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The Byrds — So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star
Album: Younger Than Yesterday
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1039









Released: 1967
Length: 2:02
Plays (last 30 days): 1
So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star?
Then listen now to what I say
Just get an electric guitar
Then take some time
And learn how to play

And with your hair swung right
And your pants too tight
It's gonna be all right
Then it's time to go downtown
Where the agent man won't let you down

Sell your soul to the company
Who are waiting there to sell plastic ware
And in a week or two
If you make the chart
The girls'll tear you apart

The price you paid for your riches and fame
Was it all a strange game?
You're a little insane
The money, the fame, and the public acclaim
Don't forget who you are
You're a rock 'n' roll star
Comments (116)add comment
fantastic tune
 ozzie1313 wrote:

Wonderful technical info.  I, on the other hand, have lived experience with the Byrds.  Saw them a few times.  Once, in early 70's at a place called Shaboo, venue for many great performers.  I went to buy a round of Heineken for my compatriots.  I came back and found a guy, who knew none of my friends, sitting defiantly in my seat.  My friends looked at each other in anxious anticipation.  Three times I nicely asked the guy to leave expaining that I just went to buy beers and this was my seat at our table.  No movement on the guy's part.  Now my friends, especially the girls, looked worried.  I picked the kd up, bigger than me, threw him on the table and pummeled him.  An ambulance came to take him out.  Even though they knew me at Shaboo and I sometimes behaved they pointed the cops in my direction.  Just when the cops arrived at the table, Roger stopped the song and pronounced over the microphone that he had seen what happened in entirety and he did not see me to blame.  I got to stay.  

Great story!

Now, I know I used to own the 45 single for this one, but it sure sounds like Bill is playing it on a 78 today.
Yeah, sure. Why not! 
 LoudshirtsBand wrote:
'Owned' by The Byrds - released 1967 as a cynical view of manufactured bands. Patti, as much as I appreciate her, did not 'own' the song for another 12 years afterwards!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
 
Wonderful technical info.  I, on the other hand, have lived experience with the Byrds.  Saw them a few times.  Once, in early 70's at a place called Shaboo, venue for many great performers.  I went to buy a round of Heineken for my compatriots.  I came back and found a guy, who knew none of my friends, sitting defiantly in my seat.  My friends looked at each other in anxious anticipation.  Three times I nicely asked the guy to leave expaining that I just went to buy beers and this was my seat at our table.  No movement on the guy's part.  Now my friends, especially the girls, looked worried.  I picked the kd up, bigger than me, threw him on the table and pummeled him.  An ambulance came to take him out.  Even though they knew me at Shaboo and I sometimes behaved they pointed the cops in my direction.  Just when the cops arrived at the table, Roger stopped the song and pronounced over the microphone that he had seen what happened in entirety and he did not see me to blame.  I got to stay.  
'Owned' by The Byrds - released 1967 as a cynical view of manufactured bands. Patti, as much as I appreciate her, did not 'own' the song for another 12 years afterwards!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
By far my favorite Byrds song.
 Ihatethissong wrote:

yes, but first I shall thoroughly enjoy THIS SONG
 
Knock yourself out then
PATTI owns this song but at least some of you don't seem to understand considering the ratings:

The Byrds -------------------  7.1
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers--- 7.2
Patti Smith ------------------ 6.8
 jp33442 wrote:
NEXT SONG
 
yes, but first I shall thoroughly enjoy THIS SONG
NEXT SONG
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
This was the first album I literally wore out, to the point where the needle just shrugged when I set it in the grooves.
 
 Not so groovy.  :<
Ahhhhh h h.......
Thats some far out sound you got there mister
Classyc!
Patti Smith owns this song.
This is so cool, and yet it's all over in 2:05.
 Webfoot wrote:

I was just thinking the opposite, but I guess "better" is relative.

 
Something about being a rock 'n roll star in the 60's. You had to be there.
 fil wrote:
The randomly screaming fans in the background make the song so much better. It's like the laughing track on tv shows. Classic.

