“Eve Of Destruction’s” Barry McGuire Will “Trip The 60s” Saturday At Highline Performing Arts Center

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by Bart Bryan and Mark Neuman

Remember these lyrics from the 1960’s?

“The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’”

They’re from the protest tune “Eve of Destruction,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1965.

It was sung by Barry McGuire, and you can see him this Saturday (July 18th) at 2pm at the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien. He’ll appear the night before at the Auburn High Performing Arts Center.

To refresh your memory, or if you’re younger and dig the 60s, here’s a video of Barry singing the hit:


We chatted with Barry for a few minutes the other day, in anticipation of his trip to the Northwest.

“I’ve teamed up with John York, who used to be with the Byrds,” Barry said. “We’re calling the tour ‘Trippin’ the Sixties.’”

He recalled his early influences.

“I loved the Everly Brothers. I loved Richie Valens. I loved Elvis with his rock ‘n’ roll, but when he started doing the romantic songs I wanted to stick my finger down my throat.

“When I started to hear the work of Harry Belafonte and the Kingston Trio, that’s when I bought my first guitar.”

As a young man, Barry worked as a fisherman and a pipefitter before starting a musical career.

“One day I was in a recording studio. We rehearsed Eve of Destruction twice and recorded it once. There was some other band out in the hall waiting to use the studio, so that was all the time we got.”

Within a week the tune, written by P.F. Stone, was receiving heavy radio airplay in Los Angeles.

“Absolutely, tragically Eve of Destruction is more valid now than forty or forty-five years ago,” Barry said.

We asked him to tell us about, among others, his old friend Michael Nesmith.

“Mike’s doing great. He used to be my upstairs neighbor, before he was in the Monkees. One day he came down and pitched me on a song he’d written and asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. I said ‘No.’ It didn’t line up with my spiritual take on reality.”

Nesmith gave the song to the Stone Poneys, who along with their young singer, Linda Ronstadt, recorded and released it. Called “Different Drum,” the song reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.

“Tell your B-Town Blog readers to bring a carload of friends to the show. It’s going to be a footstompin,’ hand clappin’ sing-along romp through the sixties.”

“Come on board the trippin’ train!” Barry says.

Barry McGuire and John York: Trippin’ The 60s:

  • Friday July 17th at 7pm: Auburn High Performing Arts Center, Auburn
  • Saturday July 18th at 2pm: Highline Performing Arts Center (next to Highline High), Burien

For ticket information, call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.

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