Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 7 May 04 16:30
Thanks for the kind words, Jack. I'm so glad the pieces in the book provided warm flash-backs for you. And yes, it is encouraging that "satisfactory lives and family relationships" can not only be salvaged but savored amidst "the terribly psychologically destructive world of rock-superstardom." Re: #24 (it was Willie Mays' birthday May 6) <The one you mention I think could be divined by the modern reader> You're right, of course. <but there were some really obscure ones. I'm at work now :-)so later at home I will try to dig out some of the stuff> That would be great. Thanks. I'll try to find some as well. I just got home from my "day job" and must attend to dinner with the family for a bit.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 7 May 04 16:36
My friend Steve! My message slipped in micro-seconds before yours. Thanks for coming to the topic on Day One, for your warm words and the link to your excellent interview! I will ponder the 10 CSNY family songs I would choose for a bit while I attend to family food demands. Back soon ..
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 7 May 04 18:37
OK, back in the saddle here after an Italian style dinner and a few swallows of Merlot (good for the cholesterol count). Now on to Steve's request ... <<If planet Earth was about to be sucked into a black hole, which ten songs, by any member of CSNY, solo or together, from any era, would you choose to save, and why?>> Totally off the top of my head, following my inner compass of the moment ... here goes, in no particular order ... "The Lee Shore" (Crosby, the 4 Way Street version, recorded live in 1970, released in 1971) (for the C&N harmony, rolling, tide-like Martin acoustic guitar picking pattern, and the wonderful, painterly images such as "sunset smells of dinner ...") "Wooden Ships" (Crosby/Stills/Kantner, the first CSN album version, 1969) (for the whole package ... melody, harmonies, guitars ... even though Croz has admitted the "fantasy" of sailing away is not the answer, the song never fails to provide comfort and warm chills) "Another Sleep Song" (Nash, the Wild Tales version) (for the realness of the take, the sentiments that I agree with, Joni's breahthy harmonies and Lindley's guitar) "Danger Bird" (Young, the Zuma version, 1975) (for how the sensation of madness is captured vividly in every way imaginable, from the broken shards of Neil's Les Paul guitar rhythm, the chilling second guitar solo and the best "shakey" vocals of all-time throughout) "Cold, Cold World" (Stills, the Stills albumm version, 1975) (for the vulnerability of the vocals and lyrics, and the spine-zinging electric guitar) "Taken at All" (Nash/Crosby, the CSN box set version, 1976)(for capturing my fantasy of CSNY together in one room with two acoustic guitars, flowing harmony, crackling acoustic runs and words that capture real feelings I can relate to) "At the Edge" (Crosby, CPR Live at the Wiltern version, 1998)(for moving me to tears every time I listen to it, through the powerful words, vocals and feel. And I was in the front row at the Wiltern in LA the night it was recorded.) "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Stills, first CSN album, 1969) (like about four songs in one ... covers a whole universe of influences ... words, guitars, hall of fame harmony) "Ohio" (Young, 4 Way Street version, recorded live in 1970, released in 1971) (for its lyrics and message that still chills to this very day, for the impassioned CSNY vocals and great Stills/Young guitars) "Triad" (Crosby, 4 Way Street version, recorded in 1970, released in 1971)(for being the first song of David's I fell in love with, because of its wonderful acoustic guitar chords, vocals and wonderful counterculture words that include the lines: "sister lovers ... water brothers, and it time, maybe others/ So you see ... what we can do ... is to try something new -- that is if you're crazy too -- I don't really see ... why can't we go on as three.") So those are my ten tonight, Steve. The list would probably be completely different tomorrow.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 7 May 04 18:40
Caught a typo in the "Triad" lyrics: "sister lovers ... water brothers, and in time, maybe others ..." Sorry, Croz. It's gettin' late in the East ...
