Monday, November 12, 2012

The Present Day Rickenbacker 12-String Refuses to Die!

Nice cover stories in the November issue of UNCUT on the original -- pre-Gram Parsons -- Byrds, including a Making-Of feature on Notorious Byrd Brothers, the album many people feel is the band's masterpiece (I am not one of them, incidentally; I prefer Fifth Dimension, if only by a chinchilla).

UNCUT, of course, is to MOJO what CRACKED is to MAD, so don't expect anything overtly unfamiliar or unexpected (like, say, Roger McGuinn announcing that yes, "Eight Miles High" was totally completely about drugs for heaven's sake) in the Notorious piece; still, it's a nice job all in all, and of course any issue of any magazine that puts The Byrds on the cover for any reason is, by definition, a good thing.

As is their wont, incidentally, UNCUT thoughtfully includes a bonus CD featuring cover versions of Byrds songs and tributes to same by various alt-rock worthies...

...some of which -- like the Flamin' Groovies cover of the un-fuckup-able "Feel A Whole Lot Better" -- you may already be familiar with.

Here's one that I had not heard before -- Canadian folk-rockers The Sadies (who I am informed do duty these days as the backing band for the divine Neko Case) with a thoroughly lovely take on Goffin and King's "Wasn't Born to Follow," one of my favorite tracks from Notorious.

From their 2001 album Tremendous Effort, for those of you keeping score at home.

In any case, I have loved -- nay lurved -- the Byrds version of this song since the very first moment I heard it (through a cannabis haze, doubtless) in my college dorm room in 1968, and if memory serves it was one of the first covers I suggested that my early 80s twelve-string pop band The Floor Models work up back in the day. My favorite of our 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.


Anonymous said...

Re; The Sadies- What a wonderful version!


Remote said...

My old band used to cover "I Wasn't Born to Follow". I think we were the only ones that knew the song. We also played The Monkees' "You Just May Be the One" - one guy in the audience actually appreciated that one.

Anonymous said...

this is a truly beautiful version. but to whoever mixed it, you are a genius.