China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Black Peter, Me & My Uncle, Cold Rain & Snow, Mama Tried > High Time, Easy Wind, Dire Wolf, Casey Jones*, Good Morning Little School Girl*, Morning Dew*, Black Queen* > Turn On Your Love Light*, Cryptical Envelopment > Drums > The Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > Cosmic Charlie
*Stephen Stills on guitar and vocals
Dig it! From SuperShow (1969).
Bob Lefsetz on Stephen Stills:
The two biggest releases for Christmas 1970 were George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and “Stephen Stills”. That’s how big the southern balladeer was back then, a superstar. Over time he squandered his capital. Oh, he came back eventually, in 1977, with a CSN reunion. But it’s funny how Neil Young is seen as a legendary iconoclast, and Stephen Stills has almost been forgotten.
They don’t come any more difficult than Neil Young. But somehow Stephen Stills is seen as the asshole. Even though it was Neil who canceled their joint tour in ‘76 with a telegram.
Sure, Neil’s gone on to reinvent himself a number of times. And for this he gets, and deserves, our respect. But that doesn’t mean Stephen has to be forgotten. Playing “Just Roll Tape” will illustrate why he should be remembered.
You’ll dial it up to hear demo takes of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Wooden Ships”, but it’s the opening track, the almost unheard “All I Know Is What You Tell Me”, that will make an impression. It’s like discovering a Dead Sea Scroll. That exact magic that riveted you so three and a half decades ago, you’re still susceptible, you still desire another hit. (more…)
Here’s a cool article from almost 34 years ago. Originally published in Sounds Magazine, Stills discusses CSN, Manassas, superstardom, cocaine, etc. Good read.
THE KANSAS City Holiday Inn is not the kind of place you would want to call home. Situated right off an interstate highway, the rooms provide a scenic overview of 24 hour traffic. Two weeks ago, a rather unfortunate customer got stabbed on the first floor, forcing the management to increase their rent-a-cop security force. This act of violence, however, has done little to discourage Summer time business. (more…)
If you follow the site, you’ve probably noticed a lot of Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young) lately, specifically Stills. Well, we are going to be seeing them in a couple of weeks and I am beyond excited for the show. I think the band’s work over the past 40 years puts them in the living legends category. They were actually the first band to book and tour a true stadium tour, back in ’74. On a personal note, we had the band at our wedding learn and play Stills’ “How Far” (off of his Manassas album) at our wedding reception, so it has some sentimental significance to us. Anyway, here’s a cool little story about a gift from a fan that the artist actually liked and a nice tip of the hat to Steve. Suite Lorraine:
After buying my ticket online to the Pittsburgh CSNY concert a couple months ago, I was perusing a sewing website and noticed a material with tan and brown giraffes on a black background. Stephen Stills popped into my head. The Still Small Voice said, “Stephen would like that.” I bought five yards of it without knowing why. (more…)
“Music has always been the most enduring part of my life. I’ve never been without it. And I’ve never lost the fire for it.“
I was listening to Stephen Stills’ amazing “Just Roll Tape” and was was totally digging on that version of “Treetop Flyer”. Love this song and cannot recommend that album enough. This version is approximately 15 years after the “Just Roll Tape” session, but is bad ass nonetheless.
One of the greatest unheralded bands of all time, the Stephen Stills lead, Manassas. Made up of former members of The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds, Clear Light and Blues Image, they were bad ass. Their epic 1972 release ranks amongst my personal favorites.
One of our favorite musicians of all time, Stephen Stills, turns 63 today. I must highly recommend that if you do not own a copy of his recording from 1972, Manassas, get it..fast. Here’s a song from the aforementioned album, “It Doesn’t Matter”:
Stephen Stills auditioned for The Monkees television show in 1965. “He didn’t make it”, remarked Captain Obvious.
Neil Young’s tries his hat once again as film director (credited as Bernard Shakey), in the 2008 release, Deja Vu, which documents CSN&Y’s 2006 tour.
Review from the Sundance Film Festival: In 2006, rock ‘n roll icons Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young played a “Freedom of Speech” tour to protest the war in Iraq. The band that wrote Ohio, one of the most famous protest songs of the Vietnam era, decided that the country needed a wake-up call, some of the same spirit of protest and activism that once shook national policy and changed our nation forever. CSNY Déjà Vu is a documentary based on this tour.
