This natural aloofness was compounded by the large amounts of marijuana that the band smoked and often resulted in moody and erratic live performances. Indeed, the contemporary music press was extremely critical of the Byrds' abilities as a live act during the mid-1960s, with the reaction from the British media during the band's August 1965 tour of England being particularly scathing.
This 1965 English tour was largely orchestrated by the group's publicist Derek Taylor, in an attempt to capitalize on the number 1 chart success of the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single. Unfortunately, the tour was overhyped from the start, with the band being touted as "America's answer to the Beatles", a label that proved impossible for the Byrds to live up to. During concert performances, a combination of poor sound, group illness, ragged musicianship, and the band's notoriously lackluster stage presence, all combined to alienate audiences and served to provoke a merciless castigating of the band in the British press.
However, the tour did enable the band to meet and socialize with a number of top English groups, including the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. In particular, the band's relationship with the Beatles would prove important for both acts, with the two groups again meeting in Los Angeles some weeks later, upon the Byrds' return to America. During this period of fraternization, the Beatles were vocal in their support of the Byrds, publicly acknowledging them as creative competitors and naming them as their favorite American group.