The worst band in the history of rock music is the Byrds. Making a career out of covering other people's songs with flat harmonies and 12-string guitars, the Byrds never really had a moment until they gave up the reigns of their band -- in a career crisis moment after psychedlic's fire simmered out -- and let Graham Parsons sing lead, direct the songs and make their best album 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo' in 1968.
With David Crosby (of lame CSN&Y fame) and Parsons gone, the smug Roger 'I have a 12-string! I have a 12-string!' McGuinn -- never much of a force in the band -- took over, finding new Dylan songs to cover. (They re-did Dylan's biggest song 'Lay Lady Lay' the same year Dylan released it, for example.)
Eventually we -- the children of the '80s -- believed what we were told: the Byrds were an important 1960s band and the uncharismatic, poor singer McGuinn was its pioneer. We clapped politely as they were awarded status to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. And we nodded our heads in time to the 10-second soundbyte of 'Turn Turn Turn' as it accompanied a Time-Life Book commercial in 1989. None of us have ever listened to any of their non-Parsons albums, nor should.
Take a look at this:
* first 'hit' was 'Mr Tambourine Man' (written by Dylan)
* follow-up single 'All I Really Want to Do' (written by Dylan)
* follow-up single 'Turn Turn Turn' (traditional folk song by Pete Seeger)
* two years later they actually wrote a song ('So You Wanna Be a Rock'n'Roll Star') to make a dig at the manufactured Monkees' overnight success, forgetting they had formed in a similar fashion a few years earlier
* fired (admittedly overrated) David Crosby who had been principal songwriter in psychedlic era
* in 1972, following success of rival Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Byrds released 'Byrds' album under name 'Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn & Michael Clarke)
The FBO calls for Roger McGuinn, as the official Byrds spokesperson:
--> to apologize
--> to post all material free online (none of their music should make money from this point on)
--> return the 'Hall of Fame' inductee ribbon
--> stop talking about the Byrds on nostalgic radio/TV shows
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