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June 25th, 1965: Byrds and Beatles

Byrds and Beatles

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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June 16, 1965 - KRLA's Beat magazine published an article comparing 'Beatlemania' to the mounting hype surrounding Californian group The Byrds.

"The Skyrocketing Byrds are giving every indication of becoming a home-grown American answer to the Beatles," said the author (uncredited).

The catalyst for the comparison was an appearance by The Byrds at the re-opening of a night-spot on Sunset Strip called Ciro's. According to Beat, crowd attendance at Ciro's had been lacklustre for some time, so when people were "clamoring to get in" to see The Byrds on a week night, it was evident just how impactful the band's Mr. Tambourine Man release had been.

Byrds and Beatles

""Mr. Tambourine Man" came pounding through to the most receptive audience that could be found in all of Hollywood," reported Beat. "Celebrities from all corners of the show business world were included in the audience."

According to the report, comparisons between The Beatles and The Byrds were allegedly rife throughout Los Angeles at the time. KRLA's Dave Hull said, "It's fantastic. They're starting off here just like the Beatles did at the Cavern in Liverpool. They're grabbing hold of people's imaginations, and it looks like this is just the beginning."

Of course, The Byrds never quite matched up to the famous Liverpool group in terms of popularity or output. No one did. Even still, it's interesting to read reports like the one highlighted above--they highlight just how desperate America was for an answer to the so called 'British Invasion'.

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