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Hello, My Name Is Roger

| August 29, 2006 | 0 Comments

Hello, My Name Is Roger

IE: Do you appreciate how The Byrds are remembered, or is there an angle people never really grasped?
Roger McGuinn:
Well, on the whole I’d say The Byrds are underappreciated when you think of The Beatles, The Stones, and The Beach Boys. But they’re sort of a musician’s band.

IE: Do you wish the band moved more quickly or slowly?
The contract The Byrds had was for an album every six months. So I wouldn’t say we didn’t do enough. If anything, the way things are now with people waiting three to four years, we probably would have benefitted with more time. But that wasn’t the way they did things back then. I don’t think it compromised us terribly; it probably spurred us on to do things we might not have done if we had more time. Like going into country music.

IE: Do you think people concentrate on the band’s combustibility too much?
I’m not worried about that. A lot of bands experienced personnel changes over the years.

IE: Whose idea was Folk Den?
I started the Folk Den on the Internet 10 years ago to keep the old, traditional songs alive because I noticed a tendency on the part of folk singers to write their own songs and not do the old songs anymore. I thought [the Internet] would be a great way to spread these songs around for people to get them and their friends. After 10 years of it I thought I would commemorate them by putting out a four-CD set.

IE: Listening to There Is A Season, are there any songs that have grown on you or maybe you appreciate a little less now?
I’m not gonna go negative. There are some things that are wonderful and some things that I don’t want to get into specifics. O.K., I will. “Child Of The Universe” is a song we did for a movie Candy, and it wasn’t a great movie. It’s too bad. Well there are things I hadn’t heard before like live versions of “Baby What Do You Want Me To Do” and “I Trust” and things like that.

IE: Tying into the folk element, were you interested in The Byrds box set keeping a folk undercurrent?
The Byrds were always a folk band: We were folk singers and were always folk based. Underpinning The Byrds was always folk music, so that naturally comes through.

Roger McGuinn can be heard on Columbia Legacy’s Byrds box set, There Is A Season, and his own Folk Den project, available from

Steve Forstneger

Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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