Roger McGuinn and The Headlights

11 May 1991

Boulder Theatre, Boulder, CO


I picked up a couple of my Cheyenne Mountain co-workers, and took a nice, sunny Saturday drive up to Boulder, Colorado. The Pearl Street Mall is invariably a keen spot for people-watching. After some excellent mexican food, we strolled a couple hops over to the Boulder Theatre, securing three seats together in the upper balcony.

The Florida-based Headlights opened the show with their own set, and, after a break, acted as the backing band for Roger McGuinn himself. Roger opened with the first three songs off of his January release, Back From Rio; His current hit, "Someone To Love" was first. He introduced his second song by saying, "Here's a song about people talking on their car phone called 'Car Phone'". Next was his version of Elvis Costello's "You Bowed Down", who many suspect was written about McGuinn's ex-bandmate, Gene Clark, though Roger was quick to point out in its introduction, with some artificial naivety, "I'm not sure who it's about."

Having not released any albums between 1980 and 1991, McGuinn had to dig into the vault for much of the evening's set. This digging included a version of "Tiffany Queen" with some re-wording to make the lyrics more palatable with the politically correct drug-free 1990s. Promoting his current album, Roger performed his pledge for the rain forest, "The Trees Are All Gone", the Tom Petty collaboration "King Of The Hill", and "The Time Has Come", merged successfully with "Your Love Is A Goldmine", as it is on the album.

Playing on mostly on signature model Mapleglo Rickenbacher 370 twelve-string guitars, Roger, of course, performed several Byrds classics: "Feel A Whole Lot Better", "Mr. Spaceman", "5D", "So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star", "Eight Miles High", "Turn! Turn! Turn!", and "Mr. Tambourine Man".

Roger stepped back for an encore of Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". At age 49, Roger looks and sounds as modern as many of today's generation of college bands. And, Roger continues to remind us that he is truly one of the few real musical geniuses who survived the 1960s.

[*****] - Steven T.

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