 
I was just thinking the opposite, but I guess "better" is relative.
Great pick of the music and fine playlists.  Often I am reminded of my lengthy youth back in the late 60s and early 70s  at the Fillmore East
Took me  a long time to like this song..........the screaming fans reminded me of broken arrow.......and the horns just no so good.
 blkstd wrote:


Things sounded slower after smoking a j

 
This is the best comment on rp
 blkstd wrote:


Things sounded slower after smoking a j

 

HAHAHA! Yes, it definitely is faster
 ScottishWillie wrote:
This is much faster than I remembered it. Must be an age thing!?!

 

Things sounded slower after smoking a j
Top song, but the crowd noise is very tacky.
This is much faster than I remembered it. Must be an age thing!?!
 AndyJ wrote:
I even remember all the words... Thanks for reminding me of that kid...
 

 
I knew exactly what song it was from the intro.  There are a lot of songs from that era like that.  Sad that it was so long ago . . .

So this song was the inspiration for Costello's '45'?  

 

Nice catch DJ. 


 laramieu wrote:
I just love the trumpet that is playing in my right ear.

 
Hmmmm...u hear it in my left ear
The randomly screaming fans in the background make the song so much better. It's like the laughing track on tv shows. Classic.
 countyman wrote:


Jim McGuinn and Chris Hillman wrote the song and lyrics.

 
Roger McGuinn
The crazed horn in the background -- not in every version.

PS:  Mr. Hillman was also a member of Manassas. 
I even remember all the words... Thanks for reminding me of that kid...
 
This was the first album I literally wore out, to the point where the needle just shrugged when I set it in the grooves.
 countyman wrote:


Jim McGuinn and Chris Hillman wrote the song and lyrics.
 
Stands to reason. McGuinn the anti-star and Hillman the doubting hero. Both have their feet squarely on the ground. Hillman arguably has had the more varied and interesting career—SHF, Desert Rose Band, Rice Rice Hillman and Pederson—amazing live band, and so on. One of the greats and relatively unsung.
 laramieu wrote:
I just love the trumpet that is playing in my right ear.
 
whatever, 
 Essbee wrote:
Great, even though the background vocals don't match the lead vocal near the end. Always bugged me and I always wonder why they left it like that. I guess they figured AM listeners wouldn't notice.
 
Perhaps the song was satire from its inception, never intended to be well crafted on purpose.

That's how I always took it.

Still a good song.  9

9
 Essbee wrote:
Great, even though the background vocals don't match the lead vocal near the end. Always bugged me and I always wonder why they left it like that. I guess they figured AM listeners wouldn't notice.
 
{#Cowboy}David Crosby is in the group, at this point. Do you really need me to explain it to you?{#Cowboy}
I just love the trumpet that is playing in my right ear.
 Kittee wrote:
OK.

The kids screaming in the background totally killed this song for me.
I don't teach at a pre-school for a reason.
 

Makes me not want to be a rock and roll star.
I love decades, they are just like... years apart?
 dunno wrote:

I second that. Who did the original btw ?
 
This is the orginal.

A fine little tune, with the great South African musician Hugh Masekela on the horn.
Great, even though the background vocals don't match the lead vocal near the end. Always bugged me and I always wonder why they left it like that. I guess they figured AM listeners wouldn't notice.
Well, no, actually, I DON'T want to be a rock & roll star. But thank you for asking!! {#Wink}

 Kittee wrote:
OK.

The kids screaming in the background totally killed this song for me.
I don't teach at a pre-school for a reason.
 
Yeah, whichever producer felt the need to add that in post needed someone to smack his hand with a ruler! {#Naughty}
 SparkyMarky wrote:
My favourite Byrds sond...any of you heard The Coral? They have some Byrd like moments for sure
 
I have.  They do some great stuff.  Real nice vocals.

My favourite Byrds sond...any of you heard The Coral? They have some Byrd like moments for sure
Necessary.

 dunno wrote:

I second that. Who did the original btw ?
 

Jim McGuinn and Chris Hillman wrote the song and lyrics.
 dunno wrote:

I second that. Who did the original btw ?
 