Steve Silberman (digaman) Fri 7 May 04 18:45
Really wonderful thought-provoking choices, Dave. And I'm with you on almost all of them. I might have chosen a different Neil solo numbah, but Danger Bird is a very sharp pick for just the reasons that you name. "Another Sleep Song" is one of the biggest undernoticed masterpieces of the CSNY oeuvre. The "realness" of the track indeed -- it's one of the most emotionally raw and true songs ever written. My one nit to pick with the track is that I wish Joni's vocals were twice as loud. Personally, I'd have to put "Laughing" from Crosby's first solo album on the list. That moment when Joni soars above the massed choir is one of the most transcendent moments in music, and the track itself was a Moment in space and time. But yeah, great choices, Dave.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Fri 7 May 04 19:58
Had to surrender the computer to my wife for a half-hour ... just about time to call it a day ... but first ... Steve, Like I said, I could easily make quite a few different song choices right now ... such as Neil's "Tell Me Why" (particularly the stunning CSNY live version from the Fillmore East, June 1970, with Stills on acoustic string bass, that has been in circulation among the trading community of late) ... and Stills' "Singin' Call" (Stills 2 version, that illustrates the full breadth of the man's vocal range, circa 1971) ... and, yes, "Laughing" is a brilliant, brilliant IICORMN track that I could listen to forever ... a moment in space in time, indeed ... just got a chill thinking about Jerry Garcia's contributions to that track ... his aura is in the room tonight ... on that note ... I'm signing off the topic to get some rest ... many thanks to everyone who visited here today. If anyone out West happens to log on later, though, feel free to chime in and I will happily respond with comments in the morning ... sweet dreams.
Buzz Person (thebuzzzz) Sat 8 May 04 05:26
Greetings Dave! I have to put a word in for Delta... a song which absolutely mesmerizes me each time I hear it... it's a song which might not have ever seen the light of day given the era in which it had its genesis.... I suppose that given the breath of new creativity brought into David's life by the CPR experience that I might have dug into that repretoire a bit deeper for choices although the At The Edge from the Wiltern is, indeed, very tasty.... It's my firm belief that although a Raymond composition, that Lay Me Down from the new Crosby-Nash effort will become a classic from these guys. It is truly lovely.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sat 8 May 04 07:00
Hi Buzz, Thanks for stopping in ... "Delta" is a very stirring song, yes, and given its history and genesis, it certainly stands as one of David's standards ... "At the Edge" was a personal choice for emotional reasons and how it captures a feeling that wells up in me every time I hear it. As for "Lay Me Down" ... the first time I heard it, at B.B. King's Blues Club in NYC on March 4th, the song struck an inner chord that reverberated throughout the rest of the night. Can't wait to hear the Crosby-Nash (plus James, Peev, Parks, Sklar, etc.) version. FYI: am heading off to Maplewood with my boy Casey for a bit ... Saturday morning hair cuts ... but maybe I won't cut mine today ...
Steve Silberman (digaman) Sat 8 May 04 07:00
I completely agree. I also think that "Jesus of Rio," as recorded on the album, is as beautiful and moving a track as any of these guys have ever recorded. (Crosby's version of it on the road is, alas, inferior -- it's really a song for Nash's inimitable voice, and Nash's vocal on the album track is a career peak, in my opinion.)
Steve Silberman (digaman) Sat 8 May 04 07:01
(Dave posted while I was posting.)
Buzz Person (thebuzzzz) Sat 8 May 04 07:13
Darn, I wish I had insisted that Pevar play that track for me when I he was out on the road as he had several tracks, including that one, with him. I know Crosby thinks a lot of Jesus of Rio, but in terms of the new material they were doing on the road, I have to agree, it did not stack up to Lay Me Down. So I await with great anticipation for Jesus of Rio but feel fortunate to have listened to portions of Lay Me Down being tracked.
