Shindig! Performance in 1965
This photo is of The Byrds actually doing their one-off TV performance of “Not Fade Away” on Shindig!, Wednesday, June 23, 1965. McGuinn’s “Ben Franklins” are just about to fall off the end of his sweaty nose until he quickly pushes them back just before the song’s guitar break.
After a brief vocal appearance by Crosby & McGuinn in tuxedos singing a verse of “Long Tall Sally” to start the show, The Byrds come out later on dressed in their usual attire and do “Not Fade Away.” McGuinn sings solo lead vocal throughout the song, while Byrds cofounder, lead singer, chief songwriter & tambourine man, Gene Clark, plays the harmonica responses to the song’s verses. Later still, The Byrds return to play “Mr. Tambourine Man”, McGuinn notably performing in the background this time without his troublesome mini-shades.
Since The Byrds chose to play “Not Fade Away” instead of any of their other songs, and evidently saved “Mr. Tambourine Man” for last, it is reasonable to assume the June 23, 1965 date of that Shindig! TV show is accurate. According to Byrds biographer Rogan, the “Mr. Tambourine Man” b/w “I Knew I’d Want You” 45rpm single was released on Monday, April 12, 1965; the “All I Really Want To Do” b/w “Feel A Whole Lot Better” 45rpm single was released on Monday, June 14, 1965; while the Mr. Tambourine Man LP album was released on Monday, June 21, 1965. So The Byrds were just getting started with radio airplay, and the Mr. Tambourine Man LP album had only been out for two days at the time of their Wednesday, June 23, 1965 Shindig! TV appearance. Consequently, “Mr. Tambourine Man” was undoubtedly their only recognized pièce de résistance at that time, which was probably why it was saved for last on that early Shindig! TV appearance.
Playboy After Dark Performance in 1968
This was The Byrds’ appearance on Hugh Hefner’s Playboy After Dark TV show on Saturday, September 28, 1968. Left to right: bassist John York, stringbender guitarist Clarence White, drummer Gene Parsons, and McGuinn playing. Hugh interviews Roger briefly before The Byrds take the stage, and the songs performed were “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” and “This Wheel’s On Fire”, which is one of the rare songs where McGuinn played the Rick using an amp’s tremolo. Among the show’s other guests were Marvin Gaye and a young Linda Evans who both joined The Byrds, Hugh Hefner, and the rest of the cast at the end of the show for an off-the-wall a cappella round of “Mary Had A Little Lamb”.
Port Chester Performance in March 1971
This picture was taken March 31, 1971, at the Capital Theater in Port Chester, New York (right on the Connecticut border) at the late show. It was the last of the great Byrds bands, featuring the late, great Clarence White on lead guitar. Paul Gedney