Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Les Byrds: La Femme Amie

This post is for Hardcore Byrds Fans (HBFs), a small subset of humanity that -- unless I'm very much mistaken -- includes a fair number of the people who hang out at this here blog.

Okay, to make a short story long: Back in June of the storied 1967 Summer of Love, the aforementioned Byrds released a single called "Lady Friend."

Apart from the fact that it was an absolute masterpiece -- and this is something that's been confirmed by the judgement of history -- it was also the only Byrds single written solely by David Crosby.

In any case, the teenaged me bought the damn thing, and played it endlessly, to the point that by August it was more or less worn out. And I recall, vividly, waiting in breathless anticipation for the release of the next Byrds album, so as to be able to enjoy the song in stereo, as nature intended.

Imagine my chagrin, then, when said album, which came out in January of 1968 and turned out to be the otherwise fabulous The Notorious Byrd Brothers...

...did not feature said song in either mono OR stereo, and that Crosby had been fired from the band and replaced on the album cover by a horse. Which presumably Crosby is still pissed off about, although who knows?

Cut to the present, where attentive readers are aware that my old band The Floor Models has been working for over a year -- pandemic very much? -- on a Byrds tribute album.

But what said attentive readers do not know is that just last week we finished -- 95 percent -- the last track on the album, which by an odd coincidence turns out be "Lady Friend."

And because I love you all more than food, here is said version. Enjoy!!! Oh -- and I should add that the track features our good friends and musical colleagues Swifty and Dupree's Amplified Heat, a crew that I will tell you more about when the album arrives (we have all sorts of interesting guest artists on it.)

BTW, to my knowledge, despite the splenditude of the song, the only cover version by a band anybody's ever heard of is by the usually estimable Flamin' Groovies. Alas, IMHO, it sucks. There's another one by The Posies, which is nice, but it's unplugged (i.e. all acoustic without a rhythm section), so I don't think it counts.

I should add that when our Byrds tribute album is commercially available -- which should be by late June -- I will be alerting you folks quite loudly.

I should also add that the guy playing the glockenspiel part on the intro and outro of the song is some asshole whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels.


Anonymous said...

Static did a pretty good version of it IMHO on the tribute album "Time Between."


steve simels said...

Yes they did. Just heard it.

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danny1959 said...

McGuinn said that if they had meant the horse to represent Crosby they would have turned it around.