Rare: The Byrds Go Eight Miles High (1967)

While I was searching for something else, I stumbled across a Rare Clip of the BYRDS ( Jim McGuinn (lead guitar, vocals), Gene Clark (tambourine, vocals), David Crosby (rhythm guitar, vocals), Chris Hillman (bass guitar, vocals), and Michael Clarke (drums) playing their double entendre hit EIGHT MILES HIGH in 1967. I find it interesting on several levels reflecting their second year as a band.

For one thing they were in different stages of letting their Freak Flags Fly. Crosby as usual is ahead of the trend wearing the bear skin hat that he found somewhere in Hollywood, his hair is long and he's experimenting with facial hair. Jim McGuinn (later Roger) has long hair and a beard, but is wearing a tie and jacket with one foot still in the straight world. Chris Hillman has a bushy head of hair and looks around 15 although he was older. Drummer Michael Clark who would not become as famous as the others looks spaced, and his brother Gene isn't in the picture.

McGuinn is playing his jangly 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, and it looks like he had left his early 360 model for the new three pickup 370/12 model. They hadn't really got the lip-synch thing down yet...or maybe they just weren't in any shape to do it. If you were around then you'll enjoy seeing them at this stage, and if you aren't that old, it's a great peek into the 60's transition period in music and clothing. I've told the story elsewhere, but it's a favorite of mine.

The band was piled into McGuinn's old beaten-up convertible riding down the PCH by the ocean listening to KRLA, a major radio station in L.A., suddenly their first single, a cover of Dylan's, "Mr. Tambourine Man," was on the air, and they had the thrill of hearing their music on the radio for the first time. Jim pulled over to the side of the road and cranked it up so they could drink it all in, and when the song ended he looked around and said: "Gentlemen, we are the new Princes of L.A," and so they would be. @therealdonrocks

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