Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Archivist - The Byrds - Greatest Hits

There are some sounds that you hear when you are a nipper that stay with you for the rest of your life. The school bell, the fire engine, the theme to Watch with Mother. But in my case you can add the sound of a chiming Rickenbacker  360 12 string. Of course, I had no idea what it was back then. But right from the time I heard the opening phrase of Mr Tambourine Man on my little transistor radio, I have always associated THAT sound with my youth.  It was released back in 1965 – so I would have been 4. And already brainwashed  by the Beach Boys & Beatles due to my brother’s non-stop playing.

But as I was only a nipper, these songs coming from the radio every few months just blended into the 60s soundtrack. But I always remember loving THAT Rickenbacker sound. When I started buying albums back in the early 70s, The Byrds Greatest Hits was one of the first few I purchased.

My brother played bass in a local band, who were offered a record deal but chose not to follow their dreams. I used to hear him practising along to the records. From then I always wanted to play bass. But my mother wouldn’t buy me an electric guitar. Too much noise.  But I ended up receiving an EKO 12 string acoustic. Still it packed a punch and I was able to recreate those chiming tunes from my youth. I still covert a Rickenbacker 12 string. My brother beat me to it with a 360 12 Sunburst. Bastard!

The Byrds have influenced many a band since their short career shone bright. They also invented Country Rock with the great and gone Gram Parsons with the album Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

Here are just some of the bands the Byrds have influenced.

Back in the early 90s Roger came back and released an album Back From Rio. I managed to catch him twice live on his comeback. He once replied to an email I wrote him and I even managed to say hello and thank him for a great gig in Ebbw Vale of all places. Wish they had cameraphones back then so I could have captured the event. Oh well. At least I still have that chiming Rickie.

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