According to Roger McGuinn, who sang lead and played the lead electric 12-string guitar, he was stopped at a traffic light in LA when Dickson pulled up alongside him and motioned for McGuinn to roll down his window. He did and Dickson yelled, “Hey, you ought to record Dylan’s ‘My Back Pages.’” McGuinn thanked him, the light changed, and he drove home to learn the song.
Not all of The Byrds, now a quartet since Gene Clark had left, were enthused by the idea of doing another cover – this was a perennial complaint of David Crosby who felt that stylistically they were regressing. It is interesting to note that Crosby’s longtime singing partner, Graham Nash, would leave The Hollies because of their band’s decision to record the album, “Hollies Sing Dylan” – an album that also featured “My Back Pages.”
The song’s most famous line, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now” was the inspiration for the band’s fourth LP: “Younger than Yesterday.”