Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A song appearing on the final Byrds album was sung by a roadie.
Origins: At the end of 1971, only one member remained of the quintet of Byrds who had initiated the folk-rock boom six years earlier when they scored
The Byrds' last gasp as a studio group came with the
These criticisms prompted Byrds biographer Johnny Rogan to note a decade later that Roger McGuinn had been so uninterested in the Byrds' final album that a mere roadie (i.e., a person engaged to transport and set up equipment and perform errands for musicians on tour) had been allowed to write and sing one of the songs appearing on it:
"BB Class Road" is another below-average track, sung by the Byrds roadie Stuart "Dinkie" Dawson. Dawson had the basic idea for the song and Gene Parsons added the melody. Sadly, it must be admitted that this song has no distinguishable Byrds sound whatsoever. Literally, it could be anyone singing and playing. That a mere roadie could be given leave to appear on an album as easily as this is a testament to McGuinn's loss of control and general lack of interest in the group.It's easy to see how a listener might have formed this impression of the song in question, "BB Class Road.": It didn't much sound like a Byrds track; it listed the Byrds' roadie, Stuart "Dinkie" Dawson, as a
As the liner notes to the 2000 CD
Co-written by Gene Parsons and Byrds' roadie Stuart "Dinky" Dawson, this quirky novelty song about life on the road was completed at a time when the group was still actively touring. Parsons' gruff vocal concludes with a barrage of beer bottles tumbling over his drum kit. "I was imitating and taking on a different persona," he recalls. "Stuart and I collaborated and it's me growling and howling out the vocal. Dinky may have sung background and was involved in the studio. You can hear broken glass on there, that was his idea."Although Farther Along proved to be the final record produced by what was known as the "CBS Byrds" (i.e., the group then under contract to Columbia Records), the original five members reunited briefly the following year to record an eponymously titled album for another label.
Last updated: 25 October 2006
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