“Whatever,” Swaney continues without missing a beat, “their thing was beautiful and heavy and will be as it is. Lasting.” Lasting. Nice touch - heavy, even.
In addition to the compulsory reference to “Mr. Tambourine Man” “for those who laughed up their sleeves and for those who dug it straight,” Swaney subtly establishes his druggy eight miles high-style counter-culture credentials further when he describes the scene as thousands show up for the Byrds appearances at Los Angeles’ Palladium “where an enormous caricature of Lawrence Welk slowly waving a giant baton greeted everyone and the rent-a-cops wondered how everyone could be so happy and have such fun on Coca-Cola and lemonade.”
Swaney leaves behind the hazy allusions and connects the dots a little better when it comes to name-dropping, especially when it comes to… oh say, perhaps… the fab four and a certain spokesman for his generation! “The Beatles were quoted as saying” — you can almost imagine the breathless onrush of emotion — “their favorite American group was The Byrds; Dylan got onstage with them at Ciro’s to blow his harp straight into the dancing melee below.” All this as David “If I Could Only Remember My Name” Crosby “smiled benignly at the whole scene.”
In a more maligning and hipper-than-thou swipe, however, the whole scene was spurred by someone -- some establishment type, no doubt — “in the label department of ‘Billboard’” who came up with the term folk-rock “so that everyone would know what was going down in case they didn’t want to think about it too much.”
Because apparently the great thinkers of the world were street-fightin’ men, as Swaney inanely notes: “Off the hot streets of Los Angeles, even as other revolutions were finally gaining notice a few miles south in Watts,” McGuinn and the boys were in a darkened studio busy in the task “of reaching into millions of homes, cars, dormitories, coffee shops, bars, bordellos, prisons, camps, insane asylums - minds.
Minds. Nice touch - heavy, even.