inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #0 of 189: Hal Royaltey (hal) Wed 20 Apr 05 19:11
    
Joining us today is John Einarson, a respected rock music historian and 
writer based in Winnipeg, Canada. He has written feature articles and 
reviews for Mojo, Goldmine, Discoveries, Record Collector, and Rock 
Express and is a frequent contributor to the Winnipeg Free Press.  
In addition, John has written for television and radio, hosting his own 
CBC radio series. John served as the driving force for the Manitoba Museum’s 
acclaimed exhibit "Get Back: A Celebration of Winnipeg Rock ‘n’ Roll" and 
was guest curator for their successful "Linda McCartney’s Sixties" photo 
exhibit.  He is currently heard on CBC radio Saturday mornings in a regular 
series entitled Made in Manitoba.

John has published a number of music history books including biographies 
of Neil Young, Randy Bachman, Buffalo Springfield, John Kay & Steppenwolf, 
the Guess Who, the roots of California country rock, and two books chronicling 
Winnipeg and Manitoba music history. His current book, Mr. Tambourine Man: 
The Life of The Byrds’ Gene Clark (Backbeat Books) documents the life of the 
founding Byrd and folk-rock/country-rock pioneer. John recently wrote a TV 
documentary on folk music legend Buffy Sainte-Marie. He lives in Winnipeg 
with his family where he teaches history at a private university prep school. 
As a former consultant for the Manitoba Department of Education, John has 
written or contributed to several textbooks, teaching manuals and educational 
kits. He has been nominated for a national teaching award for bringing history 
to life in the classroom. Each year John organizes a popular rock ‘n’ roll 
revue involving over one hundred students.


Our interviewer, Steve Silberman, is a writer for Wired magazine.  He also 
co-produced the Grateful Dead's box set So Many Roads (1965-1995), and his 
writing has appeared in many national magazines.  He is also the author of 
liner notes for Crosby, Stills, and Nash's Greatest Hits, David Crosby and
Graham Nash's Wind on the Water and Whistling Down the Wire, the Grateful 
Dead's Workingman's Dead and Europe '72, and other recordings.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #1 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 21 Apr 05 11:22
    
John and everyone, welcome!

It is my pleasure to have John with us here to explore the career and the
life of Gene Clark, who has been somewhat of a mystery even to hardcore
Byrds fans.  In many ways, as David Fricke of Rolling Stone put it, Gene
was "the Great Lost Byrd."  Certainly Roger McGuinn and David Crosby got
more attention both in the Byrds and in their later careers than Gene did,
and yet Gene was the primary architect of some of the Byrds' best early
work, such as "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" and "She Don't Care About
Time."

John's book, Mr. Tambourine Man, is a wonderfully written and 
breathtakingly in-depth investigation of Gene's work.  First off, John, 
could you please tell us how you were first introduced to Gene's music -- 
I assume through the Byrds? -- and what particular qualities in his music 
speak to your soul?
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #2 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Thu 21 Apr 05 11:51
    
Hi Steve. It's great be here. Thanks. I've been a Gene Clark fan since
purchasing that first Byrds album back in the summer of 1965 and
followed his career through its various ups and downs. I have always
regarded him as an amazing songwriter yet a troubled artist who never
gained the recognition he truly deserved. What also appealed to me as a
writer was the story to his life. Plenty of drama and human interest.
I found his songs deeply introspective, more so than the other Byrds at
the time, and felt he was by far the most adept songwriter in the
group.
I'm looking forward to a lively discussion about Gene's life and
career. He remains a fascinating figure and an unsung hero.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #3 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 21 Apr 05 12:15
    
Thanks so much, John.

For the readers out there who may not be as familiar with Gene's body of
work, could you please suggest a "Gene Clark 101" list of suggested
tracks?


Also, to begin at the beginning, it's amazing to me that Gene's career 
began so dramatically with the New Christy Minstrels.  I'm wondering if 
you could talk about that a bit, and how hitting the road with a 
successful pop group fresh out of the small town Gene grew up in might 
have laid the foundation for problems he had later, dealing with fame.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #4 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Thu 21 Apr 05 15:55
    
Gene Clark's canon of recorded tracks, both released and unreleased
(more about that as we explore Gene further) is quite impressive making
it tough to pick a definitive "best of" list. Fans have their
particular favourites, myself included, but for the novice start first
with the Byrds' I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better, She Don't Care About
Time, Set You Free This Time, and Eight Miles High (I know, I know,
there are plenty more examples of Gene's Byrds best but these are as
good a place as any to jump in). These represent Gene's evolution from
your standard boy/girl/love themes to more minor key abstract
Dylanesque poetry, something Gene excelled in.

From his immediate post-Byrds solo career, Echoes remains definitive
off his 1967 debut album Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers, a slice
of Dylanesque alienation musing on being cut adrift from the Byrds. So
You Say You Lost Your Baby is right up there, too. Both bear gorgeous
Leon Russell arrangements.

When Gene teamed up with Douglas Dillard in 1968 they created some of
the finest early country rock (even before that phrase was coined) on
their two albums (the first with future Eagle Bernie Leadon). From this
teaming I would suggest With Care From Someone and Something's Wrong
as well as the lush Why Not Your Baby.

Solo once again, Gene's 1971 White Light album is a stark, minimalist
folk masterpiece that remains on many critics' best of lists. From A
Spanish Guitar and With Tomorrow are fine examples of Gene at his
acoustic best. Although the sessions were scuttled before completion in
1972, Roadmaster (later released in the Netherlands) represents a
return to country rock but with a more introspective lyric turn. Full
Circle Song remains a standout along with In A Misty Morning, both
backed by the finest of the LA country rock fraternity. 

I'm not as big a fan of the Byrds reunion album but his follow up solo
effort, No Other (1974), was and remains Gene's high water mark for
many fans despite the controversial garish cover. Here Gene's musings
on life, fatherhood and family up in Mendocino find full embellishment
under Tommy Kaye's elaborate arrangements. Strength of Strings, From A
Silver Phial and Lady of the North are superb examples of the creative
collaboration between Gene and Tommy (it's tough not to include every
song on this album).

Following the breakup of his marriage Gene poured his heart out in Two
Sides To Every Story (1977). Past Addresses, Sister Moon and Silent
Crusade are aching examples of Gene's melancholy heartache backed by
more simple arrangements by Kaye.

What followed next was a bit of a fallow period punctuated by the
McGuinn, Clark & Hillman reunion in 1979-80 (not much to recommend
there, in my opinion, other than perhaps I Won't Let You Down).
Firebyrd in 1984 brought a bit of a comeback as a solo artist and
boasted Gene's own magnificent tour de force rendition of Mr.
Tambourine Man. Superb!

Teaming with Carla Olson in 1987 for So Rebellious A Lover was a
positive shot of energy for Gene's flagging career and standout tracks
include Gypsy Rider, Del Gato (written with brother Rick), and a moving
cover of the traditional Fair and Tender Ladies.

I'm sure I've left out somebody's favourites (the mini-Byrds reunion
in the studio in 71-72 yielded two terrific tracks: One In A Hundred
and She's The Kind of Girl as well as Gene being backed by the Burritos
on Here Tonight - all are worth searching out). And I haven't even
mentioned the unreleased stuff!

How's that for a long-winded "Gene Clark 101" lesson?
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #5 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 21 Apr 05 16:11
    
That's exactly what I was looking for, John, thanks so much.  We're all 
going to have a good time hunting down and hearing those tracks.  I 
just listened to "Something's Wrong" from the Dillard & Clark sessions on 
your advisement, and it really is an exquisite song, with a particular 
flavor of melancholy that is not like anyone else's.

I know that the Byrds reunion album was considered a commercial failure as
well as personally disappointing to the artists and a nightmare band
interaction -- MUCH more on that later! -- but I do want to say that I
have always loved Gene's Full Circle and Changing Heart from that record.
Is that Gene singing lead on (See the Sky) About to Rain?  (I confess with
much hesitation that I rather like that record, even knowing what I know
about it from reading your book.  While a few of the cuts are obviously
crap -- notably Born to Rock and Roll -- I think Cowgirl in the Sand
turned out pretty beautifully.  But more on that later.)

