Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy birthday, Barry McGuire and Don Stevenson

Barry McGuire celebrates his 74th birthday today. He was a principal artist with the popular folkies, The New Christy Minstrels. You can see him in this 1963 clip, the big blond guy standing between the girl with the brunette beehive and the other girl wearing the blonde football helmet.

Shedding his jacket and tie, and growing his hair a couple of inches, Barry showed up again a couple of years later with his biggest hit, "Eve of Destruction." To me "Eve" is a musical equivalent of the little longhaired guy in the cartoons, carrying a signboard that says, "Repent! The end is near!" McGuire tapped a nerve with his song, though, and it caused a lot of talk, even an answer song, "Dawn of Correction." If my math is correct by the time Barry recorded "Eve" he was 30, that magic age beyond which he could not be trusted by the Baby Boomer generation.

There was a comment on the YouTube message board about what Barry's packing in those tight pants. Whew. That thing alone could cause some "Eve" some destruction.

Moby Grape was a band plagued by all the problems a band can have. Personalities, drugs, management. I'm surprised they got as much good music out as they did. 8:05 is my favorite of the songs from the first album, and our birthday boy, Don Stevenson, who was a drummer/singer and songwriter and is 67 today, cowrote this melodic and haunting song.

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