The Byrds

The Byrds • 9 Carlisle Street, London • August 1965


9 Carlisle Street, Soho, London

Left to right: Michael Clarke, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Jim McGuinn, and David Crosby

*Prints of this image are currently available in three sizes on matte Hahnemühle Museum Etching 350gsm Deckle Edge paper.



The Story

The Byrds, idling at 9 Carlisle Street, Soho, London, possibly en route to the Europa Hotel from Soho Square during promotional duties on their 1965 UK tour. The band members are near the entrance of what is today The Resident Hotel, Soho, where Carlisle Street ends and turns into Great Chapel Street alley.

“The whiff of marijuana was seldom absent from hotel suites and dressing rooms frequented by The Byrds, and they invariably brought a touch of psychedelic bliss to their dull surroundings.” According to press agent, Derek Taylor, “They had crystals and coloured cubes… chamber maids were saying, ‘I don’t know what they’re doing in that room. They’ve got all these things piled up like children’s bricks on the table. And what are they doing with the towels?’”

The Byrds were stuffing bathroom towels along the bottom of their hotel doors to prevent marijuana smoke from drifting into hallways while they were inside being transported to other realms within the colors of their dazzling crystal collections. The bizarre West Coast behavior soon became too much for their cockney road manager, Bobby Hamilton, who quit within a week. “They floated out of the hotel, floated into the car, floated onstage, floated offstage, floated back to the hotel, shut the door and that was it. It was reefers from day one. You could never socialize with them. They were away. Smoke was everywhere.”

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

The Process

The images featured on our site are reproduced directly from the original negatives in our collection. Each has been digitally drum scanned at 8000 DPI to ensure the highest quality prints up to the largest sizes. 

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