OK, big question.  You tell an amazing story about the first time that 
Gene heard the Beatles, which I'd like to ask you to retell here because I 
think a lot of people will relate to it.  Please also expound a bit on the 
effect that the sudden popularity of the Beatles had on the folk scene 
that Gene came out of.   Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #6 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 21 Apr 05 16:12
    
By the way, I invite all you readers out there in greater Webland to email 
me questions to ask John.  Please put CLARK in the subject line to help me 
sort through the mail.  Thanks so much!
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #7 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 21 Apr 05 16:25
    
That's digaman@sonic.net.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #8 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Thu 21 Apr 05 17:01
    
Thanks Steve. To get back to your second question about Gene's sudden
leap to the big time, as Kansas City Star reporter and book reviewer
Brian Burnes termed it, being plucked from obscurity by the New Christy
Minstrels was Gene’s Lana Turner story. How could he possibly turn it
down? The Christy’s were the biggest thing in folk/pop music in the
summer of 1963. If he had passed up the offer to join what future did
he face? Working at a golf course tending greens? Becoming a mechanic
or machine operator? (mention of him considering university in old
stories are false) All the while singing in Kansas City clubs? This was
his ticket out of a dead end life with no future. He didn’t have to
think twice.

The other side of the coin, though, was that Gene was ill-prepared for
life in the fast lane – the constant touring and performing. Shy,
introspective, he was nonetheless thrust into a highly competitive
environment and expected to keep up with the other seasoned ensemble
members all jostling for attention from the audience. He didn’t last
long with the Christy’s because he couldn’t cope with the demands
expected of him and, according to some ex-members, saw the writing on
the wall and quit before he was fired. This same scenario would play
out again in the Byrds.

Chris Hillman always maintains that Gene would have been better off if
he had stayed in Kansas, married his high school sweetheart, taken a
regular job and written songs for himself. As unsuited as he was for
fame, I’m not sure Gene would have been satisfied with the simple rural
life in Kansas.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #9 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Thu 21 Apr 05 17:13
    
Yes, that's Gene singing on Neil Young's See The Sky About To Rain
which is one of the standout tracks on what is generally regarded as a
lacklustre album (odd, though, that the coda at the end of that track
is markedly louder than the song for some reason - anyone else ever
notice that? It leaps out at you). All the Byrds agree that Gene
emerged the strongest on that album, and unlike Hillman or McGuinn, he
wasn't saving his best songs for a solo album although he secured a
solo deal on the strength of his contributions on the reunion album.
Incidentally, CSNY drummer Johnny Barbata insists that he played on
some of that album along with bass player Wilton Felder and that Neil
also sang backup on some tracks (Gene also stated this in interviews).

Gene discovering the Beatles is a cute story full of the innocence of
the period. He was on the road through Canada with the Christy's when
he heard the Beatles on the radio (keep in mind that the Beatles broke
earlier in Canada than in the US) and was suitably smitten. Back in the
US a few weeks later (this would be late February, 1964 after the Ed
Sullivan appearance by the Fab Four)he chanced upon a jukebox in
Virginia with She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand on it and kept
popping coins in all night long trying to figure out what the Beatles
magic was, listening intently and deconstructing each of the songs. He
was hooked (along with several million others) and left the Christy's
within days. He headed west to form a Beatles-type group and met
McGuinn soon after at the Troubadour. But that's getting ahead. Oddly
enough, the two initially intended on forming a Peter & Gordon/Chad &
Jeremy duo before running into Crosby.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #10 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Thu 21 Apr 05 17:20
    
Interesting that you mention the melancholy flavour of "Something's
Wrong" by Dillard & Clark as the song represents Gene's longing for the
simpler days when he and his brothers had the entire Swope Park
greenspace in Kansas City as their own exclusive playground. Gene's
childhood imagination was given free reign over the orchards, hills,
rugged mountains and bramble brush of 1800 acres of wilderness at the
time. We all look back longingly at the carefree days of our youth
knowing that we can never recapture them again. Gene's brother David
insists that this song says much about Gene and his upbringing as well
as the lifestyle he found himself in by 1968.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #11 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 21 Apr 05 17:33
    
Those are great stories, John.  

