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Let's Pretend


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A question for Eric....

There's a live recording of you singing "Let's Pretend" which then goes into "Starting Over" - and it's sung as a slow ballad sort of thing.

(You can see I'm a whiz with descriptors)

I'd only ever heard the live version, until recently when I heard the original 'Berries version of "Let's Pretend"

What a difference!

When you wrote "Let's pretend", did you see it as a slow ballad type of song, or more what you recorded on the album? I've come to really like the faster album version, but it's a shame more fans never heard it in the style of the "Let's Pretend/Starting Over" version.

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When they did the "Let's Pretend"/"Starting Over" medley on the syndicated "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" TV series during the 1974-75 season, I was blown away by the performance. It was neat to see the guys on different instruments, too, with Wally on bass and Scott on mellotron (if memory serves me correctly). Eric's keyboard work and vocal was nothing short of stunning.

Maybe Bernie can add the clip to ETV.

If only the guys could put that medley out as a single, I'm convinced it would do well even today.

Don Krider :)

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I always had the "Berries in mind during the writing of "Let's Pretend." It was a long, long time ago, but I seem to recall wanting to try to morph "Don't Worry Baby" and Mr Tambourine Man" musically. I really wanted that jangly McGuinn Rickenbacker on the chorus. Funny side note: Years later, I was watching a PBS special on rock'n roll, and during an interview with McGuinn, he says that all Mister Tambourine Man was supposed to be was "Don't Worry Baby" with his Rickenbacker 12 string on top of it. He said they even went so far as to try and book the same players for the session. McGuinn was the only "Byrd" on the session, instrumentally. And the rumor that Glen Campbell played guitar on it isn't true. I saw the contract for the session somewhere. I think it's actually online at one of the Byrds' lyric sites. ec

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marvin said:

I've always heard "Let's Pretend" as being Eric's version of "Don't Worry Baby." There's a similar lyrical theme (except for "DWB"'s car race reference), and even a musical connection, imo.

The music is reminiscent of DWB (espcially obvious with the intro the way it was played on the reunion tour) but the lyrical theme is pure "Wouldn't it Be Nice".

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Eric - McGuinn did manage to get at least several of the "Don't Worry Baby" session players when the Byrds recorded "MTM".

A couple of years ago, I ran into Jerry Cole (of The Spacemen, surf music and Wrecking Crew fame)at a show in Austin. I wasn't sure who he was (he had just sat in with a band and dazzled the crowd with some very insane licks!), but noticed that several people had him sign copies of the Byrds' first album. I introduced myself & we talked for a few minutes.

He said he played on both the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" and "Mr. Tambourine Man"....doing the same staccato licks in the background of each song! He mentioned that Roger (actually, it was Jim McGuinn at the time) got a lot of the same players, and asked them to provide the same feel as "Don't Worry Baby" for "Tambourine Man". I'm not sure who all of the other players were, but if I recall, Larry Knechtel played bass on MTM, and Hal Blaine was the drummer, and Leon Russell was on keyboards. I believe these guys also played on "Don't Worry", per Cole.

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LOL Paulie..

I seem to remember from the clip of Starting Over, EC with a knowing/joking nod to an offscreen bandmate, while mumbling over the F-bomb part of the opening line. (Not sure if it was the aforementioned Don Kirschner show medley.)

I also found the piano intro to "Starting Over" reminiscent of the "Tiny Dancer" piano intro.

Just the observations of a tone-deaf guy.

Great Stuff!

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