The Byrds

David Crosby • Ready Steady Go! • August 6, 1965


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

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


The Story

David Crosby, under suede cloak and stage lights, during rehearsals on the set of Ready Steady Go!

The relentless UK schedule continues as The Byrds are booked for two more club appearances immediately following this Ready Steady Go! broadcast; The 32 Club, Harlesden, west London, a predominantly Irish dive squatting boil-like in a gangster-ridden part of town, and The All Nighter, a late-night soul and R&B club within the Flamingo in Soho that caters to a hard-core mod crowd and operates from 12:00am to 5:00am. 

“When we got there, the owner came out to meet us and welcome us to the club, and he was covered in blood. Not his — the club was the kind of place where they had two or three fights an hour, and when we played they didn’t care for us. Paul McCartney was there and he took me and McGuinn home in his Aston Martin. Scared us to pieces, because he was driving drunk, but he was very kind to us.” — David Crosby

One person who was not as kind is writer Chris Welch, who covers the show for The Melody Maker (August 14): “Flopsville! Was London’s verdict of the much-publicised Byrds following their weekend club appearances. They left a trail of hot, tired, bored, and disappointed fans who waited hours to see them give a performance described as very, very dull. …A roar of applause greeted The Byrds when they finally arrived (at 2:00 am) and fought their way to the stand. Paul McCartney was among the Byrd diggers, which helped raise the temperature of several young ladies even more. 

“Eventually The Byrds began their act, lasting only half an hour, during which time they performed about six numbers, mostly in the familiar Dylan-cum-Tambourine Man-cum-Searchers mould. Their reception grew markedly tepid, and the biggest applause came when club proprietor Rik Gunnell announced that gramophone records would be played and the return of Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band was imminent.”

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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