This aggregation of three ex-Byrds came together at the end of 1977 and signed a major recording contract with Capitol Records. Their debut, McGuinn, Clark & Hillman had a distinctly late 70s production courtesy of Ron and Howard Albert, which contrasted markedly with their previous work in such outfits as the Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas and Dillard And Clark. There was a distinct lack of McGuinn’s Rickenbacker sound and Hillman’s bass playing was a cross between disco and Tamla-Motown Records. A catchy single, ‘Don’t You Write Her Off’, written by Roger McGuinn (b. James Joseph McGuinn, 13 July 1942, Chicago, Illinois, USA), gave the trio its first Billboard chart hit since the Byrds days. After touring extensively, Gene Clark (b. Harold Eugene Clark, 17 November 1944, Tipton, Missouri, USA, d. 24 May 1991, Sherman Oaks, California, USA), left his colleagues during the recording of their second album, City. The trio were never happy in each other’s company and old sores were scratched again. The three performed on stage together but rarely communicated off. Clark’s escalating drug dependance meant that he often failed to show up, and when he did he was often so completely out of it even the audience noticed his condition. McGuinn and Hillman soldiered on for one last album which did little to enhance their reputation. The experiment had clearly run its course and when Chris Hillman (b. 4 December 1942, Los Angeles, California, USA), lashed out against a Capitol Records promotions person, the weary McGuinn announced that their latest partnership was at an end. Thereafter, they returned to various small-time solo ventures. It would be another decade before McGuinn and Hillman came together again for a brief series of shows with David Crosby.
Share this page