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The Byrds speak on

McGuinn, Clark & Hillman


Chris Hillman - Los Angles Times 2009

Sounds like a law firm, doesn't it?

Chris Hillman - Musicangle 2004

The first album ('McGuinn, Clark & Hillman'), if you stripped away all that schlocky, smarmy stringed garbage, there were some good songs. It would have been a good record.

The second record ('City') was okay. There's a couple good things, but that whole decade -- it's just simply forgettable. I'm serious. I was not in a good place physically or mentally. I was out there experimenting with every other moron, with consciousness-altering things. And, it was a horrible time. In my life, and I'm sure other musicians would probably say the same thing, it just wasn't a very good decade.

Chris Hillman - John Einarson Mr. Tambourine Man 2005

We often had to wait for Gene. A couple of days later he was back and he couldn't sing. He was out of control. It took poor Ron Albert hours to get a lead vocal from him, punching in syllables. He couldn't sing. It was the booze and the drugs. I went up to their room while they were away and there was half-eaten food on the floor, a lizard in there, eating part of a sandwich. I thought 'What is this?!' It was like Hollywood Babylon, so surreal. Gene was just out there.

He wouldn't show up for shows. He was junked out. He'd come to a Capitol Records release party out of his mind on drugs. We were doing Dinah Shore's show live on television with Emmylou Harris and Ricky Scaggs and Gene's looking for his stash while we're sitting there on the couch. I kept saying to him 'Stop that. Stop doing that. What are you doing?' 'I gotta get my stash', he said. 'I think it's out in the car'. And I said 'Sit down!' That's where we were clashing, he and I.

Gene Clark - Domenic Priore 1985

A lot of the songs during that time started out a different way. One thing about producers, when you get a producer for a record, sometimes they have their own view of how songs should be approached or how they should be recorded. In this particular case I would have liked actually to have seen the songs and material approached the way we were doing them, more as a group, than how people wanted them arranged as far as production. Even though it ('McGuinn, Clark & Hillman') was a good record, I still think we lost our true sound, our true Byrds thing, because you had three Byrds there. I think if we had another approach to the production it could have been much more real.