Lefsetz on Stills
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…)