Roger McGuinn And David Crosby Tangle Over Byrds Reunion
Roger McGuinn says that the Byrds will not be one of the classic bands hitting the road in celebration of its 50th anniversary next year. McGuinn, who mainly performs as a solo act these days, explained to Rolling Stone that a reunion with him and surviving co-founders David Crosby and Chris Hillman is definitely not in the cards, saying, "I'm happy with the Byrds as a good memory. David and I have talked about this at length, and to me a reunion would just be for the money. We'd go out and play some sheds, maybe gross a couple of million dollars and split it four or five ways. I'm not attracted to expensive things. I don't need a Ferrari or anything like that."
McGuinn reiterated that his decision was strictly an artistic one: "I have nothing against David. This isn't personal . . . Again, I just think it would be about money and I don't need it. My wife is very good at budgeting. We don't need much. It's kind of like Pete Seeger. He made money, but he gave it all away and lives up on that hill."
Crosby remains baffled by McGuinn's decision, telling Rolling Stone: "Who doesn't want to be in two bands? And they're completely different. My job in the Byrds is very simple. All I gotta do is be a wingman to Roger. I could do that in my sleep. You should have seen how fun it was to take a Bob Dylan song like 'Chimes Of Freedom' and come up with an arrangement and make a Byrds song out of it. It was really f***ing fun . . . And to me a reunion wouldn't be about the money. I honestly don't even think it would even be that big of a money deal."
David Crosby told us that the demand for a Byrds reunion has never gone away and has only risen following each and every time he, McGuinn, and Hillman have shared a stage over the years: "On a regular basis I'll email him or call him and say, 'Roger, please. You and I and Christopher are still alive. We could make so many people happy. I'll get you a million bucks, I'll do whatever you want. You don't have to see me, except when we walk on stage. I'm not asking you to be my buddy -- I just want to make that music. It's great music, and it cannot be done without you.' And he says no. He says he doesn't want to do it."
We recently caught up with Roger McGuinn, who assured us that refusing any reunion proposals doesn't mean he's on the outs with anybody -- he's simply happier moving forward and working either by himself or with assorted friends. We asked him about how his relationship is these days with bassist Chris Hillman: "It's, it's friendly, yeah, we're fine, we're cool. The same with David, there's no hostility between me and David, it's not like I don't like him -- as he's been saying to the press every chance he's. . . He said, 'Roger doesn't like me. He won't do the Byrds.' That's not true. I love the guy. I mean, he's witty, he's very smart, he's very talented, I think he's a wonderful singer, and he's a good songwriter. And I understand he felt bad back in the Byrds (days) that he didn't get his songs on the album -- and that was more politics than music."
Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen will next perform on September 19th in Spruce Grove, AB at Horizon Stage.
Roger McGuinn will next perform on October 5th in Phoenix, Arizona at the MIM Music Theater.
Crosby, Stills, & Nash kick off their UK tour on October 5th in Bournemouth, England.
Photo Courtesy of USRN