Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – A Long Time Gone At Woodstock
“Scared Shitless ” is not a phrase I would associate with the heaven sent quartet Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, but if my second performance with my band was at Woodstock, I’m sure I would be able to relate.
The group formed in 1968 after the fracturing of bands The Hollies, The Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield. The initial lineup consisted of only Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the band needed more personnel in order to tour, as Steven Stills was responsible for most of the instrumentals. The trio finally settled with Neil Young.
Their second concert together was none other than Woodstock 1969. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young had played only one previous show together prior to Woodstock, and although each member was an experienced musician, the lack of playing together resulted in the band being incredibly nervous. The set included acoustic performances of songs from the first album released without Young, who came out and played as a duo with Stills. They were announced as their former band Buffalo Springfield, although the actual Buffalo Springfield had since disintegrated.
After their sink or swim induction into the rock and roll world at Woodstock, they followed up with their first release as a quartet titled “Deja Vu ” which topped the charts and produced three hit singles. Soon after, a hasty move by Young to release his single “Ohio ” dissolved the band ‘s relationship and the band began shifting between releases as a trio and a quartet.
As a band, they were never able to recapture the esteem and momentum that they originally possessed. Over the years the band was mainly comprised of different combinations of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, while Young spent most of his time touring with his other backup band Crazy Horse and being at odds with Stephen Stills.
After David Crosby ‘s wild ride with drug and firearm charges, Young rejoined the band briefly and they released the album “American Dream ” in 1988 which did make it to number 16 on the charts, but received poor reviews from critics. Young refused to tour on the album and the band would not tour together again until 2006. Their “Freedom of Speech ” tour was launched in support of Young ‘s album “Living With War ” and included new protest songs as well as songs from Stills’ latent release titled “Man Alive “.
Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young have always been known for their activism as well as their anti-war mentality. Like many other artists involved with Woodstock, they are again emerging as musicians with a voice who vocalize dissatisfaction with the country ‘s current state of affairs. Crosby, Stills, and Nash were most recently on the Colbert Report where they performed their famous song “Teach Your Children ” from the “Deja Vu ” album.
CSNY later went on to record Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock”. The song rose up the charts quickly lead by the vocals of Stephen Stills, and instantly became the most recognizable song about the Woodstock festival.