The Byrd Who Flew Alone: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Gene Clark
Between leaving the Byrds in 1966 and leaving the planet in 1991, Gene Clark created a relatively small but consistently brilliant body of brooding, poetic, baroque country-rock that should have established him as a solo star and major creative force. Instead, he mostly languished in commercial obscurity thanks to disastrous professional and personal choices, and suffered a long decline that ended with his alcohol-and-drug-hastened death at 46. Despite budget limitations, Jack and Paul Kendall's labor-of-love doc does an admirable job of connecting the dots of Clark's heartbreaking story and untangling his enigmatic personality while making a convincing case for his singular songwriting genius. With little performance footage to draw upon, the Kendalls make good use of interviews with Clark's family, former Byrds, and other key colleagues, most of whom speak of the fallen artist with a mixture of admiration and sorrowful resignation. The result is a gripping character study that leaves the viewer aching over the premature loss and unrealized potential of a world-class talent. Available on DVD from the filmmakers at www.foursunsproductions.com.