About Ask Dr. Byrds
Ask Dr. Byrds is a place for that Byrds-related question that's been bugging you for all these years. If Dr. Byrds doesn't know the answer, he'll throw the question open to readers. And if you have corrections or elaborations to an answer by Dr. Byrds, by all means send it in. Direct your questions to email@example.com. Names, handles, and E-mail addresses of correspondents will be published unless the writer asks that they be withheld or leaves them off the message. Please begin the subject line of your e-mail with the letters "ASK:"
Earlier batches of Ask Dr. Byrds are archived on seperate pages which can be reached by using the links below:
#1: April 10, 1997
#2: July 27, 1997
#3: August 5, 1997
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 17:44:05 +0200
From: Claus Rosenblad Olsen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: The Beau Brummels
I think that the Byrds where quite inspired by the Beau Brummels. Or is it the other way round?
Hi Claus. This is a question that comes up from time to time, as many people have noted over the years that these two bands were creating a similar fusion of folk and merseybeat at about the same time. The Beau Brummels were the first hitmakers from the San Francisco scene, and they initially recorded for Autumn, a label owned by DJ Tom Donahue (who later debuted the first Byrds single on his radio show). Their first hit, "Laugh, Laugh," debuted in December 1964 and hit #15 on the national charts, so it's likely that the nascent Byrds would have heard the song before recording the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single in January of 1965. Their second single, "Just a Little," came out in March of '65, in time for the Byrds to have heard it before recording the other tracks of their debut album in April, and eventually made #9 on the charts.
Gene Clark expert Cheryl Jennings reports that Clark included "Laugh, Laugh" in a 1991 list of 10 "Desert Island Discs" during a show for the Armed Forces Network. This telling tidbit is the closest we have to a direct answer to your question.
The Beau Brummels recorded their own cover of "Tambourine Man" on their July 1966 album, Beau Brummels '66 (Warner Bros., 1966), so the influence does seem to have flowed in the other direction too.
Interestingly, the Brummels' next album, Triangle (Warner Bros., 1967) was an attempt at progressive rock that also included covers of two country standards, "Nine Pound Hammer" and "Old Kentucky Home." The following year saw the release of their final album. Bradley's Barn (Warner Bros., 1968) was an early attempt at country rock recorded in the Nashville studio of Owen Bradley. It featured such Nashville session heavies as Norman Putnam, Kenny Buttrey, David Briggs and Jerry Reed. I haven't been able to figure out whether this album predates Sweetheart of the Rodeo, but it seems clear these two groups followed similar musical paths from 1964 to 1968.
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 1997 10:16:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Chestnut Mare
Is it true this tune is about a mescaline trip Roger had?
Hi Fred. This is the first of several stumpers in this batch of answers. I haven't heard of any connection between the song and a mescaline trip, and I don't find mention of it in Rogan's book or any other sources. So I'm inclined to say no unless someone has some evidence to confirm such a connection.
I do know that McGuinn wrote the music to the bridge in 1961, during his tour of South America with the Chad Mitchell Trio. The rest was written with Jacques Levy around 1969 as one of the songs for the Gene Tryp musical. The subject matter was inspired by part of Peer Gynt in which the protagonist captures a reindeer. So that's what the song is "about," Fred -- catching a wild horse. Whether the song's imagery, lyrics or tune were inspired by a mescaline trip is another question that I suppose only Roger could answer for sure.
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 12:26:09 +1200
From: Mark Herman (email@example.com)
Subject: Clarence's sound
Can anyone please tell me what equipment Clarence White used to get his totally unique sound? Specifically I'd like to know what pickups he had on his '57 B-bender Tele, what amplification he used, and also whether he used a thumbpick and fingerpicks, or a flatpick and fingers. It's been bugging me for years, can't figure it out from the records. I'd like to get that tone but my B-bender Telecaster needs some different hardware.
Mark, here's some technical info from the feature on Clarence White in the June 1992 Guitar Player by Rick Petreysik:
Hope that helps you out, Mark. You might also want to get in touch with Gene Parsons through his Stringbender website at www.stringbender.com.
