Amy Campbell Library > Biography > Wounds to Bind: A Memoir of the Folk-Rock Revolution

Wounds to Bind: A Memoir of the Folk-Rock Revolution

By Jerry Burgan, Alan Rifkin

The sunrise of people rock involves lifestyles in Jerry Burgan’s unforgettable memoir of the pre-psychedelic Sixties and the summer season that modified every little thing.

As a naïve folksinger from Pomona, California, Burgan used to be thrust to the vanguard of the counterculture and its aftermath. The Byrds, the Rolling Stones, the Mamas and Papas, Barry McGuire, Bo Diddley and so on make appearances during this fiftieth Anniversary memory through the surviving cofounder of WE 5, the San Francisco electro-folk ensemble whose million-seller, "You have been On My Mind,” entered the area months sooner than Bob Dylan plugged in an electrical guitar on the Newport people competition. Vying with the Byrds to list the 1st folk-rock hit, Burgan and his lifelong buddy Mike Stewart launched into a street they proposal good paved by means of the latter's older brother, Kingston Trio member John Stewart. Little did they notice that they'd sign up for the largest-ever American iteration in an ecstatic, occasionally tortured, trip of invention and disillusion.

Wounds to Bind bears witness to a misplaced and hopeful convergence in American history—that lacking hyperlink among the folks and rock eras—when Bob Dylan and Sammy Davis Jr. have been performed at the similar radio station within the comparable hour. A survivor of the human realignments, tragedies and triumphs that undefined, Burgan tracks down the demons that drove the genius of We 5 cofounder Mike Stewart and sheds gentle at the 40-year enigma of what grew to become of the band’s reclusive lead singer, Beverly Bivens, a forerunner of Grace Slick, Linda Ronstadt, and Stevie Nicks.

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We watched him go away mid-set. *** The Frank Werber we’d respected on the apex of the 1960s—in aviator colours, biker boots, brief suede coat, and hipster beard, like a Jewish Peter Fonda—cut a picture approximately impossible to resist to an aspiring teenaged artist. either hip and comprehensive, he’d epitomized the innovative yet sophisticated hipsterism of the Playboy era—the concept that you'll be a bold philosopher and put on a three-piece suit—and he’d used this typical feel, a kind of managerial ideal pitch, to aid the Trio’s white university viewers consider . . . properly edgy. to attract an analogy to standup comedy, which Werber studied in detail on the hungry i, he believed (and argued) that the survival intuition of a invoice Cosby or Jonathan Winters intended higher impression, in the end, than the loss of life want of a Lenny Bruce—even even though, individually and culturally, Werber observed extra of himself within the irreverent outcast. Black comedians like purple Foxx and Slappy White performed to a tiny, besides the fact that voracious, viewers; it took Cosby to maneuver that line, lightly. And Cosby’s genius created area for turn Wilson and Richard Pryor, who flourished with a candor a long way exceeding the measure that doomed Lenny Bruce. Bob Newhart and Shelley Berman, too, have been bold, yet to Werber’s brain, they knew, not like Bruce, tips on how to push a line with no crossing. the 2 males had spoken approximately it. within the glow of the We 5 release, Frank Werber back proposal he might consultant, instead of determine, a cultural shift; and until eventually 1966, his personal ideas had continually utilized. but, as Bob Jones has famous, Werber ignored anything that started to be obvious that 12 months: the oncoming shift used to be tectonic. A mass media tsunami couldn't be led. instead of asserting, “Paddle like hell and get at the wave,” Werber believed he may perhaps keep an eye on it—perhaps even believed, via his early luck, he had shaped it. for that reason, for the 1st time, he now risked drowning. Bob particularly used to be changing into alarmed. prior to his eyes, the tune scene used to be blossoming into anything totally new and very important, a laboratory of desires, but he used to be helpless to participate within the scan. This regardless of belonging to a band that under a 12 months previous were in a number one place to redraw the foundations of either folks and rock. It used to be Mike Stewart who’d dared to depart folky lyrics in the back of and plug in; it was once Bev Bivens, at seventeen, enthralled as a lot by way of blues as via Streisand, who’d first embodied how to channel either vocal types whereas copying neither. yet We Five’s incubation led us to find what others, too, have been starting to study, that it used to be not only new track being born, yet a complete new 13_514_Burgan. indb 126 3/6/14 11:13 AM Ad after advert after Ad   127 approach of making, enjoying, and dwelling it. We 5 had simply entered the scene a couple of seconds in advance of did the folk-rock, psychedelic, and roots-rock artists who undefined. And in this rating, Bob felt helpless—like he had jumped a teach, in basic terms to discover it was once heading clear of the heart of the motion. the truth that it used to be making reliable time purely made issues worse.

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