Roger McGuinn - guitar, vocals; Clarence White - guitar, mandolin; Skip Battin - bass, vocals; Gene Parsons - drums, vocals
This is The Byrds' late show from the final night of a three-night Fillmore West run headlining over Fleetwood Mac and John Hammond, Jr. This performance took place early on in the McGuinn/White/Battin/Parsons lineup, which would last longer than any other Byrds incarnation.
At the time of this show, the band was touring to promote their Ballad of Easy Rider LP, which found the group extending their exploration of country music while heading toward a heavier electric rock sound. Ex-Kentucky Colonels guitarist Clarence White is the most fascinating aspect of this lineup, and his innovative string bending techniques are well represented here. McGuinn and White are in separate channels on the tape, resulting in a clear musical dialogue between the guitars. The most interesting performances are the hits, due to their heavier new approach and the incredible guitar interplay between Clarence's sizzling string bending Telecaster and Roger's distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker.
"Eight Miles High" had begun to manifest itself as a vehicle for extended jamming, and is performed fantastically here. The recording starts in progress, however, so the first 30 seconds are missing.
Other highlights include nice covers of Dylan's "This Wheel's On Fire" and "Positively 4th Street" and rockin' versions of "Jesus Is Just Alright," their single at the time (later to be covered by The Doobie Brothers in the exact same arrangement). This late show delivers the band at their most inspired and enthusiastic, while still upholding the harmonious quality that defined them as The Byrds.
For the serious fan and novice both, this show represents a characteristic representation of one of the period's most distinctive and influential bands. Well worth the listen.
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