I have also noticed that the See the Sky coda is not just louder than the 
song, but louder than the whole rest of the album.  It has a strange 
effect -- as if an enormous silver guitar suddenly dropped from the 
clouds.  Sometimes I enjoy the effect, and other times it leaves one 
wishing that the whole album sounded that vivid.

But getting back to earlier in the chronology, you say:

> Oddly
 enough, the two initially intended on forming a Peter & Gordon/Chad &
 Jeremy duo before running into Crosby.

Until I read your book, I never realized how crucial Gene was to the early 
Byrds.  He was, in a real sense onstage, their frontman, in part because 
he was an extremely handsome guy;  in a much deeper sense, he was 
essential to laying the foundations of the Byrds' entire musical approach.
I'd love it if you could tell us what elements Gene brought to the nascent 
Byrds.  To put it another way, what would the Byrds have lacked if he 
hadn't been there?
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #12 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Thu 21 Apr 05 18:58
    
While the Byrds are best known for giving birth to folk rock (although
it could be argued that others had already experimented with a merging
of folk with rock earlier), it wasn't really Gene who brought the folk
element to the embryonic group. When Gene and Roger (Jim at the time)
McGuinn first hooked up in what Roger believes was March 1964, Roger
brought the folk element to the duo while Gene contributed the
pop/commercial sensibility. Despite Gene's recent experience in the New
Christy Minstrels, or perhaps because of it given their wholesome
commercial folk appeal to all ages, Gene wasn't steeped in folk music
the way Roger was having worked with Judy Collins and backing other
performers in the folk idiom. It's important to make that distinction.
Roger had the folk pedigree more than Gene. Gene wouldn't have been the
one to suggest "The Bells of Rhymney" or "Turn! Turn! Turn!" But, on
the other hand, Roger wouldn't have been the one to write "Here Without
You" or "I Knew I'd Want You" which were less folk rock and more
pop-oriented and British Invasion-influenced. It was a winning
combination, obviously. Gene was already writing prolifically producing
a dozen songs a week and the new group needed original material
(listen to the Preflyte sessions: it's almost all Gene's songs - Crosby
and McGuinn were barely writing then). Early demos of seven of those
songs recorded by Jim Dickson that summer reveal Gene's songs as
pop-oriented, not folk. He brought that to the table and that became
part of the Byrds' magic combination. 

But with the success of "Mr. Tambourine Man", McGuinn became the voice
of the Byrds and folk-rock, namely that characteristic jingle-jangle
12-string electric Rickenbacker guitar and folk-oriented lyrics. Gene
may have been the handsome one in the centre who drew the screams from
the girls but record labels like to back a winner and to them McGuinn's
voice and guitar became the distinctive sound of the Byrds. Thus began
Gene's retreat from the group.

What's amazing is that Gene was writing some of his best Byrds
material by the time of the "Turn! Turn! Turn!" album yet being shut
out of the writing, limited to only 3 songs while inferior tracks by
McGuinn and Crosby were chosen over "She Don't Care About Time" and
"The Day Walk". Go figure.

What Gene brought to the original Byrds was, first and foremost,
songwriting (he dominated their debut album and contributed the best
songs to the second album) and a distinctive minor key melancholy
sound, a visual presence, focus and appealing image onstage, and a
unifying force (it was Gene, the others point out, who was insistent
that the group carry on during the lean months before Tambourine Man).
Also, Gene was a team player. He relinquished the rhythm guitar for the
good of the group, relinquished the lead singer role for the good of
the group, and was willing to relinquish his dominance of the
songwriting again for the good of the group's internal harmony.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #13 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Fri 22 Apr 05 05:59
    
Further to "Gene Clark 101", a good place to start is the UK released
2-CD Gene Clark A&M/Universal compilation "Flying High" which covers
the Byrds to Gene and Carla with selected tracks. Also, the Australian
Raven Records single CD compilation "American Dreamer" is worth picking
up, too. Both offer a solid introduction to Clark's body of work
though will be imports over here and a little harder to find.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #14 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 22 Apr 05 08:04
    
Great stuff, John, thanks.

