July 15, 2009 – 4:09 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Washington 1970 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the American University, Washington, DC, April 18, 1970. Very good soundboard.

With their intricate harmonies and chiming guitars, from folk rock to acoustic rock to country rock, The Byrds probably covered them all. While the group formed in the ’60s with Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, drummer Michael Clark and bassist Chris Hillman, by 1970 when they played this Washington gig, only McGuinn from the original members remained.

With guitarist Clarence White, bassist Skip Battin and drummer Gene Parsons in the lineup, anyone thinking that this is a second-rate band should seriously reconsider. While fans have commented favourably on the nice sound of this show, the highlight is the classic 20-minute jam on Eight Miles High (where the casual listener might even mistake them for Santana doing a spot of jazz improv!). On the other hand, the the band sounded suitably rustic on the instrumental Black Mountain Rag.

While The Byrds have covered Bob Dylan right from the beginning (after all, their debut album was called Mr Tambourine Man), they continued this fine tradition here with what sounds like The Byrds doing the Bob Dylan songbook - You Ain’t Going Nowhere, My Back Pages, This Wheel’s on Fire, It’s Alright Ma and the perennial classic, Mr Tambourine Man.

The original Byrds reunited briefly in 1972 and while McGuinn, Clark and Hillman have worked with each other subsequently, the full-fledged reunion of the three continue to seem as elusive then as it is now. Gene Clark died in 1991 and Michael Clark died of liver disease in 1993.

And while today’s younger music listeners think of R.E.M. when they talk about jangle rock (especially on their Murmur album), not many would remember that musical path was long charted by acts that included The Byrds.

Thanks to 38f who once shared these tracks on the Dime site and to G The Cock for the artwork.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you want to download them at a later date.

Disc 1:
Track 101. You Ain’t Going Nowhere
Track 102. Old Blue
Track 103. You All Look Alike
Track 104. My Back Pages / Baby, What You Want Me to Do?
Track 105. He Was A Friend Of Mine
Track 106. Willin’
Track 107. Black Mountain Rag
Track 108. This Wheel’s on Fire
Track 109. It’s Alright Ma (I am Only Bleeding) / Ballad Of Easy Rider
Track 110. Jesus is Just Alright
Track 111. Nashville West

Disc 2:
Track 201. Turn, Turn, Turn
Track 202. Mr Tambourine Man
Track 203. Jam / Eight Miles High
Track 204. Instrumental Outro
Track 205. Crowd / So You Want to be a Rock and Roll Star
Track 206. Mr Spaceman
Track 207. Instrumental Outro
Track 208. Crowd / Amazing Grace (acapella version)

Roger McGuinn - guitar, vocals
Clarence White - guitar, vocals
Gene Parsons - drums, vocals
Skip Battin - bass, vocals

Click on the link to order The Byrds boxset and other Byrds albums.

  1. 16 Responses to “THE BYRDS - WASHINGTON 1970”

  2. Thankfully, no “Chestnut Mare”. Great post. Interested parties would be well advised to pick up the authorized Live At the Fillmore February 1969. Mr. White’s guitar sounds a dream.

    By kingpossum on Jul 15, 2009

  3. See, and I was thinking “Bummer there’s no Chestnut Mare, and double bummer they did Jesus I Just Alright instead.” Well, to each their own.

    Anyhow, this still looks pretty good. Thanks for all the great stuff Big O!

    By Shaun on Jul 15, 2009

  4. Don’t forget that McGuinn, Hillman and original Byrd David Crosby reunited for several then-new recordings for a Byrds box set back in the late 80s (or was it early 90s?) and did a few shows together too. I was hoping more might come of that, but it never did.

    Likewise, McGuinn did a fine solo album right after that (Back From Rio) that got some airplay and sold fairly well (thanks in part to a duet with Tom Petty), but again McGuinn sort of fell off the radar after that.

    By Shaun on Jul 15, 2009

  5. A perfect post could somebody post a recording of the original Manfred Mann´s Eartn Band?

    By Sven on Jul 15, 2009

  6. Funny how that works, eh Shaun? To each their own indeed. A pretty good set overall whatever one’s preferences might be.


    By kingpossum on Jul 16, 2009

  7. McGuinn still plays live occasionally, and his website the ‘Folk Den’ has some free Mp3s and other cool stuff. I’m not a fan of Chestnut Mare OR Jesus.. (I’d rather hear ‘Lover of the Bayou’, which they played a lot in those years) but I enjoyed this set a lot. To each his own.


    By Eric on Jul 16, 2009

  8. saw Mcguinn last night in Tivoli, Utrecht (netherlands) an we had a great night with lots of old Byrds songs. He’s keeping up the good work and his Rickenbacker & Voice = The Byrds

    By Gerard on Jul 16, 2009

  9. And he played Chestnut, Jesus and Lover

    By Gerard on Jul 16, 2009

  10. Amazing concert!

    By Rochacrimson on Jul 16, 2009

  11. Great energy here for this show. 4 guys that sound like six. Peaces ~

    By Timmy on Jul 17, 2009

  12. My own hometown! Very high-qual shit lately, bros — thanks heaps!


    By heli0tr0pe on Jul 18, 2009

  13. OK, I gotta say “Lover of the Bayou” is the best choice of those three for sure… I haven’t checked out McGuinn’s Folk Den yet, but I think I’ll have to do just that.

    By Shaun on Jul 18, 2009

  14. Looks good. Thanks BigO

    By Matt on Jul 26, 2009

  15. I had forgotten about “He was a friend of mine”. Really brought me back to those times and all we’d lost. Its strange. He might’ve been considered “blue dog” in some ways, aggressive in war (cuba, vietnam), yet visionary and inspiring (moon, goals on civil rights). His is a continuing tragedy of what might have been, and still a unique story. His was the hope and change of that day.

    By NoJob1yr on Jul 26, 2009

  16. thanks…

    By sluggo on Jul 29, 2009

  17. tracks 204 & 207 instrumental outro is called:
    ” Hold it ”
    Kind regards

    By koen didier on Mar 22, 2013

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