STRAIGHT FOR THE SUN is a Live College AM Radio Broadcast from the McDonough Gym, AmericanUniversity, Washington DC, 12 September 1971. Recorded by the American rock band The Byrds
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Even a rudimentary investigation into the soaring flight path of The Byrds will confirm that the McGuinn/White/Battin/Parsons line-up - as featured on this disc - is one of the band’s strongest. This quartet was the most stable and long-lived incarnation of all, remaining a solid unit from the Autumn of 1969 until July 1972. During this period they completed a trio of album releases ‘[Untitled]’ (September 1970, a double album), ‘Byrdmaniax’ (June 1971) and ‘Farther Along’ (November 1971). They were widely acknowledged as a great live act - probably the best regarded, for their onstage prowess, of all the Byrds many line-ups - spearheaded by the riveting dual lead guitar work of Roger McGuinn and Clarence White.
Vocalist, guitarist and major songwriter, Roger McGuinn is - and always was - the one permanent fixture in The Byrds, having formed the band in 1964 with David Crosby and Gene Clark. A noted session guitarist, Clarence White had been a member since July 1968; shortly after his arrival - and at his behest - drummer Gene Parsons replaced Kevin Kelley. Another former session musician, bassist Skip Battin joined in the Autumn of 1969, completing this exceptional line-up.
This Byrds concert, from the McDonough Gym at the American University in Washington DC, came just after the end of a major European tour, which had seen the band playing many gigs up and down the UK (including the Lincoln Festival and at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall) as well as in Holland, Belgium, France and Germany between May and August 1971.
For this radio broadcast, The Byrds chose to perform an eclectic cross-section of material, drawing from albums across their career to date. From those recorded by the same line-up come the dynamic Lover of the Bayou and McGuinn’s perennial ballad Chestnut Mare (from ‘Untitled’), I Want To Grow Up To Be A Politician, Citizen Kane (from ‘Byrdmaniax’) and Tiffany Queen (from ‘Farther Along’).
1. Lover of the Bayou 2. So You Want To Be a Rock N Roll Star 3. Mr. Spaceman 4. I Want To Grow Up To Be a Politician 5. Soldier's Joy/ Black Mountain Rag 6. Mr. Tambourine Man 7. Pretty Boy Floyd 8. Nashville West 9. Citizen Kane 10. Tiffany Queen 11. Chestnut Mare 12. Jesus Is Alright 13. Eight Miles High 14. Hold It / Roll Over Beethoven