I know what you mean about this:

> a distinctive minor key melancholy
 sound

Listening to "Here Without You" on The Preflyte Sessions, you can hear
that sound nearly fully formed, and what a beautiful song it is.  I will
say though that I've heard some of Crosby's pre-Byrds demos from a couple
of years earlier, and he was already groping toward that sound too;  when
he met Gene, Crosby must have felt he was a kindred musical spirit in that
way, though I know they had their ego-battles that proved devastating to
Gene's role in the group.

"She Don't Care About Time" is a fantastic song.

To get meta here for a moment, I want to ask you:  Why do we still care 
about the Byrds?  What accounts for their longevity in both the public 
imagination and the critical imagination (if that's not an oxymoron)?  
I've even heard several critics say that the Byrds was the last good band 
that Crosby was in, which is obviously uber-muso hipster hyperbole, but 
why is it that, in some ways, the Byrds seem less dated that some of CSN's 
stuff?  And what was it about what Gene brought to the table in particular 
that have kept them sounding fresh after 40 years?
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #15 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Fri 22 Apr 05 10:39
    
One of the unique features of the Byrds’ characteristic sound was
David Crosby’s harmonies that rode above Gene and Roger’s often unison
vocals. And the blending of David’s voice with Gene’s was quite
special. Several of Gene’s Byrds songs feature these two voices
together and David even stated to me that he loved singing Gene’s songs
and blending his voice with Gene’s. Often it’s David’s harmony that
creates the ethereal melancholy quality in Gene’s Byrds songs. I don’t
think David gets enough credit for his contributions to the Byrds
distinctive sound. Certainly he added much to Gene’s tracks.

One of the reasons for the Byrds’ longevity some 40 years on is the
fact that they presented a fresh new left turn in pop music with their
blending of folk lyrics - poetry and substance - with a British
Invasion rock beat and presentation. Beat with brains. In doing so they
forged a whole new subgenre, namely folk rock (a much-maligned term
however one that nonetheless remains identifiable with a style and
sound associated with the Byrds). “Mr. Tambourine Man” was poetry set
to a rock beat (Roger claims it’s “Don’t Worry Baby”). And that
influence continues to be felt in pop/rock music today. The Byrds
helped make pop/rock music more of an art form than merely boy/girl
themes. They were innovators at a time of imitators.

Another reason is that their songs have become touchstones to
particular times and eras and just hearing the opening notes to
“Tambourine Man”, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” or “Eight Miles High” can
instantly conjure up images of the sixties. In addition, those songs
resonate with a timely message still today. Manager Jim Dickson always
cautioned the young Byrds to make music they will still be proud of 25
years later. In other words, music that has substance and can stand the
test of time. It’s 40 years later and that music remains in our
consciousness. The message in “Turn! Turn! Turn!” is as relevant today
as it was in 1965, sad to say. As latter day Byrd John York remarked,
people will still be listening to “Turn! Turn! Turn!” long after we’re
dead.

An additional factor is, of course, the various Byrds members and the
careers they carried on after the Byrds. Each has carved out their own
unique place in music history and popular culture beyond the Byrds.
Furthermore, there are so many artists today who continue to cite the
Byrds as a seminal influence on them, such as REM for example. There is
a direct line of influence from so many contemporary artists that
traces back to the Byrds.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #16 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 22 Apr 05 11:22
    
Very well stated, John, thanks.

The influence of Dylan on the Byrds was obvious, but what would you say 
was the influence of the Byrds on Dylan, and what role did Gene play in 
that?
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #17 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Fri 22 Apr 05 11:35
    
According to Gene and Dylan’s mutual friend actor Jason Ronard, Dylan
was asked “Did you make Gene Clark famous?” and he said, “No, Gene
Clark made me famous,” and he meant the Byrds doing “Mr. Tambourine
Man” because it encouraged Dylan to go electric. Dylan was also quoted
back in the 60s as remarking that Gene Clark interested him more and
more because of his songwriting. Gene was an unabashed Dylan acolyte in
the mid to latter 60s, deeply influenced and inspired by Dylan’s
poetry. But did Gene influence Dylan? Hard to say and Bob isn’t doing
many interviews.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #18 of 189: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 22 Apr 05 12:40
    

(note: offsite readers with comments or questions can send them to
<inkwell-hosts@well.com> to have them added to this conversation)
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #19 of 189: Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 22 Apr 05 16:40
    
