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The Byrds speak on

"The Wrecking Crew"


Chris Hillman - Connect Savannah, Jim Reed, November 2008

Well, Denny Tedesco contacted me a year ago about being interviewed, but I said I hadn't really done those kind of sessions. I suggested he talk to Roger, because the Wrecking Crew played on Mr. Tambourine Man. Now, I know most of those guys by name. Hal Blaine is a friend. Those guys were all phenomenal. I mean, whether it was the Beach Boys or whoever, they played on everybody's records! But Carol Kaye didn't play bass on Tambourine Man, Larry Knechtel did. That was the only song we didn't play on, because Columbia was hedging their bets. They signed us initially just for a single, so in case that didn't sell well, they wouldn't be obligated to make a full record with us.

I think we may have been the very first rock act that Columbia signed, and after us they signed Paul Revere & The Raiders. The Beatles were selling tons of records at the time and Columbia said we better get one of those! I got two takes on that session. Leon Russell actually played on it, too. That was back before he had long hair. He had short hair and glasses and a suit on. I remember it to this day! (laughs) Roger played on it of course, because he was the better musician of the band at the time. Part of me does still wonder though what it would have sounded like if we'd rehearsed a lot and gone in and just blown it out.

also see Mr. Tambourine Man