Byrds looks through the back pages of an amazing new picture book

Anyone who has clicked on this article knows it Birds They are one of the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time: they were influenced not only by the Beatles, but influenced them; Show the world that Bob Dylan songs can rock. And with their own hits like “Eight Miles High,” “So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star,” “I’m Going to Feel Much Better,” and “Time Between,” they paved the way for countless artists that followed, from jangle-pop To psychedelic psychedelic to country rock.

Well, fans get the Byrds date they’ve always dreamed of BMG’s Amazing Books “Birds: 1964-1967” – from Sept. 20 – a comprehensive oral history and great coffee table picture book in one: The editors licensed nearly every known photograph of the group from that era, and sat down with surviving founding member Roger McGinn, David Crosby and Chris Hellman and getting them to share their memories of the moments, the band, the era, each other, and so much more. (The book follows the group as it gradually transitions from quintet to quartet to trilogy, departing before Gram Parsons arrives in 1968, which launched an entirely new chapter of Byrds.)

It’s an inspiring approach that we’d love to see more artists follow – see below for multiple excerpts giving a glimpse into the book, followed by information on the book’s multiple editions.

Jim Dixon Archive, Courtesy of Henry Diltz Photography

On March 26, 1965, shortly before the release of “Mr. Bob Dylan, the tambourine man’s song, appeared at Cero, the Hollywood club that launched the Byrds family, and ended up on stage with them.

DavidDylan got off a lot. He only sang once. It was filmed once. I remember he and I went to a coffee shop on the Sunset Strip and had to leave. People were just smiling. Finally, Bob turned to me and said, “We have to get out of here.”

Present: This is not practiced. Bob just came over and started jamming with us. There is another picture from that night on the back of our first album. He loved our version of “Mr. Tambourine Man”. He and Bobby Neuwirth came to rehearsals at World Pacific, and listened to them. He said, “Wow, you can dance to it.” It was a revelation.

Chris: That was a great night when Dylan came down. I have no idea why we wear matching shirts, but, yeah, Bob Dylan gets up and sings “Tambourine Man” with us, which is pretty cool. I loved how we did it. I suspect [the Byrds’ original manager] Jim Dixon told us Dylan might come, but we didn’t train or anything.

Jim Dixon Archive, Courtesy of Henry Diltz Photography

In December of 1965, The Byrds appeared one and only on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, performing Turn! Turn or turn! Turn or turn!” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

Chris: There was a temporal element, which makes perfect sense, in the sense of a live TV show. They wanted to cut some song. Very simple request. David was upset.

Present: Crosby burst. He said, “This is our art, man!” He called the guy a name I won’t repeat, and the director said, “I know what you are. You’re just a punk. You don’t fool me with these modified things.” It’s really heated up.

Chris: The director says, “Do you know how many shows we’ve done on this show? You won’t be on the show.”

Present: Well, it turns out that the director was Ed Sullivan’s son-in-law. He went back to Ed and told him what had happened, and Ed kicked us out of the show.

David: I do not remember it at all. I know there was some kind of disagreement with the director. I remember it, but I don’t remember why or how.

Jim Dixon Archive, Courtesy of Henry Diltz Photography

Chris: drama unfolds. We have already been fired or are about to be fired.

Present: This is a tense meeting with the production crew. This is Jim Dixon, right, trying to get us back. He begged the director and begged him. He said, “Come on, they’ll be good, they will be good.”

Chris: Dixon said to him, “We just flew here, I’m so sorry. He’s not feeling well,” or something. Amazingly, they let us back in for two songs after Dixon begged them.

Present: In the end we got the whole song with all the verses, but we were never invited back. We were stopped thanks to David. The whole scene was a nightmare.

Photo: Norman Greiner

In February of 1966, lead singer Gene Clarke apparently suffered a panic attack on a plane while the group was preparing to take off for a flight. Fearing to fly, he became convinced something was wrong and left the plane. That was the end of his original tenure at Byrds. The band was scheduled to appear on television, a photo session, and a press conference at Columbia Records’ New York offices. They continued in a lineup of four men.

ChrisThese are pictures of the Fifth Dimension. The album, which was performed at Columbia Studios in New York. Roger went from square glasses to Ray Bans, and she moved to moccasins and funny hair. Look how skinny we all were. Only boys!

sony music

Present: This was during the era when we came up with “So you want to be a rock and roll star.” Some people thought it was a Monkees dig, but it wasn’t. I knew Peter Turk in the village. We were playing in the same cafe. He was then a banjo player, like Pete Seeger. And Mike Nesmith became friends. I used to go home in the hills. But we were passing tiger win Or one of those magazines and I noticed that someone could be a star for a week and that was the case.