[Clarence White's] acoustic guitars were usually strung with Martin or Gibson medium-guage strings. With electric guitar, he tended to go light, using a setup of either .009, .011, .012, .022 or .024, .032, .042, or a .010, .012, .013, .022 or .024, .032, .042. "It was basically a super slink set," reports [Bob] Warford, "except he threw out the .016 third and put a .012 in its place, which allowed a lot of snap on that third string." Clarence used very heavy tortoiseshell picks, Gibson heavies, or, for the fun of it, a 50-cent piece. He ran his Tele through a beefed-up Fender Dual Showman along witha couple of Supers or Twin Reverbs. A Hammond Leslie or smaller Fender Leslie give his guitar a swirling effect. A homemade fuzz built by Valley Sound was his only other special effect besides the Stringbender.
Date: 03 Oct 1997 12:43:12 CST
From: Anthony J. Maes (PCSAJMA@laarco.is.arco.com)
Subject: Tommy Kaye's address
I got to meet Gene & Tommy Kaye after one of Gene's Cinegrill shows. I took a few photos of Tommy that night that I'd like to send to his family. Can you help me out with an address or give them my address?
1273 W 17th st.
San Pedro,Calif. 90731
Tony, I don't have an address for the family of the late Tommy Kaye, but maybe someone who reads this can put you in touch with them. Good luck and let me know if you ever track them down.
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 1997 12:46:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Farther Along
Hi. Read your write up on Farther Along and can't get a copy in the UK. Do you know how I can get one? Please let me know.
Andrew, you might try the website GEMM, which stands for something like Global Electronic Music Marketplace. The URL is www.gemm.com. It's a site where a whole lot of music shops list their inventory, with prices. It includes a lot of used, rare, hard-to-find and out-of-print stuff. You can order from the store through the site or go to the store's website and order directly from them. I've never ordered from the site and can't vouch for the service of those who list their wares there, but they do have an impressive variety of music, some of it from shops in the UK and Europe.
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 18:36:02 EDT
From: SingDude (SingDude@aol.com)
Subject: Jackie DeShannon
I just found your website. I read about it in No Depression magazine, on the letters page. I have a question for you. On April 22, 1965, Jackie DeShannon recorded a demo version (which was subsequently released as a b-side) of her song "Splendor In the Grass." It featured the Byrds backing her up on instruments and vocals. I was wondering if you knew which Byrds played on this session, and was it recorded at the same session at which they recorded "Don't Doubt Yourself Babe?" Incidentally, Jackie recorded an unreleased acoustic demo of that song, originally titled "It's Gonna Be Alright." It is very nice, and very different from the Byrds version. They basically electrified it and gave it a beat, much like they did with Dylan's songs.
Thanks for your help,
Hey Bill, this is another stumper. At that time, the five original Byrds were playing on their own recorded material, so I would assume that's who appears on Jackie DeShannon's song. But that's just an assumption. We know that both sessions took place on April 22, and you wouldn't think they'd do one session for her and then later that same day do another session for themselves at which they record one of her songs. So I'd guess they were both recorded at the same session. But that's just a guess. Perhaps someone can give us both a more definitive answer.
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 17:33:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Byrds video
Hello. Could you please advise if there are any available videos featuring Gene Clark solo or with the Byrds. How can I obtain them? Thank you.
Hi Jeanne. I see from the traffic on the Gene Clark list that you've already figured out the answer to this question on your own, so please excuse my tardy reply. Hopefully it will be useful to someone else.
As Jeanne now knows, there are legitimate videos of early Byrds appearances on Shindig and Hullaballoo. The Shindig tape is called "Shindig -- '60s Superstars." There is a 12 volume series of Hullaballoo videos. Volumes 2 and 9 feature the Byrds doing two songs each. These you should be able to get through Tower Records or other similar sources.
There are loads of bootleg videos of the Byrds and of Gene Clark in later years. Some of these you can see listed in the back of the new edition of Johnny Rogan's book. Examples of later Gene Clark videos include appearances on Solid Gold, Nashville Now, and a local TV show from Arizona. You should be able to obtain these through standard trading procedures. One person who has Byrds video to trade is McByrds at http://members.aol.com/mcbyrds. As you yourself helpfully pointed out on the Gene Clark list, those looking for videos should also watch the ads in Goldmine and Discoveries.
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 20:10:14 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeff Zang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: "I Come and Stand At Every Door"
Here's a question that's been bugging me for years:
Is "I Come And Stand At Every Door" in 6/8 or 3/4 time? Half the time it
sounds like a waltz, and then it sounds like a blues time sig...
