The Byrds

Chris Hillman • Ready Steady Go! • August 6, 1965

$100.00

Rehearsals, Rediffusion Television Studios, Studio 1, Wembley, north-west London 

ITV’s Ready Steady Go! — Broadcast live, 6:08-7:00 pm

 

The Story

An introspective Chris Hillman, running through ‘All I Really Want To Do’ during rehearsals on the set of Ready Steady Go!

On August 3, just one day after The Byrds’ UK arrival, Hillman collapses backstage before a gig at the Imperial Ballroom, Nelson, Lancashire, suffering from acute asthma and bronchitis. The group’s decision to take on a 20-day string of British dates immediately following a grueling tour of the American Midwest wreaks havoc not only on the health of several members, but will mar The Byrds’ reputation in Britain at the outset of their career because of underwhelming, low-energy performances. On August 5, the night before this Ready Steady Go! appearance, The Byrds deliver a particularly ragged performance at Blaises, a trendy nightclub in central London brimming with the crème of the British pop cognoscenti. Hillman breaks a bass string midway through the set, while Crosby and McGuinn, who are forced to share one amplifier because of the compact dimensions of the stage, allegedly put a whole new spin on the name of the club. “I saw them down at a club called Blaises and I was astounded because I think I saw either Crosby or McGuinn pull out a joint and start smoking on stage.”Graham Nash

Also appearing on this week’s Ready Steady Go!: The Who (who perform as a three-piece as Roger Daltry is ill), Sonny and Cher, and Brian Poole & The Tremeloes.

Photographer unconfirmed — likely Cyrus Andrews / Image formerly from the London Features International Ltd — John Halsall archives


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