Steve Silberman (digaman) Sat 8 May 04 07:45
I applaud Dave for singing a great new song, but "Jesus of Rio" is as much a song perfectly suited to Nash's delivery as "Our House" was.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sat 8 May 04 09:19
You're whetting everyone's appetite, Steve. Over on the Croz topic, I noticed David seemed uncertain about when and how the new Crosby-Nash album would enter the marketplace. Hope it's not held up too long. Can't wait to hear all of the songs on the record. Meanwhile, this morning I woke up and "The Suite" was in mid stride on my clock radio ... Well, must run again ... taking my son to a Junior Olympics Track Meet ... he got his hair cut ... I almost got mine cut, but didn't, and I don't wonder why ... ran out of time! 'Tis one of those Saturdays! Later on ...
Uncle Jax (jax) Sat 8 May 04 09:53
Your book powerfully brings home that which made CSNY unique in 1969. Up until that time every artist I paid attention to was characterized in part by musical taste, in part by teenage lifestyle emulation. Heard 1st CSN album as I unpacked at the dorm for my freshman month of college. I didn't give a flying leap how CSN were dressed, whether they were cool at not. It was at least five years before I knew which one was which on the cover. Who cared? Music. Man, these cats were almost the first *musicians* our generation listened to.
Uncle Jax (jax) Sat 8 May 04 09:59
You really communicate their frustration at being sucked into the superstardom thing where they were forced to be spokespersons for a non-existent imaginary world of coolth. When at the core all they wanted is to be revered as masters of their trade, as they had revered the musicians whose work they studied as they were learning. And being told in their twenties that they could have anything they wanted, right now, it was okay, man ... Mother of pearl, what a parable of our generation is written in these guys's flesh, bwanah.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sat 8 May 04 12:56
<Heard 1st CSN album as I unpacked at the dorm for my freshman month ofcollege. I didn't give a flying leap how CSN were dressed, whether they were cool at not. It was at least five years before I knew which one was which on the cover. Who cared? Music. Man, these cats were almost the first *musicians* our generation listened to.> Wow. Well stated, Jack. When I got into the group via Stills as a college freshman, his music was like a lightening rod that jolted me awake and pulled me out a post-high school funk while also providing comfort to a 19-year-old kid struggling to make sense of the world and relationships. His cries were like *my* cries. The realness of his music stopped me in my tracks ... and I listened ... a lot. Then I quickly picked up on the other guys and what they were all doing together. Water brothers, indeed. <<Mother of pearl, what a parable of our generation is written in these guys's flesh, bwanah.>> Amen ... battle scars, huddled around a Martin D-45.
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Sat 8 May 04 13:48
Dave... I don't know if all of our many conversations if I've ever asked this... do you play? I thought I remembered a story about you playing one night with one of the guys in a hotel room or something... So do you? And if so, have you ever written anything in that format?
Steve Silberman (digaman) Sat 8 May 04 13:59
Dave: Describe your dream C and/or S and/or N and/or Y tour, complete with backup musicians, type of venue, and emphasis in setlists. Only rule: It would have to be at least *possible*, i.e., you couldn't specify that Stills was the Stills of 1970.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sat 8 May 04 15:27
Responding to Tony first: <<Do you play? I thought I remembered a story about you playing one night with one of the guys in a hotel room or something... So do you? And if so, have you ever written anything in that format?>> I have played guitar off and on since 1973, but I consider myself a folk-rock hacker, at best. I can finger-pick and know my way around the CSNY songbook, but not with near the expertise they do. Back in 1980, when I was interviewing Croz at his old him in Mill Valley, he allowed me to pick around on his 12-string. Resonated like a mother! In the fall of 1982, Henry Diltz and I were on tour with CSN. After the Ames, Iowa show, we boarded the Stills bus and headed for St. Paul, arriving about 2:30 a.m. As soon as we got in the room, one of Stephen's roadies brought in several guitars and a little Fender amp. Stills started noodling on his Esquire, playing a couple of Rolling Stones and Beatles songs. I plunked along some basic rhythm on a nylon string guitar that was around. Henry harmonized with Stephen on the Stones' "The Last Time" and a song of Stephen's, "In the Way." So while I technically "played" with Stills, it was brief and sequed into him moving into solo songwriting mode. For