Hey Jeff, I'm no expert on time signatures, but it sure doesn't sound like 3/4 time to me. It's definitely an odd one... sounds like 6/8 or maybe 6/4 to me. Maybe some musician out there can give us a firmer answer.
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 22:14:01 -0500 (EST)
From: Brad Pries (LPRIES@aol.com)
Subject: The New Christy Minstrels
Do you know if "Merry Christmas", the 1963 X-Mas Album by the New Christy Minstrels is available anywhere or on CD?? I cannot find it!
Brad, I have never seen it, but then, I haven't ever looked for it.
Any half-decent music shop can tell you if it's in print by checking their computerized database. Or you could hunt for it on the Internet. It's the kind of thing that might well be in print in, say, Germany, and not in the US. You might want to check out the GEMM website described above at www.gemm.com. Good luck with your search and let me know if you do find it.
Date: Thu, 04 Dec 1997 19:42:11 -0800
From: John Gregury (email@example.com)
Subject: mono/stereo/true stereo
I am a bit confused regarding the various mixes of "Mr. Tambourine Man." I know of three versions: the mono single (as found on Original Singles), the stereo version found on the LP (rechanneled stereo?), and the "true" stereo as found on Never Before. If one were to play all three on their stereo system with the amp set at "mono", would there be any discernable differences between these recordings? In other words, are all three versions simply different mixes of the same master tape, without any appreciable difference that would truly categorize them as different versions of the same song?
John, I think the safest way to answer your question is to say that your two questions are not the same. Yes, all three versions are different mixes of the same master, so they are all based on the same performance. But I think someone with a more discerning ear than I have (or more expensive stereo equipment) would say that there would be discernible differences among the three versions, even if they're all played on mono. I know lots of mono buffs complained when their favorite oldies, originally intended to be played on mono equipment, were remixed for stereo reissues. That's why companies like Rhino and Sundazed usually make a point of keeping these tracks mono on their reissues. Another example is the aptly named Phil Spector box, Back to Mono (ABKCO, 1991). Presumably if all the hardcore mono fans could solve their problem by pressing the "mono" button on their amplifiers, they would have no reason to complain and Rhino et al. would have no reason to cater to them. Each of these mixes presumably emphasizes different instruments ever so slightly, such that even on mono you could still hear differences between the mixes. As for rechannelled stereo, this was usually achieved with crude methods like extra reverb that muddy the sound. Reissues of the early Kinks releases had this problem, I know. Does that clear things up at all, or just confuse them more?
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 14:22:48 -0500
From: Larry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: How to find title CD: The Flying Burrito Bros
I've been searching for the CD from Mobile Fidelity titled The Flying
Burrito Bros. (MFCD-772). It may be disscontinued but I'm hoping you can direct me to a source. My E-Mail address is: email@example.com. Thank you for your help.
Larry, you might also want to try the GEMM website, described above, at www.gemm.com. I believe I saw a copy of this CD not too long ago though I have no idea where that would have been. Good luck in your hunt.
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 02:31:34 -0600
From: Billy Dykes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Simon & Simon
Great page! I especially like the associates-infuences-covered sections. I decided to look up The Flying Burrito Brothers on Yahoo and came across your page. The reason I started my FBB search was to answer a question. Was it one of the 5.? versions that did the theme to TV's Simon&Simon? I see that they were on Columbia/CBS Records around the time the show was on CBS. Thanks again for putting up such a cool site.
Thanks for the compliments, Billy.
Another stumper! The timing, the corporate tie-in, and the fact that the early '80s version was the most commercial all tend to support your guess, but I honestly don't know. I never watched the show and I hadn't ever heard of that connection before. So maybe someone else can shed a little light on the matter.
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 20:24:39 -0600
From: "Gary F. Talkington" (email@example.com)
Subject: Expanded albums
You most definitely been asked this thousands of times but I can't find
the answer anywwhere on the web
When (and if) will the next set of expanded Byrds albums be released?
Thanks Gary. As noted in a couple of other spaces around this site, master remasterer Bob Irwin reports he has been given the go-ahead to do the last three Sony albums and that they are slated for 1998. This was posted to the website of Irwin's own label, Sundazed Records, in November of '97. Given the amount of work he did to assemble and remaster the other reissues, I have a hard time seeing how it could be done by the end of the year, but that's what he says! You can read the item yourself at www.sundazed.com/scene2.html for the Sundazed item. This is the only thing along the lines of an official announcement that I have seen anywhere so far.
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