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Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of The Byrds' Gene Clark (Book) Paperback – February 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Gene Clark wrote that tune, and many, many others. He was one of the founding 5 members of the Byrds, a group that was often referred to as the "American Beatles" when they starting performing in the mid 1960's.
Clark left the Byrds dramatically after just a couple of albums, both because of internal problems within the group, and because of emotional problems of his own. (i.e. His notorious "fear of flying," made ironic in a group called the Byrds.)
In this book, Einarson argues that Clark was probably bipolar, and may have improved given proper medications. But at that time, on his own, with all his fame and money, he self-medicated himself with drugs and booze. Lots of booze.
Although he wrote so many wonderful songs, because of all of his problems Clark was unable to turn his genius into commercial success. As you read the story of his life, you can't help but feel frustrated with his string of bad luck, but more so with his behavior that caused him to burn so many bridges and sabotage any chances he had.
This is a terrific biography, and highly recommended for anyone who has wondered about what happened to Gene Clark. One small complaint is that I would've liked to have seen more pictures of family and friends.Read more ›
Originally the most prolific songwriter in The Byrds and their main focal point, Clark was pushed out of the band by Roger McGuinn and David Crosby as they wanted to write more and sing more. It didn't help that their manager saw McGuinn as the "voice" of the band (he did sing on their most popular singles). After a disasterous reunion in 1973, Clark continued his solo career producing the legendary "No Other" album (which still has mixed reactions to this day). The lack of self confidence and set backs that Clark faced (including his stalled solo career) kept him from achieving a sense of balance in his life.
My only criticisms of the book is a lack of a detailed discography (particularly of the numerous unreleased tracks that Clark recorded)and a list of all his published songs. Also, the book could have used more photos. Despite this minor flaw, Einarson (who has written for Mojo, Uncut and other music magazines)creates a complete picture of this frequently troubled but talented musician.
Music to listen to while reading this: The first three Byrds albums, Clark's Echoes, Roadmaster, White Light (aka Gene Clark), No Other, So Rebellious a Lover (with Carla Olson)and the reissue of the Clark-McGuinn-Hillman album.
Einarson has amassed an incredible number of interviews which offer a great deal of insight into Clark. Clark family members, including his two sons, are quoted frequently. Although many legendary musicians were interviewed, Einarson maintains his focus on Gene Clark. It is fitting and ironic that the spotlight Clark so studiously avoided shines directly on him in this amazingly detailed biography.
Those of us who spent hour after hour listening to the Byrds and dissecting their music found it incomprehensible that Gene Clark could have simply walked away. The perspective of time, life experience, and this book helps us to empathize with the desire of an insecure singer/songwriter to be heard and appreciated.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book back in 2005 when it first came out and recently reread it due to a renewed interest and appreciation of the music of Gene Clark. "Mr. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Dean Charles Marshall
An EXCEPTIONAL biography. My only complaint was the condensed type font the body copy was set in. Bad move on the designer's
part because eligibility was greatly compromised. Read more
Great book. Wear your most powerful reading glasses. The type is small. Looks to be well-written. Gene was a curious character. I never paid much attention. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Thomas
Very interesting as the only book on the enigmatic Gene Clark. Well researched and fascinating to read. Recommended highly! A couple quibbles though, from a fan of this book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by fritz kappler
As a teenager growing up in the 80s, I missed the 60s but loved the music. Through The Beatles and Bob Dylan I came upon The Byrds and bought Mr. Tambourine Man, their debut LP. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rainydaywoman
This is an absorbing study of the life and music of the man who was the heart of the Byrds, as Roger McGuinn was their brain.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Gene Clark was my first cousin, his Mom & mine were sisters. He was several years older than me, but I remember he was in Tipton for a family reunion and I got his autograph (I... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Dana Branson
not scene I read the Book By Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, have a read a book of just how wasted a great talent can get. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Warren C. Johnson