John, could you please talk about some of the pressures that were brought 
to bear on Gene in the Byrds, which finally resulted in his early 
departure from a very successful band?
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #20 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Fri 22 Apr 05 17:08
    
The increasing demands on his time and the loss of any sense of
privacy, anonymity, or independence coupled with fanatical adulation at
every turn weighed heavily on 20 year old Gene Clark in the summer of
1965 as "Mr. Tambourine Man" became a worldwide phenomenon. Being cast
alongside the Beatles and Rolling Stones and associating with them like
rock dieties yet still feeling inadequately prepared or deserving of
that elevation and attention contributed further to a tense situation.
The media and fans hung on his every word as if he had all the answers
and sycophants attended to his every whim. Added to that were the
stresses and strains of the evolving relationships between the five
members, the jealousies (Gene earned more money from songwriter
royalties than the others), and the power plays within the group. The
constant flying brought further stresses as he already had an aversion
to that mode of travel. Drugs amplified these tensions and pressures
for Gene (he experienced a bad trip, the others recall, that left an
indelible scar on his delicate psyche). Quite simply, Gene was
ill-prepared for the level of fame thrust upon him so quickly. Remember
the Beatles and Stones had been together for a few years and 'paid
their dues' in clubs struggling to work their way up whereas the Byrds
played a couple of small gigs then Ciro's was their breakthrough
followed by Tambourine Man, all in the space of 6 months (sure, they’d
been together since late summer 1964 but didn’t gig until much later).
It’s no wonder he freaked out by early 1966.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #21 of 189: from JAMES DUSEWICZ (tnf) Sat 23 Apr 05 15:10
    



James Dusewicz writes:




With so much published information out there on Gene
Clark a part of the public record(since his days as A
Byrd). Were you limited by your publishing company as
to how many pages you could write?

Sincerely,
jimd
crazyhjhd@yahoo.com


James  Dusewicz
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #22 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Sat 23 Apr 05 15:34
    
There actually isn't much out there published on Gene Clark. There is
Johnny Rogan's big Byrds book and my earlier book on country rock
(Desperados) has much on Gene but his story is largely a mystery (and
what is out there is often shrouded in myth and misconception) until
now. Obviously the publishers weren't able to put out a 500 page tome
and the manuscript was long (hence the smaller print). We chose not to
include a discography because we didn't want to shorten the text of the
story in order to accommodate it. The book is more of a full biography
of a life and career than a sessionography anyway. I would have liked
more photos but we did 32 in the end. But I'll give credit to Backbeat
Books for never coming to me and saying "You've got to chop it down." I
think the story is allowed to develop effectively.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #23 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Sat 23 Apr 05 15:49
    
Incidentally, good to have you here, James. Nice to see some "Gene
pool" people joining in. I have to commend the members of the Gene
Clark internet list for all their support during the researching of the
book. Many provided clippings, reviews, interviews, tapes and CDs. I
couldn't have done it without you folks (and you are listed in the
acknowledgements in gratitude). That's the great thing about the
internet; you can meet like-minded people who share your tastes in
music. There's a whole Gene Clark network out there.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #24 of 189: John Einarson (johneinarson) Sat 23 Apr 05 15:57
    
Further to the "Gene pool" members, I've got to mention Pam
Richardson's song "Tipton's Vein of Silver" written about Gene. My
compadre Buddy Woodward suggested I listen to Pam's lyrics for possible
inclusion in the book (good on ya, mate) and as soon as I heard Pam's
moving tribute I knew it had to conclude the book, and it does so
perfectly. Very moving (I've had people tell me they cried at the end).
I'm honoured to have Pam's lyrics printed in the book. Thanks Pam. By
the way, Pam's got a new CD coming out that's terrific.
  
inkwell.vue.243 : John Einarson, "Mr Tambourine Man"
permalink #25 of 189: uber-muso hipster hyperbole (pjm) Sat 23 Apr 05 16:40
    
This is a wonderful discussion.  I am big 60's folk rock fan.  John,
thank you for sharing your insights into Gene and the Byrds.  I am
looking forward to further discussion and will ask some questions when
the time is right.  Steve, tftp.
  

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