The first time I heard of Barry McGuire was when the Screaming Jets covered Eve Of Destruction on a J-files “covers special” back in 1997. That rendition didn’t stir me, but then Richard Kingsmill played the Barry McGuire version and something about the way the harsh message was delivered in that version hit home with me.
I searched out more about this man, I went looking in every record store in Perth (this was pre internet days folks) for anything by him, looking for a recording of that one song. I could never find anything by Barry Mcguire in any record store – lots of record shop owners knew of the man, but no one stocked any of his stuff. Eventually I was forced to order an import CD from 78 Records in Freo: Barry McGuire Anthology. Nowadays I would have been able to research, find and download to my hearts content all in the same hour, but the above process took about 6 weeks until I finally had the CD in my hands!!
Fast forward about 10 years and out of the blue the Gov announces a Barry McQuire show: Trippin the 60’s. Here was the man I had searched so far to find any recordings of, coming to Australia to play a show in my town and no doubt the song that had made him famous!! I jumped at the chance to shoot it!
But I was to be caught out by this gig as it was an unadvertised early starter. Maybe it was the older crowd? Maybe it was the two-sets including intermission style of the show? Maybe it was the fact it was advertised as a “seated gig”? Maybe it was due to it being mid week? Either way, I got to the Gov at the usual time for a show only to find the man was halfway through the first set. And having opened with Eve Of Destruction, I had missed the only chance in my life I would have to witness the song live!! Arghhh!! I was kicking myself!! Damn!!
The rest of the show went by rather quickly, and to be honest, a lot of it was lost on me, as I am by no means a child of the 60’s. Most of the songs I had not heard before, but I did enjoy Barry’s stories of drunken and drugged up times. All told, I got some great pics, but missing Eve Of Destruction bummed me out.