Mr. Tambourine Man
As any fan knows, the Byrds’ lyrical, love-battered soul was Gene Clark, not Roger McGuinn or David Crosby. But Clark also made Jim Morrison look like a self-destruction lightweight. John Einarson’s detailed (if not flashily written) bio traces the Missouri kid from his 1966 exit from the band to the night in 1991 when some say he choked to death on his vomit. As Clark sabotages repeated comeback bids, each time retreating into a haze of unhinged behavior, the book starts to feel like a Behind the Music marathon without the future-looks-bright finales. Yet it’s also an insightful, if depressing, glimpse into life after stardom, complete with lame bar gigs, druggy hangers-on, shabby lodgings, and other has-been accessories.