Gene Clark would have been 70 today

by Steve

…which is as good an excuse as any to post a Gene Clark song.

He was wonderful in The Byrds. I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better sounds like a prototype for the nearly 50 years and counting of guitar pop that followed. And I’m not sure it has ever really been bettered.

His solo stuff is perhaps even better, I think it is a little less immediate, but more satisfying for it. I spent years hunting down No Other, then it was re-issued, and I wasn’t disappointed. Country, pop, soul, glam rock even, all thrown in there. Just a great example of an artist being given a budget and producing the album he wanted to make, not what the record company wanted, and not giving a fuck about the consequences. I wish more recording artists had that attitude now. Just a mind-blowing record.

The video above is really touching, I think. About two minutes in,the footage goes awry and the song starts to bend almost, and I start thinking that when this was recorded Clark wasn’t really that far off dying at a stupidly young age and it all seems fitting and profound – in some unintentional way, as it is just someone’s VCR playing up at some point in the mid 80s.

It made me think that with everything digital and crisp and clear now we won’t have these kind of serendipitous moments. If serendipitous is the right word. I like that old footage looks like a memory.