Sunday, June 5, 2011

Songs I Wish We'd Covered. Oh Wait a Minute --- We Actually Did.

From 1968, and (some say, although I don't) their magnum opus album The Notorious Byrd Brothers, here are the aforementioned Byrds and their glorious version of Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "I Wasn't Born to Follow."

I have to admit, until I saw that picture sleeve I had no idea that this had actually been issued as a single.

In any case, I have loved -- nay lurved -- this one since the very first moment I heard it (through a cannabis haze, doubtless) in my college dorm room, and if memory serves it was one of the first covers I suggested that the Flo Mos work up back in the day. My favorite performances of it took place at one of those Other End gigs I've documented earlier; my long time pal and bandmate Tony Forte used to drop by occasionally to play it with us, thus giving us two Rickenbacker 12-string guitars on one cramped stage. Alas, no tape of one of those renditions has surfaced, but trust me -- it was one of the most glorious noises imaginable.

Incidentally, I talked to Tony about this the other day, and he reminded me that Andy's first axe when the Floor Models got together -- a solid-body El Cheapo that we used to jokingly refer to as "that pig of a Hagstrom" -- was actually the only non-Rickenbacker 12-string he ever played and liked.


  1. It's strange that "Ballad of Easy Rider" is the B side. The Byrds version was not released until the Easy Rider LP almost 2 years later.


    1 - Was the B side recorded much earlier then when released on LP?
    2 - A different recording of the song by the Byrds?
    3 - The Roger McGuinn version of Easy Rider released on the OST album?
    4 - The Single was released much later then the Notorious Byrds Bros. album, by which time the LP version of Ballad of Easy Rider had been recorded?


  2. Yep, we did this!

    I believe the entire Byrds' category (over time) of our set list was:

    - Wasn't Born to Follow
    - Eight Miles High (I believe we spontaneously did this once during the extended Other End engagement, mid-2:00 set)
    - Mr. Tambourine Man: ibid.
    - So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n Roll Star
    - I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
    - The World Turns All Around Her: wish a recording of this would turn up... it was so stately.

    Thanks to Tony for the kind words about Hagstrom. That poor guitar had to suffer all kinds of denigration (someone referred to it as The Popeil Fisherman). It had a nice neck though, stayed in tune, and tended to bust fewer strings than the Rickenbacker.


  3. a little bit off topic, but under this general category, The (Kenny's era) Smithereens used to "It Won't Be Wrong" on random occasions.


  4. I don't remember that specifically, but god knows they had the best repertoire of covers ever heard by sentient mammalian ears.

  5. The Smithereens did an especially memorable "Don't Talk To Strangers."

    Also, back to topic of Byrds covers, at Kenny's a band called The White Animals did a very decent "So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n Roll Star."


  6. RE: The Hagstrom & Rick 12: That Hagstrom bridge was a fantastic design! Horn sounds came out of that thing. The COUNTRY GENTLEMAN 12 is fablissimo, best overall guitar sound (cf David Crosby), but not "the Rick". I never have string break problems w/ the Rick. One must use Rick strings. They're the only ones that stay in tune on that thing- and one should upgrade the machine heads. WASN'T BORN TO FOLLOW me thought the 1st phase shifter, except cf: Timi Yuro (sp?) THE BIG HURT. Dig the info, thanks, t.forte

  7. Tony, how are you?!!

    I want to ask you, do you have any experience with the Fender electric XII? I always wanted to try one but never had a chance, and was too cowardly to ask to try one that hung in (I think) Alex Music at one point back in the day.