Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Mr. Tambourine Man:The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark

15 December 2011

Mr. Tambourine Man:
The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark

Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of The Byrds' Gene Clark
John Einarson
339 pages, Backbeat Books (February 1, 2005)

"Gene Clark" soared to fame as a founding member and frontman of "The Byrds", one of the most important and influential groups of the '60s. His songwriting with "The Byrds" and subsequent work as a solo artist and with "Dillard and Clark" mark him as one of Rock's key innovators and a pioneer of Folk-Rock, Psychedelia, and alt-Country.
Yet Clark's personal demons shadowed him throughout his life, and until now his legacy has been clouded in mystery.

Mr_Tambourine_Man_The_Life_and_Legacy_of_the_Byrds_Gene_Clark,einarson,psychedelic-rocknroll,byrdsTold through the personal recollections of those closest to Clark, "Mr. Tambourine Man" offers a rare glimpse into his life and work, a revealing portrait of one of Rock's greatest bands, and a cautionary tale of the pitfalls of fame. Endorsed by the Gene Clark estate, the book also features rare and previously unseen photos from family and friends.

excerpt: "Much is said about Gene's fear of flying", muses Bernie on Gene's often confusing and neurotic behavior, "but his fear of performing was legendary, too. His actual fear onstage of the audience was palpable and it was exaggerated by his use of alcohol or drugs. As a result of his fear he often drank or did drugs, which, of course, only increased his paranoia. You can't ignore his basic psychology of being afraid of all this stuff. It seems he wanted it so bad, success, but at the same time he was afraid of it. So I think that he may have been afraid of being a solo performer and so that's why he came over and hung out with us. I think the whole thing about 'What do I do now?' weighed on him along with people's expectations and his own expectations, the reality of life in Hollywood, which, of course, is not very glamorous. It's the whole issue of the artistic temperament. That whole thing of having to come up with something compelling artistically and then also make it commercially compelling, and also having a marketing team that can do something with it can be daunting. Gene was the sensitive artist guy who hadn't answered the question, 'How comfortable am I?' and the answer was that he wasn't comfortable doing it. So he constantly was in a situation where he had the intention of doing it but he had the counter-intention of, 'I don't know if I want to do this'".