David: This is a great shot of Roger. Looks like he’s a spy or something. I love that shot.

Photo: Frank Biz

Chris: At the beginning of 1967, I was finally letting my hair do what it would have done. There was a wonderful woman we met and our destination named Carol Eastman. She was a very successful screenwriter and actress. She had written for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and, later, for “Five Easy Pieces”. Jane Clarke loved it, and she paired us with gorgeous hairstylist Don Moran. He has been shooting movies for years and has been very well known in those circles. He said to me one day, “What are you doing with that hair? Look, just let it be what it’s supposed to be. Look at Bob Dylan. Bob has the same hair as yours, and does he suffer?” Don’t put an end to hair styling. He said, “Just wash it, dry it, so be it.” I said okay. you are right.”

Jim Dixon Archive, Courtesy of Henry Diltz Photography

Present: This is Hugh Masekela playing with us. David met him somewhere, and Chris and David played a session with him. I didn’t know him, but I met him through them. I think, at that point, it was run by a guy named Larry Spector, who ran Peter Fonda. Larry Spector eventually ended up managing Byrds.

David: Hugh Masekela was my friend, and he was a wonderful cat, man. I think Mama Cass introduced me to it. Very funny, very human, very humble. a nice guy. Everyone I knew who went out with him loved him. It was he who explained to us what was going on in South Africa. They asked us to play there, but it was a separate audience. We said no because Hughie told us how it was.

Photo: Henry Dilts

Chris: This is Mount Tamalpais, in Northern California, where we played shortly before the Monterey Pop Festival [in June 1967]. It was called Magic Mountain Music Festival.

Present: You can see that it was more formal at the time. People just kind of hang out all over the place.

Chris: Hugh Masekela joined us again. It was a relaxing show, you can see many people all over the stage.

sony music

Present: David and I argued that day. We were in the Columbia offices when Paul Simon came. I had worked with Paul when I was a session musician in New York, playing on his demo, “The Sound Of Silence.” But I didn’t remember that at the time. David said to Paul, “Man, we’re playing tonight, you gotta come down.” Well, said Paul, “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go.” I was weird and said something like, “Well, you don’t have to go to the party, man.” Paul said, “I know I don’t have to.”

Chris: David thought Roger was not being polite to Paul Simon. I don’t know what happened, but Paul leaves. It wasn’t crowded or anything. Then David said, “I can’t believe you treated Paul Simon that way.”

Present: It was just this little exchange, but David got angry. He said, “Are you so jealous of Simon and Garfunkel that you act like that?” We got into it with each other. Then David said, “Millbrook is out!” Timothy Leary had a kind of acid commune in upstate New York, in a town called Millbrook. We’d go there, but David was the liaison between us and Leary. I just remember him saying, “Millbrook is off.” So, we didn’t get along for a while after that.

David: It’s funny because now I have no memory of that at all!

Chris: Perhaps this was the beginning of the end.

Byrds: 1964-1967 Available in four editions. Each is a large 10.5 x 13 inch presentation with over 500 images across 400 pages. Printed in Italy on premium 200gsm art paper, all editions feature high-quality thread binding and a luxurious quarterback. All editions of the book are available for pre-sale at

The Standard Edition retails for $125 and is limited to only 3,000 copies worldwide. Other options include:

Deluxe Edition *Hand-signed by Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman *Comes in a custom matching backpack *Limited to only 1,600 copies worldwide *Retail price $350

Super Deluxe Edition *Hand-signed by Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and David Crosby *Comes in a custom clamshell box *Features gold-tone plated bezels *Limited to only 800 copies worldwide *Retail price $475

Super Deluxe Edition with Gorgeous Art Print *Hand-signed by Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and David Crosby *Comes in a custom clamshell box *Features gold-tone plated edges *Limited to only 75 copies worldwide *Retail price $1,700 *Includes a choice of one of three Exclusive limited edition 11″ x 14″ fine art prints (photos by Roger McGinn by Henry Diltz in 1967, Chris Hellman photos by Barry Feinstein in 1965, or David Crosby photographed by Jim Marshall in 1965)

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