about 90 minutes straight, he kept playing a set of changes that evolved into an interesting folk-rock vamp, to which he started singing the words ... "Thinkin' 'about love." About ten hours later ... before the next show, Stills came up to me backstage and asked, "You remember what I was singing last night?" When I said, "You kept repeating the words, 'Thinkin' about love." "That's it!" he barked. Then he ran off, guitar in hand, toward a shower stall and added some more to the song. I never asked him if he finished it. Never heard anything like it since. A lost gem, perhaps. .... Now, as for Steve's question ... here goes ... My *dream* tour would be CSNY, but not the big, honking shed tours of 2000 and 2002. Instead, there would be shows in the mid-sized halls, multiple nights (like a week at the Beacon in New York, a week at the Wiltern in LA), with the shows set up like the days of yore ... CSN acoustic for a trio of songs "You Don't Have to Cry," "Marrakesh Express," "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" ... Neil comes out and they play three more together ... "Looking Forward," "Helplessly Hoping,"... then Stills and Young play "Mr. Soul" and "For What It's Worth, acoustic" ... then Croz and Nash come out ... solo sets ... then a break ... then electric ... to be continued later tonight ...
Opioids are a distasteful inflammation of Ron Howard (bluefox) Sat 8 May 04 18:14
I really liked the 4 way street Reader. I had previously read some interviews with Crosby and a number of Neil ones (but none so specifically related to CSN&Y). I felt it gave me a lot of insight into music which I love and which has carried me through all sorts of things in my life. I must confess that I have not read the bio, though reading 4 way street really makes me want to. Especially in the later years it seems that in one interview there can be so much negative energy (Nash bitching about Neil and the box set) and yet in the next article they're all brothers again. Gives me hope for some relationships in my own life! Stills' second album seems to be getting a lot of mention here. I only have the 1st, which I'm actually quite fond of.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sat 8 May 04 18:34
Thanks for this post, Ron. I'm really happy you liked 4 Way Street and related how CSNY has impacted your life ... and I do hope you'll check out the CSN bio, which goes further into the tangled web or "hair ball," (as Croz calls it)of the relationships in CSNY. Your comments about how the guys can be bitching about each other one year then brothers the next, does, as you say, provide hope for relationships in your life, my life, everybody's lives, that go up and down, then up again. As for Stills 2 ... there are great songs on there (as noted previously), but I still have a soft spot for Stills' first ... which was my introduction to the whole CSNY scene ... Now ... Picking up where I left off a couple of hours ago ... regarding my *dream* CSNY tour ...with a few modifications ... in the opening CSN set, I would scratch "Marrakesh" and add "Find A Dream" (by Croz and Nash) in the number two spot (IHO, "Find A Dream" from the After the Storm album is one of the most underrated songs in the CSN canon) ... add "The Lee Shore" to the opening CSNY set, with Neil on harp and Stephen on acoustic lead ... then segue first into Crosby-Nash rather than Stills-Young ... with the C-N mini-set including two new songs plus "Lost Another One" ... in the Stills-Young set, add "It Won't Go Away/People of Color"" (another Stills song from After the Storm) ... then rather than solo sets ... end this opening acoustic set with an acoustic CSNY "Wooden Ships," with Young on piano ... 15 minute break ... electric CSNY band augmented by Russ Kunkel on drums, Lee Sklar on bass, Joe Lala on percussion, James Raymond on keyboards ... set to open with "Deja Vu," to be followed by a new arrangement of "Night Song" (by Stills and Young) (one of the few good songs from American Dream), then a new Nash song, Stills' "Black Queen," a new arrangement of Young's "Pushed It Over the End," Croz's "Long Time Gone," a new Young song, a new Stills song, Nash's "Military Madness," a new Croz song, "Carry On" ... first encore,"My Country Tis of Thee," second encore, "Ohio," third encore, "Daylight Again/Find the Cost of Freedom." That's just one night ... I would recommend the set lists vary nightly during a week's run in a city, so if someone (like me) went to every show, it would be like a real diverse experience, like the Dead's runs ... emphasing a mixture of old songs not often heard, some classics, and a goodly amount of new songs ... mixing in new songs would be no problem for Crosby, Nash and Young ... Stills, who has been working on his next solo album for ten years, needs to step up to the plate and deliver a few home runs ... I've still got the faith he can do that ... I just want him to deliver ...
