Archive for Texas Opry House

30 Years Out: The Byrds, Houston 1969-1977

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 22, 2008 by 30daysout

Gene Clark, left, and Roger McGuinn at the Texas Opry House, 1977

The first time I saw The Byrds was in 1969, as part of this package called the Rock Jubilee.  In the months after Woodstock, everybody wanted to be a part of the rock festival “experience.”  Promoters noticed something in the air, and it wasn’t the odor of pot and unwashed bodies. They smelled money.  So they put on this Rock Jubilee in the Sam Houston Coliseum, which was basically a rodeo arena.  Even though it was an indoor rock “festival, ” the lineup was excellent — Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, Poco.  It was my very first rock concert.

In the Byrds, Roger McGuinn was the only holdout from the original group.  The rest of the group was Roger’s late 60s lineup, featuring flatpickin’ genius Clarence White.  They did their country-fied stuff like “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and relegated their hits to a terse medley.  “Eight Miles High” got an extended psychedelic jam treatment.  The rest of the night was OK, I do recall they turned on the lights in the middle of the Airplane’s set because they went past a 10 p.m curfew. Whatever.

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