Wasn't this the original?  Not 100% sure, but I thought it was the Byrds.
 walk wrote:
A great 45!
 

sorry... the most u can score a song is 10

{#Lol}

Appropriate people to make this contribution to "The Great Rock'n Roll History Book."
 Limpopoking wrote:

Not a hell of a lot wrong with Patti Smith's either
 
I second that. Who did the original btw ?


OK.

The kids screaming in the background totally killed this song for me.
I don't teach at a pre-school for a reason.
 mfassett wrote:
Oh, that's funny. You don't like what I say so you attack me. How quant. Sorry, maybe you shouldn't take my musical taste so personally.
 
What does his post have to do with being a quant?

I once heard that this song was about the creation of "The Monkeys" - any truth to that?
dolfan wrote:
You haven't changed much.
Oh, that's funny. You don't like what I say so you attack me. How quant. Sorry, maybe you shouldn't take my musical taste so personally.
randerson wrote:
Yes this is a good song, I like the Byrds. But the screaming girls could have been removed, it is rather annoying :)
Bit 'o Trivia .. the screeeeeeming track was made at an Elvis concert some 5 years before.
mfassett wrote:
well, ugh... overplayed, and trite... to me anyway. Maybe you had to be there... I was barely alive at the time.
You haven't changed much.
ThirdRail_33 wrote:
I think Petty's cover is better..........
Not a hell of a lot wrong with Patti Smith's either
milchschnitte wrote:
:puke: :puke: :puke:
Too bad.
Badger wrote:
"get yourself an electric guitar, learn how to play...".
The Byrds got their Rickenbackers after seeing the Fabs play 'em in AHDN. And guess how the fabs got on to Rickenbackers? From a photo of "Toots" Thielemans, guitarist with the George Shearing Orchestra (and jazz harmonica player extraordinaire!), holding one at a guitar show. Interesting chain of events...
ThirdRail_33 wrote:
I think Petty's cover is better..........
We think alike...
well, ugh... overplayed, and trite... to me anyway. Maybe you had to be there... I was barely alive at the time.
I think Petty's cover is better..........
bokey wrote:
A year or so ago Roger McGuinn put out an instructional DVD on making your own CD on a laptop home studio setup.
Man, if he could teach me how to play the Rickenbacher, I would just stay in my room all day and night and make chimming guitar noises.
Who just couldn't love this high energy tune! :jump: :guitarist:
I love it. My era for Byrds music.
Sounds like Coltrane. Oh, wait! That was 8 Miles High... This one sounds like McGuinn on guitar.
A year or so ago Roger McGuinn put out an instructional DVD on making your own CD on a laptop home studio setup.
A great 45!
The way things used to be.
Dated, but a classic that is still memorable and listenable.
Badger wrote:
Saw a programme on the BBC a night or so back which said this song was written about the Monkees. 'Spose it makes sense.. "get yourself an electric guitar, learn how to play...".
Especially since Stephen Stills tried out for the show!!!!
Nice!
Saw a programme on the BBC a night or so back which said this song was written about the Monkees. 'Spose it makes sense.. "get yourself an electric guitar, learn how to play...".
:puke: :puke: :puke:
rowdydaisy wrote:
I saw Roger McGuinn in concert recently and he was awesome. Played all the favorites. Don't miss him if you have a chance. I love the song with the horse going off the cliff.
Yes, "Chesnut Mare" is a classic.
I saw Roger McGuinn in concert recently and he was awesome. Played all the favorites. Don't miss him if you have a chance. I love the song with the horse going off the cliff.
randerson wrote:
Yes this is a good song, I like the Byrds. But the screaming girls could have been removed, it is rather annoying :)
Agreed. I could also do without the goofy horn, to be honest. Still, it's a great song, even victimized as it was by bad production contrivances, and there is a rippin', really live version of it on Byrds' Untitled that kicks the carp outta this one.
pope183 wrote:
The Horn on this seems to be one of those things producers used to do at that time - pile on strings and horns like it was some kind of perry como track - after the band was out of the studio . It should be on the right side . btw .
