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Mr Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark: The Story of the Byrds' Gene Clark Paperback – 29 Mar 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (29 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307936
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A comprehensive and absorbing account

Five out of five -- Record Collector, July 2005

Definitive

Four out of five -- Mojo, June 2005

a scholarly, meticulously researched biography

four out of five -- Uncut, September 2005

About the Author

John Einarsen is the founding editor and art director of the prize-winning Kyoto Journal.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 13 April 2005
Format: Paperback
Thoughtfully written and presented in a friendly manner; this volume gives insight to the life and music of the late, enigmatic Gene Clark. Einarson has compiled his work from interviews of the family, friends and musicians who knew Clark best and woven them together to tell the long overdue story. It has been authorised by the Clark Est. and illustrated with rare black and white photos chronicling his life. Gene Clark was the golden voiced bard of a generation - this book deserves a place in the homes of all music fans and as an introduction for those who have yet to discover the genius, who was so much more than Mr Tambourine Man...
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Format: Paperback
You will not read a more heartbreaking book this year. The story of the Byrds' Gene Clark celebrates his unique talents as a singer and songwriter while revealing the emotional/chemical imbalances and addictions which somehow conspired to eventually destroy him. Only 46 when he died, Clark left behind a wonderful and varied body of music. This book has been meticulously researched and written with care and honesty. You feel immense pity for Clark, anger and grief at how he never could quite hold himself together yet also feel sheer admiration for how he always managed to produce beautiful songs and sing with such soul and skill. A sad but gripping story of a troubled but wildly gifted musician and writer. And it makes you want to hear the music. God bless Gene.
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By Red on Black TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is what a rock biography should be. Having recently endured two horrible examples of the art in the sixth form philosophical babble of Katherine Monk on Joni Mitchell and the cliche ridden agony of Paul Rees's tome on Robert Plant it was a joy to come to this book. John Einarson's exhaustive biography of the late great Gene Clark is a very satisfying if rather sad read. It chronicles the story one of the key founders of the Byrds, possibly the most important American band of the 1960s and someone who ranks alongside Gram Parsons as the founder of Country Rock. This book offers chapter and verse on the late singer songwriter leading his friend Chris Hillman to write that having worked alongside Clark for years "I never really knew him until I read this comprehensive study"

Like many stories of the counter culture generation Clarks is one of tragedy and yet throughout his troubled life he managed to produce a series of country masterpieces not least one of the greatest albums in the whole canon 1974's "No Other". It is typical of Clark that it also includes one of the ugliest album covers on any famous record. Gene Clark had psychological hang ups so severe that they emotionally and professionally crippled him. His love life was tumultuous and often chaotic, but even worse for a performer his stage fright was legendary in its debilitating impact. His friends and family give eloquent testimony in Einarson's book of the agonies which he went through especially if any song went wrong which would see him turn to copious amounts of booze and pills leading to anarchic performances. Equally problematic for the writer of "Eight Miles high" was a fear of flying which meant that he couldn't venture out into the wide open spaces of the US and effectively tour and promote his albums.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book almost impossible to put down. It's massively readable, riveting and insightful. Although a fan of the Byrds, I was not very familiar with Gene's solo work, or his life story, and I certainly was not aware what a complex, dark and above all gifted man he was. There are many sad and tragic sections of the book - Gene was self-destructive to a massive degree, and obviously suffered from a whole host of undiagnosed psychological problems. It would be easy to loathe him due to his frequent terrible behavior to family and friends, but through it all I couldn't help but feel a sense of pity for Gene (and for the people who suffered at his hands) due to his obvious mental discord and his own suffering. The most amazing thing is that, through it all, Gene kept producing fantastic music, as if that was a part of his being which could never be destroyed or even just damaged. Gene also comes over as an essential good person who could not control his own demons. The book portrays all this in great detail and with great insight. And the best thing for me is that while reading it - and since finishing it - I have been listening to a lot more of Gene's solo work, where I've found a vast reserve of musical riches. Thank you Mr. Einarson!
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