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Trivia / The Byrds

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  • Banned in China: A lot of radio stations refused to play "Eight Miles High" because they thought the title was a drug reference.
  • Breakup Breakout: David Crosby went on to form Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
  • Career Resurrection: The Ballad of Easy Rider and (Untitled) after it had been lost thanks to the New Sound Albums and unstable lineups, only for it to be lost again with Byrdmaniax.
  • Creative Differences: Hoo boy...from the very beginning band members clashed frequently, leading to their Revolving Door Band status. One writer has described them as "Lord of the Flies with guitars." In an interview Chris Hillman pointed out that when they formed the only things the original Byrds had in common were that they liked The Beatles and pot.
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  • Dueling Works: The deluxe four-CD Byrds box set released in October 1990 had four newly-recorded songs by McGuinn, Crosby and Hillman. One of them was the Julie Gold-penned "From a Distance". As it turned out, Bette Midler and Cliff Richard also released versions of the song within a couple weeks of The Byrds, with Midler's becoming a huge hit.
  • Executive Meddling: The single version of "Lay Lady Lay" included an overdubbed female choir that the band didn't know about until the single had already been released. The band hated this version and when the song was included on their box set and the remaster of Dr. Byrds & Mr Hyde, the version without the choir was used. Whilst the original version has appeared on compilations, if the band had their way, it wouldn't have. The incident led to the band switching producers from Bob Johnston to Terry Melcher.
    • The situation eventually repeated itself on Byrdmaniax, where producers Terry Melcher and Chris Hinshaw overdubbed keyboards, horns, strings and backing vocals over songs the band had finished recording while they were out on tour. The band were outraged when they heard the final version of the album, and have repeatedly criticised Melcher and Hinshaw's meddling.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • From the intra-band argument included as a Hidden Track on the CD of The Notorious Byrd Brothers
      Michael Clarke: I don't even like the song.
      Chris Hillman: What are you in the group for?
      Michael Clarke: For the money.
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    • Also the reason they reunited for the Byrds album in 1973.
  • Short-Lived, Big Impact: The classic lineup of the band was only together for a little over two years.
    • Despite looming large over their entire legacy, Gram Parsons was only in The Byrds for six months. He joined in February of 1968 to replace David Crosby and quit that July when he refused to tour with the band in Apartheid South Africa. In that short time, he recorded just one album with the band: Sweetheart of the Rodeo, the Trope Codifier of country rock.
  • Throw It In!: On "Hickory Wind" (Sweetheart of The Rodeo) someone coughs right after Gram Parsons sings "in South Carolina".
  • What Could Have Been: They were asked to play Woodstock, but they were tired of the festival circuit and believed it wouldn't be any different from any of the other festivals they turned down that summer.
  • Write Who You Know: "Old John Robertson" on The Notorious Byrd Brothers is about prolific early Hollywood director John S. Robertson (director of dozens of films including The Single Standard and Little Orphan Annie) and his wife Josephine Lovett, who were neighbors of Chris Hillman when he was growing up in rural San Diego County.


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