Rare CSN Rock Lore
Five things you may not know about one of music’s most famous super-groups, Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Die hards have been appearing in large numbers nationwide throughout Crosby, Stills & Nash’s summer/fall tour – which wraps up in October with a four-night run at New York City’s renowned Beacon Theatre. From Seattle to Chicago to Houston to Phoenix, the aging hippies have consistently drawn sold-out crowds. Carmel will be no different. Wednesday night’s show at the Sunset Center – benefiting the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery – sold out in six minutes. It makes sense, though. How many more opportunities will there be to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers – and unofficial spokespeople of a generation – perform, together, their timeless classics like “Teach Your Children,” “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Wooden Ships”? Hiccups over the past 40-plus years remind fans not to take such shows for granted: CSN has endured indefinite hiatuses, multiple configurations, contractual conflicts, drugs galore and a liver transplant. But even as lifelong fans emerge from every crack and corner, there remain things the most enthusiastic CSN aficionado may not know. Here’s a sample:
1. According to Dave Zimmer’s Crosby, Stills & Nash: The Biography, there’s a multi-decade debate between all three members regarding the site of their first collaboration. Nash and Crosby believe it all went down in Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon living room, while Stills thinks the spontaneous harmonization session occurred in “Mama” Cass Elliot’s kitchen. The one thing they can all agree on about that magical day back in the late-60s: The first song they sang together was Stills’ “You Don’t Have to Cry,” which ended up on their masterful debut Crosby, Stills & Nash.
2. In Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s entire catalog, there’s only one tune that all four wrote together: “Little Blind Fish.” The jam was originally recorded in 1974 at Broken Arrow Studio but wasn’t released until 1998 by the short-lived Crosby, Pevar and Raymond.
3. Jefferson Airplane co-founder Paul Kantner co-wrote one of CSN’s biggest hits, “Wooden Ships,” with Stills and Crosby. Kantner wasn’t credited on the album for his involvement on the psychedelia-meets-sci-fi jam, due to legal issues. That same year, Jefferson Airplane released its own version of the song on Volunteers, which has a slightly different melody and wording.
4. CSN failed its audition for a recording contract with The Beatles’ Apple Records label before signing a long-term contract with Atlantic. Though Apple Records was probably never very hard up for cash, they would’ve enjoyed a bump as both CSN’s debut and follow-up Déjà Vu (with Neil Young) garnered several Top 40 Hits and millions in sales.
5. Late, great comedian/Saturday Night Live cast member/Simpsons contributor Phil Hartman designed the CSN logo used from the mid-’70s through the ’80s featuring intertwined initials.
CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH perform 7:30pm Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Sunset Center, San Carlos Street at Ninth, Carmel. Sold out. 620-2048, www.sunsetcenter.org