50 years ago (3/1/66), just prior to the release of “Eight Miles High”, Gene Clark announced he was leaving The Byrds. Clark was the Byrds’ dominant songwriter between 1964 and early 1966, penning most of the band’s best-known originals from this period, including “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better”, “She Don’t Care About Time”, and “Set You Free This Time.” His departure was partly due to his fear of flying, which made it impossible for him to keep up with The Byrds’ itinerary, and partly due to his increasing isolation within the band. Clark’s exit from the plane represented his exit from The Byrds, with Roger McGuinn telling him, “If you can’t fly, you can’t be a Byrd.” Clark was subsequently signed by Columbia Records as a solo artist and went on to produce a critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful body of work.
Watch one of only two completely live performances that the “Original 5” ever did on TV as they perform “Turn! & Rhymney & Mr.Tambourine Man” live from 1965.