James’ Brand New Blog

Where was I on June 21, 1966? Rawkin’ to The Byrds @ old London Arena*

- June 21st, 2012

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Jim McGuinn has the 12-string going at the old London Arena. All these amazing photos are courtesy of Valerie Chapman

 

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A baby-faced David Crosby, left, & Jim McGuinn during The Byrds’ set 

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Chris Hillman, left, holds his bass like nobody else. Is David Crosby tuning mid-song? Love McGuinn’s shades.

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George Olliver works the mic, Dom (or Don) Troiano plays guitar as the Rogues steal the show. Who is on bass and organ?

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The London Set open the show . . . & JBNBlog doesn’t know who these guys are. Can anybody help?

I saw the Byrds ******

Talked to Dick Williams

– June 21, 1966

Bought Clothes

Bought Whiter Shade of Pale & Orange Skies

– June 21, 1967

Bought Between the Buttons

Party till 2.

– June 21, 1968

Ah, The Byrds. At the old London Arena on Bathurst St. Thanks to Valerie Chapman, ace #ldnont music fan, JBNBlog can share these amazing photos.

Here is a quick #ldnont history mystery: Who are the guys in the London Set. Opened the show that night 46 years ago today. Did well. For the usual prizes, who are they? Any help greatly appreciated.

I have written about this concert many times but it really has been important to me . . . first big rock show . . . one of the best bands ever headlining . . . the Rogues (or were they still the Five Rogues then?) stealing the show & embarrassing me with their incredible R&B/soul routines . . . they became the Mandala a bit later.

The Byrds. The Byrds. The Byrds. Six stars — & four rock & roll Hall of Famers on stage. With Valerie’s photos to study, it’s clear Jim (or was he already Roger?) McGuinn is on a riser. Ego? I am the leader, love me more? Or an optical illusion? Is David Crosby really tuning mid-song? Chris Hillman plays bass, holding it the way he might have held the mandolin in those bluegrass groups he was in before The Byrds.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are no pix of drummer Michael Clarke who was always in the band as much for his great looks as for his beat. (Is it sexist to say that?)

All these years later, The Byrds are still at the top of the JBNBlog hit parade.

Among the many Byrdsmoment which stir me now are the transition on Younger than Yesterday from Mind Gardens (Crosby at his spaciest) to the steady-as-she-goes McGuinn intro to My Back Pages. Maybe not their biggest hit, but a great great performance of a Dylansong. Auteured by The Byrds.

“Quite clear, no doubt, somehow . . . ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

*An occasional series based on a v. cryptic diary kept as a pen&ink forerunner to JBNBlog during the late 1960s, when our family lived in London, Stratford (parts of summers of 1966 & 1967), Victoria, B.C. (July 4, 1968-July 4, 1969) and then London again until June, 1970 when I was in Grade 13.

Categories: Entertainment

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11 comments

  1. greg simpson says:

    The bassist for the Rogues is likely Hugh Sullivan while the keyboard player is probably Joey Chirowski.

  2. DarylM says:

    James: I love you to pieces…..but I refuse to believe that you
    were hip enough to buy a copy of Love’s `Orange Skies’ in
    1967…..no way??!!

  3. james.reaney says:

    Wow — thanks. The organist’s name sounds familar, bassist Hugh not so much. They could all play. What a band.

  4. Richard Young says:

    James:

    The bassist for The Rogues was Don Elliot.

  5. Richard Young says:

    Members of The London Set included Rick Anderson (Andersen?) on guitar, the Long brothers from Lambeth on bass and vocals, Dave Koegler (sp?) on drums and Dave Williams on keyboards.

  6. Dave Williams says:

    Wow! Great pics! Great memories!

    BTW, David Crosby was the only friendly one of the Byrds – very nice guy.

    I still have the white ‘japocaster’ guitar shown in picture – still plays out-of tune!

    Thanks for the memories. I’ll forward blog to remaining members.
    Dave Williams (London Set)

  7. james.reaney says:

    Thanks, as always, for the kind words.
    Well, in 1967 it was difficult not to be hip. Summer of Love, etc. Maybe that was my hipness peak.
    What amused me about the diary entry is the colourful nature of the 45s that day . . . Whiter Shade of Pale, Orange Skies . . . sadly, Orange Skies seems to have discovered from the 45s and so has the Love album. the one with an 18-minute jam or whatnot, have disappeared from my collection. Sigh. Orange Skies had a flute. didn’t it?
    For fans who might know:
    What variation on his name did charismatic Love front guy Arthur Lee use later in his career?

  8. james.reaney says:

    Thanks to everyone who has been adding details to the PIX . . . congrats to the London Set, of course. Truly part of the #ldnont rock & roll pantheon.
    That’s a fascinating detail about David Crosby. For many years, he has been written off as goofy & a flake. Maybe he was just a nice guy.
    Roger McGuinn was always my favourite — that cool, those glasses, that guitar — but maybe that is because I never met him.

  9. james.reaney says:

    Thanks for all this, Richard. The celebrity judges have a prize package ready for you.

  10. Paul says:

    Hughie Sullivan is the keyboard player. Chirowski replaced him in the Mandala after his untimely demise.

  11. james.reaney says:

    Wow … thanks for this, Paul. Didn’t know about Hughie, but he was a good one indeed to be in such company.

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