The 60's

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  • the Byrds "Eight Miles High"

    there are many songs from this particular era of music that I've always gravitated towards too (the 60's) that I don't really rememeber hearing growing up listening to Oldies Radio when I was younger (K earth 101) and the first time I heard them I didn't really like it at first but it took time for me to grow an appreciation for the record and it's historical significance, and this is one of those songs that I never heard growing up in LA listening to Oldies Radio and the first time I heard it I wasn't particulary a huge fan of it I was so used to hearing the band's other songs that are honestly the complete polar opposite of this particular song (Turn Turn Turn and Mr Tamborine Man, just a few examples) It was just too werid for me to be able to sink my teeth into it the firs time I heard it but I've always heard of the song (at least the title of it) but I never actually got to hear the song until I sampled it on iTunes. but later one as I learned more and more about it, the record all of a sudden became interesting to me because the story behind it and the cultural signficance of it seemed to have fascinated me and that's why I chose it for this edition of the 60's music Blog. but really, let's talk about the back story behind this record and how the song was written and what was the historical importance of it. first of all, it all started when the Byrds made their first international Tour in the UK and Gene Clark decides to write a song about the whole experiecne they were having while on that tour. and it all started when they were six miles high up from the ground about to touch down on the plane they were flying on to get to England, now Gene decided to change the name from the song to "Six Miles High" to "Eight Miles High" as a reference to the Beatles song "Eight Days A Week" and Eight just sounded better to him but the title of the song actually wasn't a reference to how high on drugs they were at the time even though the song was partially inspired by Drugs. and most of the lyrics in the song were references to their first UK tour Such as "lain gray town known for it's sound and people so afraid of loosing their ground" in a sense was a reference to all of the chaos of all of the screaming girls they ran into when they first arrived and how another band from the UK with the same name but different spelling Sued them unsuccesfully for stealing their name without their permission. and on top of their interesting experience of touring the UK for the first time, Roger McGuinn at the time was also heavily influenced by sitar player Ravi Shankar and Jazz sax player John Coltrane. at the time he owned albums by both of those artists and that greatly influenced his psychedelic lead playing in the song and this song also got banned from several radio stations due to the drug infused nature of the lyrics in the song which explained why it missed the Top 10 but it still surprisingly made Top 40, cause it sure does not sound like a hit record to me. it sounded more like an Album Cut or a Non Hit single. the song is credited to the three main guys in the band, Gene Clark and Roger McGuinn and David Crosby and Gene Clark left the band shorty after this song was recorded so most performance footage that exists of this band doing the song is featured without him.