Being a rock star must be the ideal profession because you get all the girls when you’re young and somehow you’re never too old. David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young were an average of 62 years of age on the tour, but still audiences gave them license to “get down” on the stage, and generally applauded wildly with love and admiration. But don’t expect the typical fawning fans of a concert movie. This is all about the tour, about why they hit the road, what they believe, and how fans, concertgoers and the American public reacted.
Writer and ringleader Neil Young deserves tremendous credit for being candid and revealing. He quotes the glowing press reports of course, but also the negative ones and even the stinging mockery. He also shows both sides of the audience reaction, with the most antagonistic occurring in the southern (red) states, where many fans walked out of the concerts in disgust, coming for the music without realizing they were in for incessant politicizing, including a song entitled “Let’s Impeach the President.” And he even shows Stephen Stills falling off the stage, looking every bit like the fat old man that he has become. (Only Graham Nash really looks good. David Crosby looks like your uncle. And Neil Young just looks a little craggy, until he takes his hat off. Then he looks like his age as well.) It is fun and nostalgic to see the old footage interspersed, and to follow the band as they meet people, and introduce those that affected or were affected by the experience. CSNY Deja Vu is not a great movie by any means. There’s not enough music to make it a concert film, and not enough action to pick up the slack. But there is nevertheless something admirable, even touching, about their breed of 60′s style activism, their belief that people are dying needlessly, and their genuine heartfelt desire to make a difference. As they repeatedly demonstrated, they have profound respect for the servicemen overseas, but don’t see continuing the war as the best answer. Agree or not, it strikes me as the sincerest form of patriotism.
Sundance Moment Someone in the Q&A said that he had lost a brother in Iraq, and told Neil Young that “you have no idea what you’re talking about.” It was a tense moment in the very liberal Sundance crowd. I’m guessing that Young has dealt with this kind of thing dozens of times on the tour, and he chose to handle it by, essentially, backing down. “I think you’re right,” he said. “We’re just trying to get people to talk about it.” Well, that might be an easy answer, but I’m not sure it’s honest. A song like “Let’s Impeach the President” is something more than an invitation for dialogue, it’s a political statement of the strongest kind. I respect the band’s sincerity, but was disappointed they were something less than forthright when challenged.
I am so, so excited. I’m a fan of Johnny Cash’s American Recordings, which Rick produced (and yes, I’m on a first-name basis with good ole’ Rick), so I expect great things!
Graham Nash said, “Rick Rubin’s a brilliant man, and what he wants is an album with no CSN songs. He wants to do an album of all the songs we love, all the songs we wish we’ve written.”
How cool would this be? You’re going through your stuff and you just happen to stumble upon a full recording session of yourself and Jimi Hendrix from 38 years ago. Well, that’s what happened to Stephen Stills.
The unreleased album was reportedly discovered in a stack of material at Stills’ house. It seems Stills used to record every session in those days and simply forgot about the existence of the tapes.
Stills’ friend Graham Nash is understood to be cleaning up the tapes and preparing the album for an official release.
John McDermott, one of the archivists and overseers of Jimi Hendrix’s recordings, has also reportedly confirmed that the Hendrix/Stills album is being readied for release. It will feature sessions which Stills recorded with Hendrix in 1969 and 1970, he said
Stephen Stills was a close friend of Jimi Hendrix and previous sessions involving the two guitarists have emerged before – notably the Stills’ Basement bootlegs. But the authenticity of some of those tracks has been questioned. One track featuring Hendrix on guitar – ‘Old Times, Good Times’ – appeared on Stills’ eponymous first solo album in 1970.
When Hendrix was forming his trio The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966, his manager Chas Chandler reputedly contacted Stills’ manager to invite Stills to become the group’s bass player. But Stills’ manager was concerned that Stills’ friendship with Hendrix, and his admiration for Hendrix’s genius, might prompt him to take the job rather than continue with Buffalo Springfield. So he didn’t pass the message on.
I have often wondered why this Stephen Stills album doesn’t rank on more critics “best-of” lists. To me, Manassas was one of the ten best albums of the 1970′s. Are you looking for an album that incorporates rock, county, blues and folk music? Well, Manassas might just be what you’re looking for.
Enjoy the following cut from 1972..