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Monday, 2 November 2015

The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn on His Special Bond With Pete Seeger

The Byrds were instrumental in bridging the gap between the rock and folk worlds in the mid-1960s, bringing covers of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!” to different audiences with the band’s signature 12-string guitar twist.

Mr. Seeger, meanwhile, remained a titan his whole career, from his time in the pop-folk quartet the Weavers through his antiwar efforts and his tireless campaign to clean up the Hudson River. He performed at Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony. He died last year, at the age of 94.

In 1994, Mr. Seeger and Roger McGuinn, the Byrds’ frontman, solidified their musical bond in a concert at the Bottom Line in New York. It was the only show they played together. The two collaborated on hits including “If I Had a Hammer” and “Bells of Rhymney” at the performance, which will now be released as part of the Bottom Line archive series. The two-disc recording, “Pete Seeger & Roger McGuinn: Live at the Bottom Line,” will be available on Oct. 30.

Mr. McGuinn recently discussed Mr. Seeger’s influence and the night they shared the stage. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.


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