21 Songs, 1 Hour 15 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
12 Ratings
12 Ratings

Incredibly intimate, 21-song album!


It had been nearly 20 years since Roger McGuinn had last performed in Spain, but in
September 2004 the former Byrds leader and two of his treasured and trusty 12-string
guitars made their way to the Basque medieval city of Vitoria-Gasteiz for a special solo set
at the revered Azkena Rock Festival. And for this magical visit, McGuinn fans will be
thrilled to learn, the tape was rolling.

Beautifully recorded by Spanish national radio, this incredibly intimate, 21-song double
album finds McGuinn chiming his way through glorious versions of Byrds hits (“Turn! Turn!
Turn!,” “Eight Miles High,” “So You Want to Be a Rock ’n’ Roll Star,” and others) and his
trademark inimitable readings of Bob Dylan classics (“My Back Pages,” “Knockin’ on
Heaven’s Door,” and, of course, “Mr. Tambourine Man”); along the way, the folk-rock icon peppers the program with poignant anecdotes about his career and the songs themselves. Long-time fans, however, will completely swoon over the versions of less-frequently revisited gems like “Lover of the Bayou,” “Jolly Roger,” and “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man.”

"Spanish Castle Magic!"


.."Embrace That Jolly Roger!"..Oh; So very good to hear that distinctive Rickenbacher 12-String of That "Forever-Flying Byrd-Man"; Roger McGuinn!-What a Stellar Set this is; Something to delight both Old Fans (Like Myself!) And sure to win over new Alt/Folk/Trad Converts!-Running the gamut from Woody To Seeger To Dylan back to the very first Byrds Album; Exceptionally clear Guitar Picking and That Unmistakable Voice!-Sit Right Down; Man; "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere!"...by Grimmbo.

Live From Spain

Dr. Biff

Absolutely timeless and good for the spirit and soul.

About Roger McGuinn

As the frontman of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn and his trademark 12-string Rickenbacker guitar pioneered folk-rock and, by extension, country-rock, influencing everyone from contemporaries like the Beatles to acolytes like Tom Petty and R.E.M. in the process. James Joseph McGuinn was born on July 13, 1942, in Chicago, where by his teenage years he was already something of a folk music prodigy. After touring with the Limelighters, in 1960 he signed on as an accompanist with the Chad Mitchell Trio, appearing on the LPs Mighty Day on Campus and At the Bitter End; frustrated with his limited role in the group, he soon joined Bobby Darin's group when the singer moved from pop to folk.

After appearing on sessions for Hoyt Axton, Judy Collins, and Tom & Jerry (soon to be known as Simon & Garfunkel), McGuinn began playing solo dates around the Los Angeles area, where he soon formed the Jet Set with area musicians David Crosby and Gene Clark. After a failed single under the name the Beefeaters, the group recruited bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke, changed their name to the Byrds, and set about crystallizing McGuinn's vision of merging the poetic folk music of Bob Dylan with the miraculous pop sounds heard via the British Invasion. McGuinn was the only member of the Byrds to play on their landmark debut single "Mr. Tambourine Man," but his jangly guitar work quickly became the very definition of the burgeoning folk-rock form; still, despite the Byrds' immediate success, both commercially and critically, the group was plagued by internal strife, and following the release of their 1968 country-rock breakthrough Sweetheart of the Rodeo, McGuinn was the only founding member still in the band.

Under the direction of McGuinn -- who had changed his first name to Roger after a flirtation with the Subud religion -- the Byrds soldiered on, delving further and further into country and roots music before finally dissolving in February 1973. That same year, McGuinn issued his self-titled solo debut, an ambitious, eclectic affair which explored not only folk and country but surf and even space rock. 1974's Peace on You and 1975's Roger McGuinn & His Band preceded a stint with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue, which helped revitalize his standing within the musical community. 1976's Cardiff Rose was regarded as his best solo effort to date, but the next year's Thunderbyrd, which featured a cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl," failed to connect with audiences.

In late 1977, McGuinn reunited with Byrds mates Chris Hillman and Gene Clark; the resulting LP, 1979's McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, notched a Top 40 pop hit with the McGuinn-penned "Don't You Write Her Off." Midway through recording the follow-up, 1980's City, Clark departed, and the album was released under the name "Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman Featuring Gene Clark." Following another effort, 1981's McGuinn/Hillman, they went their separate ways. After undergoing another religious conversion, this time becoming a born-again Christian, McGuinn spent the remainder of the 1980s without a recording contract and performing solo dates.

The appearance of a faux Byrds led by Michael Clarke prompted McGuinn to reform the group with Hillman and David Crosby in 1989, resulting in a series of club performances, an appearance at a Roy Orbison tribute, and a handful of new recordings for inclusion on a box set retrospective. In 1991 -- the same year the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- McGuinn issued his first new solo recordings in over a decade, the all-star Back to Rio, which was met with great public and critical acclaim. Live From Mars, a retrospective of songs and stories, appeared in 1996. ~ Jason Ankeny

Chicago, IL
July 13, 1942



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