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Condit: Behind the Scenes with Roger McGuinn

Friday, May 22, 2015


Rolling Stone dubbed him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists.  Roger McGuinn recorded his first number one hit, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” with the Byrds in 1965.  He toured, performed, and/or recorded music with the Limeliters, Chad Mitchell Trio, Bobby Darin, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gram Parsons, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and many more!  It’s fair to say this guy isn’t just enormously talented and entertaining, but he’s got some amazing stories to tell.

Luckily for all of us, we have the opportunity to spend An Evening with Roger McGuinn on Thursday, June 11 at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, when he takes us on a journey of his music, connected by his personal stories.  McGuinn’s song list is so long and robust that I was curious which is his favorite to perform.  Without hesitation, he responded that “Turn, Turn, Turn” is the tune that really resonates for him because of the tune and message, but the thrill of their first number one hit cannot be denied.  He vividly remembers living off one cheeseburger a day until the Byrds’ first commercial hit with “Mr. Tambourine Man.”  (I also think it’s funny that David Crosby told him he didn’t like the song when he first heard it!)

In addition to being enormously successful and talented, I am also struck by how humble and genuinely nice McGuinn is.  He loves touring around with his wife, Camilla, and she writes a great blog about their adventures on the road.  It’s full of pictures, funny accounts of where they’re going, and sweet insights into their relationship.  For someone who claims that writing isn’t their strong suit, Camilla’s accounts are engaging, funny and insightful.  If you check out her blog, you’ll see why her husband likes reading them and reliving some of their sweet memories together.  Roger and Camilla McGuinn’s escapades read like a real-life love story.  A good example is when Camilla chronicles their European tour in one of her Roadie Reports and how “Get To You” kept playing in her head.  “It is a song about a journey to get to a person loved.  We love our journeys,” she writes.  I can see why they’ve been married for over 40 years!

I’ll admit that McGuinn’s songs have always had a special place in my music memories.  After speaking to him, I can’t wait to hear even more of his stories and songs!  It’s not every day that we have the opportunity to see a Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer and overall superstar perform, and it’s even more rare to get the chance to really learn about the backstories for all the songs.  To hear the full interview with Roger McGuinn before his performance on June 11, tune in to Behind the Scenes with The Hanover Theatre, airing on WCRN AM830 this Saturday from 1-2pm.  There are still some greats seats left for his show in Worcester, available online at thehanovertheatre.org.


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