band. I went twice and was knocked out.

I would like to see a real Byrds reunion as much as anybody. I'd even play drums for them for free if they asked me, but you have a better chance of seeing hell freeze over at this point.
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (pathelms) » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:09 am

Agreed on all points, Drumbob.

I just wish it for Crosby, more than anything. He owes me a show from last May, that I doubt he’ll ever get to play, but that’s all right. I hope he still gets the money, because he needs it.

Despite his bouts of arrogance and a mouth big enough to hold both feet, I’ve always loved his sincerity and passion. Granted I’ve never been in his cross hairs either, but.....

I guess the reason for wishing for the reunion would be for love, helping a mate entering the grips of decrepitude , but I must admit that’s projection on my part and unfair to the others involved. There’s a whole lot of shoes I’ve not tried on here and I respect that fact.

Enjoyed the Sweethearts as well. Saw them 4xs if you count Marty’s Country Music Hall of Fame show. An unexpected highlight in my life. Wish they’d filmed. Perhaps Austin City?
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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (admin) » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:42 am

pathelms wrote:Agreed on all points, Drumbob.

I just wish it for Crosby, more than anything. He owes me a show from last May, that I doubt he’ll ever get to play, but that’s all right. I hope he still gets the money, because he needs it.

Despite his bouts of arrogance and a mouth big enough to hold both feet, I’ve always loved his sincerity and passion. Granted I’ve never been in his cross hairs either, but.....

I guess the reason for wishing for the reunion would be for love, helping a mate entering the grips of decrepitude , but I must admit that’s projection on my part and unfair to the others involved. There’s a whole lot of shoes I’ve not tried on here and I respect that fact.

Enjoyed the Sweethearts as well. Saw them 4xs if you count Marty’s Country Music Hall of Fame show. An unexpected highlight in my life. Wish they’d filmed. Perhaps Austin City?


Bob and Pat. I share your sentiments and observations.

The last documentary about Crosby revealed enough negativity with regard to his thinking and personality that would certainly explain why bandmates may no longer be willing to perform with him. As time goes by I suspect that he may no longer have what it takes to perform with the same level of skill and dedication of the other members of the band. It is so hard to watch performers fall short of the talents they once had. Just seeing someone propped up on stage does not do it form me. I prefer their old recordings to misses on stage in the flesh. It is unrealistic to expect groups to perform from the last century.

The music of the Byrds, however, is surely as relevant today as it was in the beginning. Very unique in style and presentation. They certainly kept it fresh longer than I expected them too.

Come to think of it though, the only time I have it my way these days is at Burger King. :lol: I just love these discussions all the same.
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

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Re: Are the Byrds still relevant?

Postby (pathelms) » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:55 pm

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