THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 18 february 2006

THE BYRDS AT THE BOSTON TEA PARTY

February 22nd, 1969

 A story by Hezekia

Here is the story behind the ‘Byrds Boston Tea Party Tape’. I was in touch with a few folks at WBCN around 1978. I frequented the station regularly and was given tapes to copy in return for any rare tapes I had. It was 90% (WBCN)/10% (me) as they were very picky about what they wanted and would often ask me if I had permission from the artist (oh sure). So…though they copied a few of my reels…I’m sure folks/DJ’s just took them home. So one day I am given (2) 10 ½” reels of BASF tape marked ‘Byrds Tea Party’. My jaw just about dropped. I had only two songs from this performance (from WBCN Rare Tape Nights) and now I had the entire show! As I walked away with these tapes I quickly realized there was tape running out of one box into the other. Once home I unpacked the reels carefully and soon found that the reels had never been rewound. So I rewound one reel on to the other by hand. What a disaster. The tape was creased many times, it was flipped over…edge issues from not being wound properly, and it was stretched in a few places.. ect. [Someone had taken the tape and made loops to identify beginning and end of songs. I was told the DJs often used this original tape when requested for ‘Jesus is Just Alright’. They seemed to always use the version from the 2nd set which didn’t help the ‘8 Miles High Jam’.] Anyways… I couldn’t fully rewind the tape as there was too much tape on either reel. I looked for a splice and broke the tape there. During playback of the second reel I found that someone had spliced the Byrds Tea Party show with the Colosseum Tea Party set!?!? Probably so they didn’t need to use a valuable ‘take-up reel’. So now I had another Tea Party show!! Both reels were rewound slowly several times to make sure they were consistent. I soon found out that the Colosseum reel of tape was badly torn! Once I was comfortable with the results I made my copies. It was the best I could do as I was only allowed to keep tapes for a few days. My copies were done on Maxell UD 35-90 7” reels @ 7ips. There was NO noise reduction used. The BASF reels were recorded ½ track at 7ips. The speed change during 8 miles high is due to the length of tape that was between the two boxes (it was stretched in a few places). There are a few more speed changes through out. "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" has a break before it. I am assuming someone tried to fit more of the 2nd set on the reel? “Fido” is cut as I assume the Original Reel ran out. Once I gave the tapes back to WBCN, they decided to broadcast the sets. However, they didn’t like the speed changes in 8 miles high. So for the broadcasts they edited the sets into one large set. This quickly made the trading/bootleg rounds but was missing some songs. This is why there were FM versions floating around.
According to folks at WBCN and those in the Boston Area, the Byrds show up at WBCN around midnight with the tapes and began playing back parts of the sets from that night. The folks at WBCN ask if the station can keep the tapes over night in order to make a copy. They agree and a copy is made. I believe the copy was done rather poorly as there is some overlapping of audience noise during a few songs. Maybe someone did it during the day over a period of time. Anyways, this is how the show came to be………Hezekiahx2

 

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