Steve Silberman (digaman) Sun 9 May 04 07:56
Heh, that's so great, Dave! You and I will have to go to those shows together in Heaven <grin>. About Stills 2: It gets a bad rap because the first album was so exquisite, and also because several of the songs have rather bloated arrangements. I agree with you, however, that "Singin' Call" is one of the best things Stills ever did -- it alone is worth the price of the album. Both the guitar and the subtlety of the vocal bring chills and tears to my eyes every time I hear it. (Alas, to hear precisely what's missing from more recent Stills, all you have to do is compare the versions of that song on Stills 2 and Stills Alone -- the later version seems sloppy and spiritually hollow, which made me wish that Stills had recorded a solo acoustic album in 1969, which would have been one of the greatest albums of all time.) Stills 2 has some other great moments: the beginning of "Fishes & Scorpions," the bone-chilling "Know You Got to Run" (also worth the album price), and "Sugar Babe" is sweet enough, reminiscent of "Sit Yourself Down" on Stills 1, i.e. maybe not much of a song, but a great arrangement. Of course, "Change Partners" is wonderful, with an uncredited Garcia pedal-steel lead. "Relaxing Town" is a little absurd -- by now Stills was deeply into a Hindenburg-sized ego trip ("everybody wants to hear the music in my head, the price I pay is too much" -- I mean, *whatever*, dude, you're a musician. Go wait tables like I did for 11 years, and you'll get over it), but I've always loved the guitar tone he used for that lead. "Marianne" was a perky radio-friendly numbah but it's a throwaway. By the time you get to "Open Secret" and "Bluebird Revisited," the Memphis Horns are crowding up the joint; they may be great studio musicians, but Stills was no Brian Wilson -- his pop symphonies sound a little tacky now. There's a weariness and sorrow in "BR" that touches me, despite the high-production BS, but it almost sounds like he's looking back over a 50 year career, rather than a 7 year one, which is in itself poignant, considering how little really great music followed, other than the first "Manassas" album (a masterpiece), the Stills album with the pornographically cute Donnie Dacus on the back (another underrated album), and, of course, the scattering of very fine tunes on CSN and the later mothership albums.
Dave Zimmer (waterbrother) Sun 9 May 04 08:43
Steve, you are such a great writer! Thanks for the sharp insights. And, alas, those CSNY shows may have live in our imaginations! Must dash to Mother's Day commitments right now. Will check back later. Thanks. All best, DZ
David Crosby (croz) Sun 9 May 04 09:27
fascinating to read all this .......happy mothers day
Gary Lambert (almanac) Sun 9 May 04 10:35
>Man, these cats were almost the first *musicians* our generation >listened to. Uh... WADR to CSN&Y's estimable accomplishments, I must say: Oh, please... There was no dearth of great musicianship at Sun Studios in 1954. Or at Stax, Atlantic, Motown, Muscle Shoals. Or at Gold Star in L.A. Or at Abbey Road or Big Pink. Or at SeaSaint in New Orleans. Or any one of dozens of studios and live stages where great music was flowing in abundance. The "first *musicians* our generation listened to?" Hell, you couldn't walk half a block in 1969 without hearing great music in any genre. Please be so kind as to speak for yourself and not "our generation."
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