Reminisce about the days of yore

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young evoke fond memories

Tom Ross

— Before I begin this week’s column I need to get a few things straight. This column is not for everyone. In fact, some of you will not be allowed to read it at all not unless you can pass the Woodstock Generation wooden music super group quiz.

Chances are, if you are younger than 45, you’ll have a tough time with this exam. Maybe you should give up now, and flip the page go straight to the crossword puzzle, you young whelps.

I can tell you right now, the boy copy editor checking this column for mistakes wasn’t even born when Crosby, Stills and Nash released their first album. So, Brandon, you’re not allowed to read this column either. Just stick it in the paper and hope for the best.

For those of you who think you might have a chance to qualify to read this column, let me give you an orientation.

Last Friday I opened up one of the large metro papers situated on Colorado’s Front Range, which goes by the initials Denver Post. There, on page 3EE was a full-page ad for my musical heroes, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. They are coming to Denver on April 8, and Rolling Stone says the boys are in rare form in fact, they are rockin’ out, even though they’re pushing 60 now, and gray is the color of their hair.

Holy Marrakesh Express, I’ve got to dig my bell bottom jeans out of the rag bag; but first, on with the quiz!

1. Can you name the three musical groups Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young performed in immediately prior to forming CSNY?

2. Which of the four penned the lyrics: “Almost cut my hair it happened just the other day, It’s gettin’ kind of long, I could have said it was in my way. But I didn’t and I wonder why I feel like letting my freak flag fly “?

3. In what year did Crosby, Stills and Nash record the first album? Was it 1967, 1968 or 1969?

4. What folk singer dated more than one member of CSNY?

5. The super group recorded one of her songs. Name the title.

There now. If you’ve successfully answered two of the questions, you may continue reading. If you failed, and you know who you are, turn immediately to the sports page.

The rest of you can stick around and we’ll reminisce about the days of yore.

I can still remember the details of purchasing the first CSN album I picked it up at Victor Music in the Hilldale Shopping Center (no such thing as shopping malls in those days) and hurried home to play it on my parents’ Hi-Fi (short for high fidelity record player). The acoustic guitars, the never-before-heard sounds that Stephen Stills got out of his electric guitars and the three-part harmonies completely spun my head around. Within months, I was sitting in the Dane County Coliseum waiting for my first Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young concert to begin.

I was clutching the stub of a ticket for which I paid $3.35.

That’s right, three dollars and 35 cents.

The April 8 show at the Pepsi Center carries ticket prices that range from $40 to $226. David, Stephen, Graham, Neil do you guys realize that $226 is approximately what I paid for my first Gibson guitar?

What has happened to the price of rock concerts? And for that matter, how did the counter-culture music heroes of a generation become somebody’s grandpa?

It was Neil Young who had something to say on that subject: “My, my, hey, hey, rock ‘n’ roll can never die.

It’s better to burn out, than it is to rust.

Hey, hey, my, my.” Or, something to that effect.

And here now, are the answers to today’s Woodstock Generation wooden music super group quiz:

1. Prior to forming CSNY, Graham Nash was a member of the Hollies (Bus Stop), and David Crosby played rhythm guitar for the Byrds (Eight Miles High), while Stills and Young were members of Buffalo Springfield (the band took its name from a brand of steamroller).

2. Crosby wrote “Cut My Hair” for the Deja Vu album.

3. That would be February 1969 at Wally Heider’s recording studio at the corner of Cahuenga and Selma in Hollywood.

4-5. Nope, not Judy Collins of “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” fame. It was Joni Mitchell, who wrote “Woodstock” even though she didn’t perform at the festival, as did CSN. We won’t go into the rest of the details.

So, if you want to get together a bunch of hippie vans and head for the concert on April 8, send me an e-mail, and “Carry On.”

Tom Ross is a longtime Steamboat resident. His column is published every Monday in Steamboat Today.

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