sweating The Byrds to the venue. (chapter 1)

The Byrds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Byrds were riding high in the Spring of 1966 based on folk/rock hits, such as: Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn, Turn, Turn. i was looking forward to them being a part of our 1965-1966 school year concert program schedule. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Mississippi i should have been more aware of their move into psychedelic rock.

we had booked them in conjunction with visits to Memphis State, then Ole Miss and following at Mississippi State. i am not really sure of that. it may have been the University of Alabama. ticket sales had been good and we were glad to have the Tad Pad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tad_Smith_Coliseum for the show. because we were in the Tad Pad, ticket sales were still open the day of the concert and we were promoting the show through the student union pa system.

at about 3 pm the day of the concert and while i was at the student union building playing promotions for the concert, i called my counter part at Memphis State University hoping to get an update on what to expect in terms of arrival and setup. at this point i had not heard one word from the Byrds and their advance team.

the news was not good. they had showed up late and only played about 5 songs and exited with “no encores”. Panic set in. Memphis was 2 hours away and we had zilch from them. my msu counterpart knew they were staying at the Holiday Inn on Union, so i called.

the front desk told me they had been at the pool all day partying.

whoever answered the phone in their room was not helpful either. in fact, he immediately told me he did not like me and they may not show up at all because i told him oxford was two hours away. they needed to get on the way!

full scale panic attack!

the mamas and papas

In the fall of 1965, I was the chairman of the Associated Student Body’s (ASB) Social Affairs Committee of the University of Mississippi. As such i was responsible for booking concerts and bands for University concerts and dances. I got off to a very rocky start. Some of it was my being a rookie. I booked The Seekers, http://www.theseekers.com.au/ as part of an American tour for the fall of 1965 which never made. They were riding high with several current hits and were my road to a good start for the 65-66 season.

Of course, being as inexperienced as i was, I let a William Morris agent, who i had a lot of confidence in, talk me into an even more adventurous move. he was going to make it up to me because the Seekers tour never made. He offered The Highwaymen as a fall substitute and a group that no one had ever heard of for a two-hour show for $2,500 for a May 1966 concert. i agreed to it and signed the contract.

by the end of 1965, the wm agent was calling saying what a mistake he had made offering a 2-hour show that this group’s first album was being released in early 1966 and they were going to be huge. their first release “Go Where You Want To Go” was big but never got into the top 10.