by Robert Wilkinson
Today is David Crosby’s 73rd birthday!
There are few people who have not heard David Crosby’s work, whether with the Byrds, with Crosby, Stills, Nash, (and occasionally) Young, or CPR, his band with his son James Raymond. David Crosby (August 14, 1941) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice for his work with the Byrds and CSN&Y. According to wiki, David was mainly responsible for the soaring harmonies and often unusual phrasing on the Byrds’ songs. Here I’ll note that when Roger McGuinn disinvited our birthday boy from further participation in the Byrds, the world was blessed with the birth of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young!
I had the pleasure of seeing CSN in Albuquerque in August 2012, and they were awesome! Though they are now old men compared to how young they were at Woodstock, they still put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, and the thousands there with us roared over and over and over. The 60s may have left the building a long time ago, but the flame still burns in the hearts of millions, if that night was any indication.
All three have been playing professionally for over 50 years. They’ve been a team for the last 45, and though Stills and Crosby have had their share of medical problems, they still rock!
We start with some great live footage of the Byrds and their unique harmonies courtesy of our birthday boy! He seems to be the one that pulls it all together when he comes into the harmonies.
Here’s an obviously live 11 minute video performance by the original 5 Byrds in 1965. This is classic footage! The Byrds Live – “Turn Turn Turn,” “The Bells of Rhymney,” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
From Oct 1965, David and the original Byrds in a great live performance on Hullabaloo with THOSE harmonies of the iconic Bob Dylan tune “The Times They Are A-Changin’”
From the same era, here are the Byrds in some great live harmonies performing the Bob Dylan classic, “Chimes of Freedom”
Live on Hullabaloo in 1965, the Byrds performing “Feel A Whole Lot Better”
The Byrds live in 1967 lip synching the very psychedelic “Eight Miles High”
The Byrds audio-only live at Monterrey performing “Have You Seen Her Face”
From Shivaree, the Byrds’ first tv appearance lip synching their first gi-normous mega hit, “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Here’s the original Byrds’ studio version of the great Pete Seeger tune, taken from the Book of Ecclesiastes, ”Turn, Turn, Turn”
At the 1990 Showtime special tribute to Roy the Boy, here is a rare clip! It’s David, Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, and Bob Dylan doing a spectacular live performance of Bob’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Back to the legendary performance that launched CSN&Y! Last year I found the entire audio only set that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young played at Woodstock in 1969. This year we have to settle for three on video plus an audio!
Here’s an entire 24 minute audio-only set of Crosby, Stills, and Nash at Woodstock 1969
Here’s another audio-only clip from their Woodstock set, “Sea of Madness”
From the Forum in LA and the Fillmore East over 3 concerts in the Summer of 1970, a great 2 hour audio-only live show from back in the day! “Another Four Way Street”
Here’s David in a live solo acoustic video done in Milan in 1992 in 6 minutes of “Almost Cut My Hair”
Now to CSN and occasionally Y. This first batch of tunes were all written by David Crosby during his CS&N tenure, so enjoy these great live performances!
From the first Crosby, Stills, and Nash album, “Guinevere”
From 2011 in Long Beach, David and Graham Nash in a live performance of “Long Time Gone”
From Vancouver Island in 2011, David with James Raymond, Steve Postell, Vonda Shepard, Leland Sklar & Steve Holley performing "Long Time Gone."
Live in Houston in 1977, the legendary tune he wrote with Stills and the great Paul Kantner, “Wooden Ships”
A live acoustic performance in 1991 gives us a great version of “Déjà Vu”
Here’s a performance bootlegged from Rome 2010 with a very electric almost jazzed out version of “Déjà Vu.” This is similar to the arrangement they did when I saw them in 2012.
In this clip, they look almost exactly as they did in 2012. From Madison Square Gardens in 2009, “Almost Cut My Hair”
Here are more fantastic CS&N live performances. While these tunes weren’t written by David, they’re still Crosby, Stills, and Nash at their best!
The song that blew the doors down and let the world know a new style of music had arrived! “Suite Judy Blue Eyes”
From very early in their career, a live acoustic performance of one of their most loved tunes, the immortal “Teach Your Children”
From Graham's mid-60s trip to Morocco where he states he went in search of the big one and found (and smoked) it! “Marrakesh Express”
Another early clip of some incredible harmonies! “Helplessly Hoping”
From the 2009 Madison Square Garden concert, the iconic Joni Mitchell song from their second album, “Woodstock”
From 1974, with Neil Young, a great audio-only version of “Our House”
The amazing Stephen Stills' tune, "Find The Cost of Freedom"
They did this when I saw them, and it's just as powerful as it was years ago! Written by Graham Nash in response to an Amerikan gross miscarriage of justice, the rallying cry of "Chicago."
The very beautiful "Wasted On The Way"
Here’s a great live video of CSN&Y of “Immigration Man”
Live on Jools Holland in 2006, here’s David and Graham live giving us “Immigration Man”
For your enjoyment, a live one hour 26 minute video concert! Crosby, Stills, and Nash – the Acoustic Concert
I’ll digress a little with this these next two gems. First, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young live at the Fillmore East in the Summer of 1970 doing fabulous acoustic versions of a great Beatle tune along with Neil’s Buffalo Springfield classic ”Blackbird” and “On The Way Home.”
Then from Toronto in 2000, we have the 4 together doing an extremely electric version of “Ohio”
(If you don’t know the importance of this song, please reference A Day of Infamy 44 Years Ago Today)
We’ll close this celebration of joyous music with a long set from “Unplugged” in 1990. I saw them in Austin on this tour, and they really were fantastic! For your enjoyment, the joyous harmonies of one of the best groups ever to sing a note. And if you find yourselves smiling or tapping your foot, you’re in the company of millions!!
From Wembley 1974, David’s signature tune from back in the day! It’s CSN&Y in an audio-only live performance of “Almost Cut My Hair”
For our first encore, here’s the band with 1969 video footage put on top of a 1974 live show! Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young live in 1974
Live on television in 1970, here’s CSN&Y live giving us Neil’s “Down By The River”
And for our last encore, here’s an entire one hour concert featuring Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young live at Winterland! Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young Live At Winterland 1973
Spreading a huge vibe of peace and love 45 years after the end of the 60s is a great way to live, and an awesome legacy to leave the world. As your occasional bandmate is known to sing, “Long May You Run.” You are loved by millions!
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson
ps - A heartfelt merry birthday also goes out to my old friend and Spiritual Sister Jacquie Small. Founder of Eupsychia, she is the author of many globally known transformational works of our era, including "Transformers, the Artists of Self-Creation," "Awakening in Time," "Embodying Spirit," and too many more to list here. She is a woman of immense heart and integrity, and I am happy to be able to introduce our community to her and her work. A huge happy goes out to this Lightworker of our times and my dear friend of 40 years!