David Crosby Recalls The Time The Byrds Encouraged Bob Dylan To Have A Band

CSNY founding member David Crosby talked about the moment when the iconic musician Bob Dylan came to the studio to listen to the Byrds’ version of one of his songs in his recent interview with Steve Silberman’s Freak Flag Flying. Crosby highlighted that Dylan wanted to found a band after watching their performance.

Bob Dylan released his fifth studio album entitled ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ on March 22, 1965, and its first half included electric songs while the other half consisted of acoustic songs. Following its release, Dylan was highly criticized because of the change in his style from folk to electric although it was seen as one of the best albums of all time later on.

In the Byrds’ debut studio album named ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ which was released on June 21, 1965, the band performed some of famous folk songs’ covers in their own style. The album’s self-titled song that was written and recorded by Dylan became their first number one hit which brought the Byrds members popularity and success. They drew Dylan’s attention too, so he came to watch them in the studio one day.

David Crosby unveiled that Dylan admired their ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ cover and decided to work on finding musicians for his new band a short time later. The CSNY legend highlighted that their performance changed him, and then Dylan founded a pickup group featuring Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Al Kooper on the organ when he was the Newport Folk Festival’s headliner in 1965. Crosby shared his ideas about the band and said ‘they killed it.’

Crosby remembered those times saying:

“When he came to the studio, I watched him when we sang ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ too. He was smoking in those years. He went out and got a band the next day. He wasn’t kidding and he saw that we could translate his music into electric. It changed him, he was completely into it and he made that decision right there in front of us. No question in my mind. When he got the band, he had real players who could do it. They killed it.”

You can listen to the songs below.