Sunday, 17 January 2010

Eight Miles High

"Nowhere is there warmth to be found among those afraid of losing their ground. Rain gray town known for its sound. In places, Small Faces unbound ..." I wouldn't like to think how many times I've played The Byrds' Eight Miles High. And it's still that guitar sound that grabs me. So much so that it's easy to overlook the London references in the lyrics. Though even there people prefer to look for other meanings. I was just thinking about how I first came across The Byrds, I guess, via the Flamin' Groovies, Orange Juice, and even perhaps the TVPs' King & Country. In the early 1980s we really weren't overwhelmed with Byrds product. There was really only the Original Singles compilation which was a revelation. I think Chestnut Mare was available on an Old Gold 7", and I bought that because in Sounds Dave McCullough said each of Hurrah!'s songs was like a mini-Chestnut Mare. There were idiots in 1985 criticising Primal Scream for being obsessed with The Byrds and Love. Idiots. We were hearing all that stuff for the first time and it was liberating. I remember going to see Roger McGuinn at Dingwalls in 1984 which perhaps wasn't the wisest idea but hey ho ... On the Byrds' second visit to the UK Roger was getting into using cameras and in recent years footage of the group's arrival into London has emerged ...

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