Interesting... Thinking about it now, there's a lot of this from this era. Stereo recently invented? Few people listening with headphones? certainly no RP - those poor 60's people didn't know they were born...
Thank god for The Byrds
cool! well done, RP!
Great, at last a Beatles song that I like!
timc wrote:
Do I have my headphones on backwards? I only hear the horn in my right ear.
The Horn on this seems to be one of those things producers used to do at that time - pile on strings and horns like it was some kind of perry como track - after the band was out of the studio . It should be on the right side . btw .
michaelc wrote:
Odd Question: is this a remix ? I hear a horn on the left speaker, I never remember that. could be that I spun the vinyl so many times I wore the horns off
Do I have my headphones on backwards? I only hear the horn in my right ear.
I gotta learn how to play the comb like that... :whisper: Oh, nevermind. :oops: To everything, turn on the Byrds. Great tune. Short and sweet.
Ah, I thought Apples In Stereo's "20 Cases Suggestive Of.." sounded familiar. Now I know where they got the inspiration for that song. Either that or it's quite a coincidence.
Patrick wrote:
Hate the horn. Hate. The word is Hate.
don't hold back, Patrick... tell us how you really feel..... :war:
I always confuse the beginning of this song with BOC's "Don't Fear the Reaper"
redeyespy wrote:
Interesting segue, Bill: this song, later covered by Tom Petty, follows Petty's "Feel A Whole Lot Better," an old Byrds tune.
Give Bill some credit. He probably knows that , being that Tom Petty is a huge Byrds fan, and has covered several Byrds tunes. NONE of which approach the glory of the originals....
.......ilovetheboysandgirlsscreaminginthebackgroundaneight..................
Hate the horn. Hate. The word is Hate.
redeyespy wrote:
Interesting segue, Bill: this song, later covered by Tom Petty, follows Petty's "Feel A Whole Lot Better," an old Byrds tune.
wow!! What a Koinkydink!!!
michaelc wrote:
Odd Question: is this a remix ?
Most likely from the remastered version/CD.
Interesting segue, Bill: this song, later covered by Tom Petty, follows Petty's "Feel A Whole Lot Better," an old Byrds tune.
Might be kind of cool to segue from this into Cake's "Rock and Roll Lifestyle"...
Odd Question: is this a remix ? I hear a horn on the left speaker, I never remember that. could be that I spun the vinyl so many times I wore the horns off
amitz wrote:
Yes. It's on the version of Mr. Jones from VH1 Storytellers which is available (and highly recommended!) as Disc 1 the double-CD "Across A Wire".
They do it before Mr. Jones almost whenever they play it live...
Originally Posted by breckwitte: When I see this song at 7.4 and the fine (I'm not being sarcastic, but I don't really think they're comparable) Cake song Guitar at 7.5 it makes me wonder if there are also *young* fogies out there. I guess this is the cue for all of the older listeners who prefer Cake and the young 'uns who prefer the Byrds to identify themselves and take exception to my incredibly astute musicological analysis.
wow! breckwitte. you gave me a headache. :lol:
Gotta love that ribbed fish!
Yes. It's on the version of Mr. Jones from VH1 Storytellers which is available (and highly recommended!) as Disc 1 the double-CD "Across A Wire".
Originally Posted by jhounshell: Any Counting Crows fans out there recognize a line from this song put into their song Mr. Jones? (I think that's the one). "so you wanna be a rock-n-roll star, then listen man to what I say, get yourself an electric guitar.....learn how to play." :??:
This song has always sounded good to me from the first time I heard it. Never get tired of it. Don\'t need to compare it to anything else.
When I see this song at 7.4 and the fine (I'm not being sarcastic, but I don't really think they're comparable) Cake song Guitar at 7.5 it makes me wonder if there are also *young* fogies out there. I guess this is the cue for all of the older listeners who prefer Cake and the young 'uns who prefer the Byrds to identify themselves and take exception to my incredibly astute musicological analysis.
yes, the byrds could be played all day long and i would be happy.
What a great band. They were always a step ahead of where the trends were headed. McGuinn was one of the real geniuses of rock music.