The Byrds – Reunion Concert In San Francisco (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgIn early 1978, three of the founding members of the Byrds – Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and Chris Hillman – were touring the West Coast with a show in which they each played short solo sets before concluding the show as a trio, performing a handful of Byrds classics. The shows were so well received that the trio would later land a record deal and record a pair of new albums, but on February 9, 1978, fans who came to see McGuinn, Clark & Hillman at the Boarding House in San Francisco got a special surprise.

David Crosby joined his former Byrds bandmates on-stage for eight numbers, delivering a memorable performance that was the closest thing to a reunion of the original Byrds most of the audience would ever see, with only drummer Michael Clarke missing on-stage. The show was recorded by a local radio station, and Live at the Boarding House: The Historic Radio Broadcast preserves this oft-bootlegged show…

Clark performs “Silver Raven” and “Release Me Girl,” followed by Hillman singing “Bound to Fail” and “It Doesn’t Matter,” while McGuinn tackles “The Ballad of Easy Rider” and “Jolly Roger.” Then the trio teams up for three songs before Crosby takes the stage, and the foursome performs a number of Byrds favorites, including “Turn! Turn! Turn!” “Mr Tambourine Man,” “Eight Miles High,” and “Feel a Whole Lot Better.”

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If the performances are sometimes less than perfect, there’s a spontaneity and passion in this recording that makes it clear the artists really did feel something special was happening, and this was a stronger and more heartfelt reunion of one of the great American bands of the ’60s than the tremendously disappointing studio reunion that took place in 1973. Live at the Boarding House: The Historic Radio Broadcast is a rumpled treasure for Byrds fans who cherished their harmonies most of all. (The CD skips the concert opening numbers by Gene Clark for reasons unknown, though.) (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Gene Clark (vocals, guitar)
Chris Hillman  (vocals, guitar, mandolin)
Roger McGuinn (vocals, guitar)
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David Crosby (vocals on 08. – 16.)

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Tracklist:

Chris Hillman:
01. Bound To Fall (Brewer/Mastin) 2.38
02. It Doesn’t Matter (Hillman/Roberts) 2.31

Roger McGuinn:
03. Ballad Of The Easy Rider (mcGuoinn) 2:11
04. Jolly Roger (McGuinn/Levy) 2.57

Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn:
05. Chestnut Mare (McGuinn/Levy) 6.10
06. Crazy Ladies (Clark/Kaye) 3.42
07. The Train Leaves Here This Morning (Clark/Dillard) 4.04

The Byrds with David Crosby:
08. Mr Tambourine Man (Dylan) 7.05
09. You Ain’t Going Nowhere (Dylan) 4.50
10. Turn! Turn! Turn! (Seeger) 2.59
11. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Dylan) 5.18
12. Bye Bye Baby (Hippard/McGuinn) 3.52
13. So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (McGuinn/Hillman) 2.38
14. Interlude 0.38
15. Eight Miles High (Clark/Crosby/McGuinn) 5.05
16. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (When You’re Gone) (Clark) 3.33

CDg

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2 thoughts on “The Byrds – Reunion Concert In San Francisco (1978)

  1. Amazingly I was at the show and took a picture which I still have. I didn’t know that the show was recorded – can’t wait to hear it.

    Like

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