“It was Dylan meets the Beatles.”
That’s Roger McGuinn’s succinct explanation of the Byrds’ bold, brainy take on rock & roll. True enough: What the Byrds pulled off with 1965’s landmark Mr. Tambourine Man was a resonant synthesis of the Beatles’ charged pro forma precision and Dylan’s mythopoeic incantations.
It turned out to be a startlingly perfect fit, inspiring much that has followed, from their mentors’ subsequent Rubber Soul and Blonde On Blonde to the work of such disparate inheritors as Tom Petty, R.E.M., U2, and Crowded House.
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage