Younger than Yesterday


The album of that title by the Byrds was released 50 years ago today. It took me a little while to really enjoy the Byrds back then, but they are one of my favourite bands these days and this album in particular. I think it might be the most ‘psychedelic’ of their releases – especially Crosby’s “Mind Gardens”? With Chris Hillman’s influence they were soon on their way back to the country.

It includes “So You Want to be a Rock & Roll Star” a dig at the manufactured Monkees, with the crowd screams apparently recorded on their English tour down the road in Bournemouth. “CTA 102” is another of their space age tracks, while the title comes from their cover of Dylan’s “My Back pages”.

“Renaissance Fair” is about a real recreated annual fair that takes place in California and the final track “Why” was covered, live at least, by the Action signalling their shift from Motown covers towards what would become their reincarnation as Mighty Baby. I wouldn’t compare my soul band lot Harlem Speakeasy with the Action, but we made a similar shift a year later, covering “Thoughts & Words” and “Rock & Roll Star”. The promoters who booked us as a soul band weren’t too keen …


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

11 thoughts on “Younger than Yesterday

  1. Great album Dave, though being a Byrds freak i’m a little bias……i think Notorious Byrd Brothers is a slightly superior , but all their albums up to ‘Ballad of easy rider’ are of a high standard. Its funny though ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’ which followed ‘Notorious’ was not too popular at the time has proved in time to be their most influential. I think though they remain underated , but if there is anyone out there who wants to know more about them John Rogans ‘Timeless Flight is very worthy biography.

    • Cheers Phil, I like them all now. Saw them a couple of times, once in the rain at Bath when they were forced to play acoustically – beautifully. Also Jim/Roger McGuinn at the Wedgewood Rooms some years ago – real ‘My Back Pages’, solo, played songs from throughout his life – brilliant!

  2. I’ve a bootleg of that Bath performance, bit lo fi to say the least but the spirit of the performance is most certainly there.

    • Well your right Phil, i should have checked up first instead of relying on my iffy memory .. i’m sure i saw Clarence White though and was thinking maybe he was in Rita Coolidge’s band ?

  3. Yes, one of my favourite bands of the time and i loved Younger than yesterday .. i saw them twice in 1968 with Gram Parsons and Clarence White at the Roundhouse in May and July at the Albert hall with Rita Coolidge … Great nights ..

  4. Sorry to cause some controversy here, but Gram and Clarence were never in the Byrds together. The line up you saw in 1968 would have included Gram but Clarence did not join till late in ’68, after their UK visit that year, by which time Gram had gone . Clarence and Gram did work together in 1973 just a month or so before Clarence died.

    • Well your right Phil, i should have checked up first instead of relying on my iffy memory .. i’m sure i saw Clarence White though and was thinking maybe he was in Rita Coolidge’s band ?

      • AW ……..Without checking and off the top of my head i think Clarence may well have recorded with Rita C. but i very much doubt he was part of her band that night . I could expand on why but i can get carried away on all things Byrds! Funnily enough when Gram and Clarence did eventually play together, at an onstage jam, an inebriated Gram moaned about the volume of Clarence’s guitar but realising he’d offended Clarence turned on the southern charm ( apparently he could charm the birds -sorry about the pun-out of the trees) and they became friends but this was right at the end of both their lives as it sadly turned out.

  5. Dam it AW that’s the thing – As they say, “If you can remember it, you weren’t there” – and you most definitely were there! Peace & Love.

  6. I met a bloke once who saw the Rolling Stones at the Birdcage. I tried to persuade him it was the Savoy but he wasn’t having it. There was a bit of LSD around in the final months of that hallowed venue, but even so …

    • It was definitely the Savoy as our group, Ricky Dene and the Rivals, were the support band on the opposite stage. I always remember Bill Wyman in deep conversation with my brother in law (our bass player) about the merits of their sound equipment. BW was using a Vox T60 rig and our man had a homemade job made out of chipboard. Also during their set, Keith Richard broke a string, the music stopped, and KR proceeded to fit a replacement string while his guitar was still plugged in and volume at the previous level ie full on !!
      Can you imagine that happening these days….priceless !
      The odd one out and least friendly was Brian Jones, he just stayed in the background and ignored everybody, definitely the odd one out. I believe George Turner the Savoy manager, got them for £100 (big bucks) but worth noting they had just had their first record which I think was Come On, released, so they weren’t exactly top of their game in those days. To be honest, their music was a bit too “raw” for my taste being brought up on a diet of echo chambers and Fender guitars and of course I sported a well lacquered DA (ducks arse to you) haircut……wonder where that went to…??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s