I remember spending most of the 80's listening to his alt-country (now you'd call it this way!) masterpiece "Firebyrd" and spinning it times and times again on my record player until the needle was melting the vinyl grooves. As soon as it was re-issued on cd I bought it again and - to this day - when I hear "Rodeo Rider" or his version of the Byrds' "Feel A Whole Lot Better" on that record I shiver. ("Gene Clark's post-Byrds solo career was as fraught with false starts and unmet promises as his two years with the Byrds were filled with fame, fulfillment, and recognition. Firebyrd was an artistic triumph and a commercial disaster - released to rave reviews and an enthusiastic response as one of the finest solo projects ever to come from an ex-Byrd, it was killed by poor distribution; demand in Europe, especially Germany and Italy, where fan interest in Clark and the Byrds was very high, resulted in high premiums being paid for used copies. "Rain Song," "Rodeo Rider," and "Something About You" were some of Clark's best songs in years, and his covers of two old Byrds numbers, "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Feel a Whole Lot Better," are perfectly credible reinterpretations, and he even does justice to Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." Not a lost Byrds album by any means, but a must-own for any serious Byrds fan". - Bruce Eder AMG).
I am writing this to celebrate Gene in the blog and to inform other fellow Gene-lovers of two interesting 2005 releases.
The first is a cd that compiles his contributions to the Byrds: titled "Gene Clark in the Byrds - Set You Free 1964-73", it is out now on the Australian label Raven.
The second is a book, to be published in the USA on the 12th of March titled "Mr. Tambourine Man : The Story of the Byrds' Gene Clark", written by John Einarson.
I have ordered the latter today via Amazon.com and can't wait to set my eyes on it!
Hope you are intrigued to discover the man; I regard him as an angel, singing his beautiful melodies and flying high wherever he is now.
Thank you Gene, my world is a better place because of you.