ROGER MCGUINN INTERVIEW
(Originally aired on December 4, 2008)
In June 1965, the Byrds released their heretical version of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Though the song shocked folk purists—who had yet to hear Dylan strum electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival — it quickly shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Top 40, and folk-rock was officially born. The vocals and lyrics were captivating, but it was Roger McGuinn's shimmering Rickenbacker electric 12-string that mesmerized listeners. So strong was its spell that even now, when the likes of R.E.M., Tom Petty or Counting Crows pick up an electric 12, they reference McGuinn's ringing arpeggios. More than 40 years after he cut those trademark tones, McGuinn remains the undisputed king of jangle.
In our exclusive interview, McGuinn describes how he discovered electric 12-string and what it was like to record "Mr. Tambourine Man" in 1965.