The only band member who remains synonymous with the Byrds is front man Roger McGuinn. The person closest to him, who witnessed the band's rise, glittering heyday, and tumultuous clash of wills-artistic and personal within the group-was his wife, Ianthe. Sharing tales of the Byrds' rise to fame from her unique vantage point as the only woman consistently involved with and at the center of the drama and success of the Byrds, Ianthe tells the story of the exploding rock music scene in 1960s Los Angeles. In the Wings is also Ianthe's memoir of being a young and beautiful Latina from Tucson getting a crash course in love, loss, sex and drugs, marriage, and motherhood while being immersed in the aureate and vagaries of celebrity. And of course, it is the love story of Ianthe and Roger, how that love was destroyed, and how she survived to find herself. The Byrds' worldwide hit songs from the 1960s, "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Turn! Turn! Turn!," and "Eight Miles High," are iconic. Today, the group is considered by rock critics one of the most influential bands of the 1960s. The Beatles called them their favorite contemporary American group.Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the Byrds one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in1991.
Ianthe McGuinn was born Dolores Deleon in Ray, Arizona in 1942. (She changed her name to Ianthe shortly after her husband Jim McGuinn changed his middle name to Roger as they became followers of Subud.) After spending a childhood with her resilient and hard-working mother (she's profiled in Songs My Mother Sang to Me, an oral history by Patricia Martin), she became involved with the 1960s folk music scene in Hollywood, California. During this experience, she met and later married Roger (aka Jim) McGuinn, who was on the threshold of fame and success as the founding member of his rock music group, the Byrds. After divorce and raising two young sons as a single mom, she later remarried and completed a nursing degree in her hometown of Tucson, where she currently writes stories and poetry.