Things started out triumphantly enough in the early 60s, with Gene being plucked from complete obscurity in Kansas by the New Christy Minstrels to be in their group. He toured with them for a few months before his fear of flying, among other things, forced him to quit the band. He kept Los Angeles as his home base and soon met Roger McGuinn and David Crosby and they began creating music together. Soon, The Byrds were the biggest American band in the middle of the 60s and they were creating the kind of songs that will be remembered forever.
Clark's time in The Byrds was truly the stuff that dreams are made of. He was a star literally overnight, able to buy a Ferrari and live on the edge. He became used to the amount of attention being a super star and the toast of the nation brought him.
Gene was the main songwriter in The Byrds at that time, with songs like "My Love Don't Care About Time" and "Feel A Whole Lot Better," which meant that he was earning the most money. The others in the band jealously undermined him, especially David Crosby, who convinced an insecure Gene that he was such a poor guitar player that he shouldn't play on stage anymore. Crosby told Gene he should sing and shake the tambourine instead. Of course, Crosby took over Gene's Gretsch on stage. The many power plays within the group eventually led to Gene quitting the band.