Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Boss Tracks; Goin' Back, the Byrds

Jim McGuinn, better known as Roger was one of the big guest stars during this tour. But I'll wager that when he stepped on stage in Orlando more than a few eyebrows were raised. As Roger once confided to Tom Petty, when he was helping him produce one of his solo albums "Back from Rio," McGuinn regretted not naming his band Roger McGuinn & the Byrds. After the Byrds folded, McGuinn kind of slipped into obscurity after being the creative force behind the band for years. McGuinn was the only consistent member of the group and it was his trade mark Rickenbacker 12 string and songwriting that made the Byrds the west coast legends they are today. According to McGuinn's own blog, it is through Tom Petty that he first met Springsteen. On this blog McGuinn's guest appearence is discussed at length. Both gentlemen appear to be big admirers of each other. You have to wonder though if McGuinn had any notion of who Springsteen was when he covered the Byrds' take on Goffin and King's "Goin' Back" in 1975.

Springsteen first performed the song taking a bow to Carol King when she was visiting his show in the LA Roxy on October 16th 1975. The song remained in the set for the remainder of his stand there. Though the band clearly took the Byrds' approach to the song, Goffin and King had originally written it for Dusty Springfield. With Springsteen's love for sixties Pop one can wonder which version he preferred. As Brill Building producers King and her songwriting partner (and husband) Gerry Goffin, were responsible for peening many of the pop songs from the sixties Springsteen later covered. Most recently “Save the Last Dance for Me” made the set list. Goffin and King also collaborated closely with Phil Spector at one point, writing "He Hit Me (and it felt like a kiss) for the Crystals.

The single I found this gem on appears to be somewhat of a rarity. Best I could find out was that this EP was released to promote a book on the Byrds written by Bud Scoppa released in 1971. From what I could piece together, Bud's book was written for the teen market back in the day when the band graced the walls of many teenage bed room. It has long since been out of print.

The Byrds

Available on The Essential Byrds

Bruce Springsteen at the Roxy '75

MP3 File

Nils Lofgren also did a version of Going' Back in his day. Check out a transcript of a recent radio interview with Nils on Kweevak.


Anonymous said...

Good work, I suggested that you research that song a couple of months ago it is my favorite cover of his.


SoulBoogieAlex said...

It took me a couple of months to find the single. I stumbled upon it at Amoeba records in San Fransisco. I couldn't think of a better place to find it ;-) Glad you like it Mike.

Anonymous said...

Indeed; the book THE BYRDS by Bud Scoppa was copyrighted in 1971 by Scholastic Magazines, Inc. and distributed through Scholastic Book Services, accompanied by the aforementioned EP. I was teaching junior high school English at the time, and as far as I'm aware the book/EP was only available through the students' monthly Scholastic Book Club selections.



Anonymous said...

I have to dispute this blog.......your dismissiveness of Roger McGuinn here is unbelievable really. You failed to mention that the Byrds first covered Goin Back in 1967 on the "Notorious Byrd Brothers" album....8 years before Springsteen did it. Roger McGuinn is a legend in most parts of the world to this day, he has never slipped into obscurity.

SoulBoogieAlex said...

I'm not dismissve of the man by all means, in all fairness I do credit the Byrds' version as the source of Springsteen's version. I feel McGuinn is indeed a legend. But he nowhere near has the status of a Lennon/McCartney or a Jagger/Richards, while the Byrds as a band do come closer to the status the Beatles and the Stones enjoy. Unfortunately McGuinn is soley a household name among music lovers, not so much amongst the general public. His later solo career suffered as a consequence. McGuinn admitted as much himself.