As a co-founder of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, Chris Hillman is arguably the primary architect of what's come to be known as country rock. Featuring behind-the-scenes insights on his time in The Byrds, his productive but sometimes complicated relationship with Gram Parsons, his role in launching the careers of Buffalo Springfield and Emmylou Harris, and the ups and downs of life in various bands, music is only part of his story. Within the pages of Time Between, Hillman reveals the details of his personal life with candor and vulnerability, writing honestly about the shocking tragedy that struck his family when he was a teenager, his subsequent struggles with anger, and how his spiritual journey led him to a place of deep faith that allowed him to extend forgiveness and experience wholeness.
The cutthroat mentality of a band on the make is tactfully told. Mr. Hillman, a longtime Christian who understands that it’s all about motes and beams, is as discreet about other people’s bad choices as he is about his own, and Time Between gives him a chance to reflect, make amends and give thanks. Those wanting gorier details of Mr. Crosby’s shenanigans, Mr. Stills’s control-freakery or Parsons’s drug abuse should look elsewhere ... The final chapters—award ceremonies, tribute events—read a little like fleshed-out, chronological Wikipedia entries ... but elsewhere his straightforwardness serves him well. Who doesn’t trust a man who refers to his own contributions to a Byrds reunion album as 'lower-echelon mediocrity'? And what could be better than being dropped from a record company because one’s 'pugilistic tendencies and general attitude are no longer welcome'? Perhaps Mr. Hillman took Capitol Records’ accusation to heart; this charming memoir displays neither.
In a memoir refreshingly devoid of either bragging or score-settling, the author reminds us about his significant contributions as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and he offers a straightforward perspective on tumultuous times ... He does both in a manner that is never flashy but always steady. A cleareyed, evenhanded tale from a pivotal figure in the development of country rock.
Hillman, a founding member of the Byrds, shares his passion for making music in this poignant but underwhelming memoir ... The narrative trudges dutifully from one phase of his life to the next ... Readers looking for gossip or an inside scoop may be disappointed, as the narrative is a broad chronological overview without any dramatic reveals. Though Hillman’s fans will love his book, this memoir’s appeal will not extend far outside of that circle.