LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
TA: Let's go on the 5D era then, if we could. This is a major point of change for you guys. Your two primary sources of material, Gene Clark and then Bob Dylan were not on the record. Did you decide consciously not to do any more Dylan stuff for this record?

RM: I think maybe we got too much flack for doing too many Dylan songs.

John Nork  |  Oct 31, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

The Tracking Angle Interview: David Crosby

TA: Let's begin with If I Could Only Remember My Name , your first solo album. It won some awards for sound quality. You once were quoted as saying the engineer Steve Barncord did a really good job. Do you think that a record like that could be made and released today?

DC: Probably not. Things have changed in the field. It's not as loose as it was then. Nowadays, if it isn't a clone of whatever's at the top of the charts, it's very hard to get anybody to pay any attention to it at all. We (CSN&Y) had just gotten through doing Déjà vu, you know? And I had more stuff and I was just having fun in the studio. It was the only place that I was really happy right then. That was not long after that girl had gotten killed that was my old lady, and so the studio was my refuge. I would hang out there and all my friends that were loose on any given night would wind up there. It was very self-indulgent, but we had no push, there was no pressure so we could do anything that I could think of. That's not true these days. Nowadays, the prices are so huge and the game is so distorted that winning is what matters and MTV has changed it to where theatrical acts win more than musical acts. Smoke bombs and costumes, you know, how much rage you can seem to express and anything to cut through the fog. It has very little to do with music. But that was a very musical album. I think if it came out now, it would fail.

John Nork  |  Oct 31, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

TA: Are you interested in the studio side of things, or do you just see it as a means to an end?

DC: I've been forced to get into it because I love the sound. I love making sounds. I love making it sound wonderful That's why If Only I Could Remember My Name sounded the way it did. That's me without any restraints or anybody in the way, you know? I am not a very good "tekkie" but I can hear fairly well and it's not too hard to figure stuff out. I've done things like running analog and digital off of the same recording (mic feed) and then really listening.

TA: And what did you come up with?

DC: I still like analog. I still would rather cut my tracks, anyway, on a Studer.

TA: And why is that?

DC: Two things: one transients, and the way that it handles them, you know? When a kick drum or something sort of shocks the tape, it behaves differently on the two different system but mostly overtone structures, harmonics.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 03, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
If the sole criterion for choosing a winner in today's hotly contested premium arms race was original thinking, the Immedia RPM-2 might well come out on top. While some of its design details resemble those found on other products, in many significant areas the arm is unique—not for uniqueness's sake, but in order to efficiently implement some clearly considered goals. If the unipivot RPM-2 bears a resemblance to any other contemporary arm, it is Naim's highly regarded ARO—which I've never heard. The similarity, though, would appear to be superficial.
John Nork  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

Roger McGuinn. McGuinn co-founded the group with Gene Clark and was its nominal leader. If you disassemble the complex tapestry of the Byrds' sound into its molecular underpinnings, McGuinn's distinctive voice and unique twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar are the nucleus. Lead guitarist McGuinn's unique style simultaneously employs a flat pick and fingerpicking patterns, drawing

more from five-string banjo rolls than typical guitar scales. When this unusual picking pattern is done on an electric twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar, the resulting sound is a brilliant cascade of harmonic intervals and gleaming overtones. McGuinn also sang lead on many of the group's songs, including all of their Dylan interpretations.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
TA: How did you select music as a career? What were the factors involved in your going that direction for your occupation?

RM: I just loved it and I kinda fell into it. I was playing it as a hobby and getting ten dollars a night at the coffeehouse.

TA: How old were you at this point?

John Nork  |  Oct 01, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
It was January 20, 1965. The "British Invasion" was at its apex. Led by The Beatles, English rock bands dominated the American airwaves. Meanwhile, with little fanfare, a newly formed aggregation called The Byrds was working ardently on their first (and possibly last) single for Columbia Records. As was standard record company practice back then, the Byrds' contract called for one single. If it was successful, an entire album would be commissioned. Otherwise it would be bye-bye Byrdies.
John Nork  |  Sep 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

John Nork: Let me start back in the past, Chris - how did you get into music?

Chris Hillman: Okay, that's a good question. You know, you'd think I'd get that question all the time, but I never do. I grew up in a home where my parents were not musicians but they had wonderful tastes and there was always music on the record player. Their tastes ran from big-band music, which was their era, and Duke Ellington and Count Basie was what I heard...in fact, one day when I was in my early teens I found an old 78 album of Josh White and I asked my father, "Where did you get this?" And he said, "Oh, I just picked it up at one point." And what's really interesting is that my older sister steered me into music - she went to college in the '50s and she came back from her first year or two in the early '50s, you know, with The Weavers and Pete Seeger and stuff, and I started to listen to that. I bought rock-and-roll records in 1956 and 1957, junior high school. You know, 1957: the year of rock and roll. So, I bought all that, and then, like a lot of people my age, I drifted into folk music. I didn't really get into The Kingston Trio or The Brothers Four; I lasted maybe a week with that, but I really liked the more traditional stuff. I gotta hand it to my older sister. She sort of steered me in that direction and I took it from there. Of course, I wanted to get a guitar and I got an inexpensive guitar and started banging out chords out of a chord book. I didn't take any lessons or anything.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments
Though much has changed since this story first appeared, it still holds interest. Mike Hobson and Ying Tan have long since split, with Ying starting Groove Note, and sadly, plating guru Ed Tobin was murdered, but Bernie Grundman Mastering thrives, as does Classic Records, thanks to the vinyl revival now underway.

Spend a few days watching how they make records late twentieth century style and you'll understand why hardly anyone makes them anymore. You'll also appreciate why the good ones cost what they do.

John Nork  |  Sep 30, 2004  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  0 comments

TA: You probably don't remember this, Chris, but when I interviewed you and Roger in 1977, way back when you were in Miami, I asked you guys why you didn't call yourselves The Byrds when you were in McGuinn, Clark and Hillman, and you said that you promised you wouldn't unless David were there, and I said, "What did he do? Threaten to write more 'Mind Gardens'?" and everyone got a good yuk out of that.

CH: (laughs).

TA: What about "Hey Joe?"

CH: Well, that's okay. I think that David did it really good, but I don't remember. I think that I don't take it as seriously because the Lees, kind of this Byrds-clone, put it out.

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