Crosby, Stills & Nash: Five Things You Didn't Know
Almost 44 years have passed since heralded musicians David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash took the stage together for one of their first gigs, three days of '60s-defining madness, Woodstock. These rock idols have proven surprisingly durable; their 2012 80-date international tour received rave reviews from critics across the board. They're still here, even considering all the health scares, like guitarist and vocalist Stills surviving prostate cancer in '07; rocker excess woes, including rhythm guitarist and vocalist Crosby's devastating drug addiction, subsequent prison time, and liver transplant; and the famous squabbling that has permeated their careers.
Not only was the legendary trio inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 but — get this — each of the members' prior bands has also received the nod. Crosby was inducted as part of the Byrds, Stills as part of folk-rock architects Buffalo Springfield, and Nash for his role in British-invasion act the Hollies.
If you are a fan of this cornerstone of classic rock, you probably already knew these factoids. Good job, smarty pants! Still, given Crosby, Stills & Nash's place in the pantheon of rock music, isn't it good to know all the specifics? Perhaps one slipped by you, eh?
In honor of the seminal group's performance at the Seminole (unintentional pun, we swear) Hard Rock on May 10, we culled five little-known facts about the renowned band. There is a local tie, a few celebrity interactions, and some hard-core Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young band geek stuff too.
5. Guitarist Stephen Stills is one of a select few who performed at all three of the '60s' most momentous festivals — Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and the Altamont Speedway Free Festival. So Stills, in essence, witnessed the rise (performing in Buffalo Springfield at the Monterey Pop Festival in '67), the climax (Woodstock with CSN), and the tragic demise (the violent Altamont festival in '69) of the peace and love movement.
4. CSN auditioned and was rejected by the Beatles' Apple Records prior to signing a contract with Atlantic Records. Whoever made that decision must still be kicking himself. Granted, Apple was probably doing well financially at the time, but CSN's eponymous debut album charted at number six on Billboard, went multiplatinum, subsequently landed the three-piece a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1970, and is considered one of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" by Rolling Stone. It certainly wouldn't have hurt the label to have that record and the next, Déjà Vu, the album that included the ingenious Neil Young.
3. CSN attempted to make a covers album with famed producer Rick Rubin and scrapped the project. Stephen Stills described the studio sessions as "contentious" in several interviews; reportedly, Crosby and Rubin did not see eye-to-eye on which Beatles' songs to cover, and a rift grew over that. They did manage to record the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" and the Who's "Behind Blue Eyes," but there is still no release date for the album, titled Songs We Wish We'd Written.
2. Crosby, Stills & Nash's apocalyptic number "Wooden Ships" was written in Fort Lauderdale, on Crosby's boat. Jefferson Airplane's rhythm guitarist, Paul Kantner, cowrote the dark ditty with the singer. Due to legal reasons, Kantner was not given songwriting credits initially but was later granted a mention in the liner notes when the self-titled debut was rereleased in 2006. The song also appears on Jefferson Airplane's '69 Vietnam protest record Volunteers.
1. Deceased Saturday Night Live funny man Phil Hartman designed the official logo for Crosby, Stills & Nash that it used from the mid-1970s until the 1980s. Before becoming a stellar comedian, Hartman was a successful graphic designer, creating more than 40 album covers. For the CSN logo, Hartman went with a design that entwined the group members' last initials.
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