Home        Lyrics        Musicians        Albums        History        Interviews     Links


featuring Kevin Kelley


The Byrds speak on

Kevin Kelley



Gene Parsons - Simon Evans 2001

I think they were looking for a heavier drummer. They had me play the same tunes as Kevin so that they could compare us. Strangely enough, I thought Kevin was a really good drummer. His work on 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo' was really good.

Chris Hillman - Richie Unterberger ca 2000

The Rising Sons didn't have the goods. They had all that raw talent, and it was a good starting point for Taj [Mahal], who just blew into town, for Ry [Cooder], who had never really recorded in a band situation. And there's two incredible artists. It was a stepping stone. But they didn't really have the goods, you know what I'm saying? There wasn't anything to promote there, I don't think, in that particular time frame. If it would have been 1972, they probably would have been right on FM rock radio and doing quite well, next to Black Oak Arkansas or whatever, as an eclectic type of band. But other things on Columbia -- Paul Revere, that's right up Columbia's alley. Columbia was an old -- remember, there were only a few labels then -- and Columbia was the old-school label. And give 'em a Tony Bennett, give 'em a Paul Revere & the Raiders, and something that goes out there and performs well and gives them that kind of catchy hook-type song, they can do that. That's all I can tell you. I don't remember everybody who was on Columbia, but the Byrds fit in there, but just barely.

I don't know who else was on Columbia. I don't think the Rising Sons, a wonderful bunch of guys in there, really good players and interesting idea, but it was about five years ahead of its time in that sense. Maybe it they'd had been on Atlantic, and it was 1970, '72, they'd have done much better. I just didn't hear it when they were together. I watched them play a couple of times. My cousin was in the band. And I just didn't hear it. But I sure loved Taj, and I loved Cooder. And it just wasn't what they were supposed to be doing. It was their stepping stone to greater things.

Roger McGuinn - Vincent Flanders, February 14, 1970

Flanders: And then you got Kevin Kelly and...
McGuinn: That was Chris's cousin, see...
Flanders: Was that sort of forced on you?
McGuinn: Yeah, sort of. Chris said, 'I've got a cousin that plays drums' and, again, I wasn't very selective. I sort of trust in nature that things work out all right. I really don't try and force things together. Kevin was okay -- except under pressure on stage. If you had a big crowd, he'd sort of break up a little bit -- his timing would go bad.
Flanders: And Kevin left?
McGuinn: No. Actually he was fired -- another dismissal.