Tag Archives: Byrds

50 Year Old Byrds video: Mr. Spaceman ft. Gram Parsons

Video: The Byrds w/Gram Parsons -- “Mr. Spaceman” (1968)

The Byrds w/Gram Parsons- "Mr. Spaceman" 1968 (Reelin' In The Years Archive)

From Fifth Dimension (Columbia, 1966) via Reelin’ in the Years.

Filmed at the Roman Colosseum while the Byrds were in town to play the first International European Pop Festival in 1968, two full years after “Mr. Spaceman” was originally recorded by a very different Byrds lineup.

In the video, we see original Byrds Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman joined by newbies Gram Parsons, Kevin Kelley, and Douglas Dillard. (See below for audio of that lineup performing live at the Piper Club.) From Rome, the Byrds would travel to England where they met and hung out with the Rolling Stones before heading back to the States. This was May, and they’d be back in England again in July before heading down to South Africa. Except that Gram Parsons stayed in England with the Stones.

Keith Richards remembered it like this:

He was not aware of apartheid or anything. He’d never been out of the United States. So when I explained it to him, about apartheid and sanctions and nobody goes there, they’re not being kind to the brothers, he said, “Oh, just like Mississippi?” And immediately, “Well, fuck that.” He quit that night. (Life, pg. 248)

My guess is that this is a gross oversimplification and that the truth is more complex. Nevertheless, after less than four months in the band, Gram was out. But it’s pretty cool to see this footage from his brief time as a Byrd.

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Continue reading 50 Year Old Byrds video: Mr. Spaceman ft. Gram Parsons

Sub Pop Looks Back and Offers Discounts

Sub Pop I like this. Sub Pop has a new feature on their site called For the Record that has staffers dig through the back catalog and write up something on the records that move them. This week’s feature is Beachwood Sparks Once We Were Trees, originally released on October 10, 2001.

Once we were Trees was my introduction to much of the country music that I would come to love. Before Beachwood Sparks, I didn’t have a sense of why or Grievous Angel were such revered records, to me they sounded like twangy earaches. It wasn’t an easy sell, in fact, it took a few years following the release of this record to get into a lot of those records, but I attribute OWWT to my love of John Phillips, Graham Parsons [sic], Townes Van Zandt, and The Byrds. They were also an introduction to a family of bands that I’ve come to love quite dearly, including: The Tyde, All Night Radio, Further, Mystic Chords of Memory, and Summer Hits (for more info: The Calming Seas). I owe a lot to this record.

I love the idea of pushing back stock in a way that is relevant to your readers and your business. They clearly have copies of this album laying around that they’d like to unload, but instead of just having a fire sale that slashes the prices of these mostly forgotten releases, we get a little context for why we should buy these records. Oh, and there is a discount: Pick it up through Thursday, July 30 here for $6 on CD/LP or $4 digitally.

MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Confusion Is Nothing New”

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A Buyers Guide to Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons - Fallen AngelSo while we were running our recent Gram Parsons contest, Rhino was nice enough to send us a review copy of the Fallen Angel DVD and the Complete Reprise Sessions box set. We’ve been writing about Parsons since the very first days of Glorious Noise. Like most music lovers, I go through different phases of music appreciation, and it had been a while since I’d gone on a kick of that real Gram goodness.

What follows, after a brief, subjective history lesson, is a chronological summary of Gram Parson’s recordings.

Continue reading A Buyers Guide to Gram Parsons

New Byrds Box Set

Legacy Preps Byrds Box – 4 CDs + 1 DVD, 99 tracks, due August 29. The Byrds: There is a Season “includes most of the original and bonus material that was featured on [previous deluxe] reissues and organizes them in chronological order [and] adds five previously unreleased [live] tracks… The DVD collects the band’s appearances on various television shows…” Are you excited about this, or have you heard enough Byrds already?

More Cosmic

Ah yes, the soft, warm flow of GP slipping into your brain and numbing your “bad thoughts.” I know that feeling. I listened to the double CD of GP and Grevious Angel for months on end when I first bought it. It would have been very interesting to see what Gram would have done had he lived longer. Can you imagine the late 70s GP? How “cosmic” would he have gone? What about the 80s? Would he have signed to Geffen records and then lost his mind exploring the muddy two track roads of American music like Neil did? Perhaps that’s what Neil was up to in those weird years. He was looking for cosmic american music with his daliances in traditional country (Old Ways), techno/electronic (Trans), Rockabilly (Shocking Pinks) and Blues (Neil Young and the Blue Notes). Fucking David Geffen was trying to kill Cosmic American Music! David Geffen is the enemy!

I listened to Sweetheart of the Rodeo on my way home from GR (after Brutus) and just smiled and sang real loud all the way. That’s how infectious that music is. It turned a band of over harmonized, hippy-dippies into a band of Louvin Brother, Acuff/Rose lovin’ long hairs hell bent on “taking back” Nashville. Wait until you hear the Blue Ribbon Brothers. It’s on again.