View Full Version : Starfire Bass used for The Byrds?

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04-18-2007, 06:12 AM
At least it looks like one! Are those double pickguards? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tWAMOnmAv8&mode=related&search=)

04-18-2007, 11:45 AM
I'll ask: my wife and I are going to try and catch Roger McGuinn this weekend in Jupiter FL; he may not remember but, then again...

04-18-2007, 12:41 PM
Yeah Hillman used a Starfire bass. Don't think it has a pickguard, but has double thumbrests. One on top and one on bottom as was common for most starfire basses.

04-18-2007, 12:51 PM
Thanks Kelvinator60:

I'm gonna try for a little face time with McGuinn...it's a very small venue he's playing...hope to get his autograph and maybe his take on Guilds.

04-23-2007, 01:02 PM
Saw Roger McGuinn Saturday night:
In addition to the 12-string Rickenbacker in the pic, he played an ODE-style long-neck banjo, and a Martin HD7:
He said he got the Martin people to make him one with an extra string to provide the jangly thing but maintain the ease of 6-string play. They are part of the Martin line now; very lively, good bass, and the extra string was very effective through the house PA.

He played some of his newer stuff on the Martin but brought the house down with Turn, Turn, Turn, Mr. Spaceman, Chimes of Freedom and others on the Ric. He reminisced about his days with the Limelighters, Chad Mitchell Trio, and the Byrds years; not sloppy, just historical.

Used a flat pick and fingerpicks on middle and ring fingers; generated a lot of music; I went home and tried it...I have a lot to learn.

Karl Teten
05-19-2007, 07:22 AM
The Byrds were the original quintessential American rock group. Their instruments represented the U.S. as a whole. Guild and Gretsch from the east coast. Rickenbacker and Fender from the west coast. Ludwig from the mid-west.

West R Lee
05-19-2007, 08:10 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the HD7 is his signature guitar.


05-19-2007, 12:18 PM
Tis a fact West; he said so at his performance; he said he asked Martin to add the 7th string to generate the 'jangly' thing but maintain the ease of play of a 6 string. Pretty impressive; with his McGuinn / Martin and his McGuinn / Rickenbacker...besides the Eric, not sure there are many other musicians who can point to 'sig' models from a such a pair of well-regarded guitar makers...

If McGuinn provided the music, it was Gene Clark who provided the Byrds' 'sound'; he was an accomplished singer and did most of the arrangements. The old 60s YouTubes of the Byrds out McGuinn's voice as sort of thin and reedy; unlike ours :wink: , his hasn't improved with age. Add Crosby's voice and Clark's, then you have something ... well .... different enough to distinguish itself the way the Beach Boys' arrangements/'sound' do. When I listen to them, I stop listening to the lyrics...all I hear is the 'sound'.

If you haven't looked, the eBay McGuinn Rickys are in the $4,000 range; the rest of the nused 330/12s and 360/12s are $1,200 to $1,600.


Karl Teten
05-19-2007, 09:05 PM
I would say Gene Clark provided the music. Gene was one of the best songwriters of the 60's.

Roger was the sound. With his 12 string, Roger could sing the phone book and sound like The Byrds. :lol:

05-21-2007, 11:03 AM
Go here for well-written discussion of Gene Clark; before, during, and after his years w/ the Byrds.


Karl Teten
05-21-2007, 03:54 PM
Yup. :D

Gene Clark's last great lyrical Byrd effort was Eight Miles High. After Gene left The Byrds, and also after the 5D album, the songwriting became sporadic until Crosby was fired.

The Dillard and Clark Expodition is also some of Gene Clark's best work.

I'm friends with Gene Parsons (second drummer of The Byrds). Gene P. is currently building me a guitar. :wink:

05-21-2007, 04:26 PM
I hope the guitar turns out fine Karl; you can tell your friend that you e-bumped into a Florida wacko who, 40 years ago, used to tune his guitar to, and play along with, the My Back Pages LP....I sang too but....maybe not so well.

Eight Miles High; I chorded it; Cmaj7, F#min, G...D..."...strange grey town..."...

Look out; I'm roaring down memory lane again! :wink:

regards, John

Karl Teten
05-21-2007, 04:51 PM
Gene is a cool guy. When Gene is not working with guitars he likes to refurb old Triumph motorcycles.

Gene and I got together a couple of years ago to recreate Clarence White's original prototype long stroke bender. The big thick clanky one. Gene introduced to me to Fred Stuart (ex Sr. custom shop Fender luthier) to build an exact recreation of Clarence's 1956 Telecaster with a '73 period relic with the added hollow body section on the back. Gene is building the bender unit with the last of parts he has from Sneaky Pete's old pedal steel he used to make Clarence's orginal bender. The guitar will be a work of art when complete as well as an inspiration to play. In the last 40 years Gene has built only one other proto bender that was 95% correct and was more of a clean tribute proto bender. My guitar will get warts and all.

05-21-2007, 05:35 PM
Provided they sound good, warts are ok!