Nine Questions

Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn is best known as a founding member of the influential '60s band The Byrds. Now 69 and living in Florida, McGuinn has a mission of keeping the folk music tradition alive—see his Folk Den project ( for free MP3s and lyrics. He just released a new album, CCD, a collection of traditional sea chanteys. While in Tucson for the 101st birthday of his mother, he'll play a solo concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 30, at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress Ft. Proceeds will benefit the Tucson Folk Festival. Tickets range from $25 to $70. Call 547-3040 for information.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

(Folk pioneer) Bob Gibson came to my high school in Chicago and performed an amazing solo concert.

What are you listening to these days?

(NYC radio station) 1010 WINS. It is fun to ride my bicycle around Orlando and to hear about all the traffic in New York City.

What was the first album you owned?

It was a recording of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade on red vinyl. I had built a stereo in 1955 from Heathkit parts, and it was one of the only stereo albums available at the store.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

The macarena.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Elvis Presley in 1956.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

My wife Camilla, who plays classical guitar; she and I write together. And I like Lady Gaga.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

No funeral ... just a party for friends.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Elvis Presley. I heard him on my transistor radio while riding my bicycle around Chicago. His sound made me want to get a guitar.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

A.L. Lloyd and Ewan MacColl, Thar She Blows! Whaling Ballads and Songs (1957). It was the first album that got me into sea chanteys. It's out of print, but I recently found an old hard drive in a drawer with it on a WAV file.

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