So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star?

“We happened to be looking through this teen magazine at the time and cracking up over how people turned over in this business. Like next week there’d be another batch of, you know, rock and roll people. And we thought, “Let’s write a satirical song on that”.”Roger McGuinn (385)
“Chris Hillman says it was about The Monkees. I say it wasn’t. And we wrote it together – which shows you how subjective a thing is when you’re writing a song. The way I remember it was we were looking at one of these teen magazines like Tiger Beat that had all these teenage groups in and they come and go and there’d be like a new one every week and we said, That’s kind of funny. Let’s write a song about it. It was just kind of a tongue in cheek thing, like, Here’s your kit, here’s what you need to get a hit. A hit kit, ha ha ha.”Roger McGuinn (618)

Chestnut Mare

“In 1968 I was working with Broadway director Jacques Levy on a country-rock musical based on Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt.” The lead character goes off looking for the truth, and it takes him out to the Wild West in 1840, following this horse. He’s been looking for this horse for a number of weeks, and one day he sees it off in the distance. And this is the song that he sings. It’s part of the play.”Roger McGuinn (386)
“It’s an adaptation of Peer Gynt’s chase of the reindeer, or whatever it was, you know, like through the Netherlands. Well, we changed that into a chestnut mare, instead of a deer, ’cause you tend to find chestnut mares in America. The narrative became American, sort of old time cowboy.”Roger McGuinn (617)

Eight Miles High

“No, not a drug song. It really was about our first trip to England. We went over in 1965 and we were billed as America’s answer to The Beatles and the press tore us apart. Rightfully so, because we weren’t anywhere near as good as The Beatles. So when we came back we wrote ‘Eight Miles High’ about the experience of all this, about the aeroplane flight, about the cultural shock we experienced, the whole thing.”Roger McGuinn (618)


“[When asked how the song about a romance of three came about – Ed]. In the early part of my life, the very early ancient part of my life, way back before I met my wife, wayyyyy before I met my dearly beloved wife, I occasionally used to go out with girls. And somehow it all got mixed up and there were two of them there. Sometimes. I must have got confused, it must have been a side-effect of my medication. “David Crosby (1021)

Draggin’ (A Roger McGuinn Song) 

“Draggin’ is about two airline pilots who are sitting in the coffee shop, bored – because flying these days is a bit of a bore. You just sit there and punch buttons and talk. And say one’s from one company and one’s from another, and they say ‘I’ll betcha a thousand dollars’ – which is a ridiculous, ludicrous figure – ‘that I can beat you from LA to New York.'”Roger McGuinn (619)