As I repeatedly learned while researching my new book–Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock’s Greatest Supergroup—the month of March is ripe with important anniversaries for this band. Let’s start with one day:
March 11. On that day in 1969, Stephen Stills shooed away David Crosby and Graham Nash so that he could figure out a new arrangement for Crosby’s song “Long Time Gone.” The trio were in the midst of cutting their first album as a trio, but that song was proving to be elusive. When Crosby and Nash returned to the studio many hours later, Stills, with the help of drummer Dallas Taylor, had finally figured it out, with a menacing throb of an arrangement on which his electric guitar sounded like a growling dog and his organ conjured an ambulance siren. And with that, Crosby, Stills & Nash was pretty much done and ready for its place in history. On that same day, but a year later, in 1970, CSNY’s landmark Déjà vu album was released.
On March 12, 1968, Joni Mitchell, at the dawn of her career, began a multi- night stand at Le Hibou, a folk club in Ottawa, Canada. Four nights later, on March 15, the British pop group the Hollies arrived in town, and after their show that night, Michell attended a party for them and met her future lover, Graham Nash. It would be many more months before the two coupled up, resulting in his songs like “Our House” and hers like “Willy,” but the seeds of that relationship arrived that March day, 1968.
On March 14, 1973, Stills was married for the first time, to French singer-songwriter-pianist Veronique Sanson.
On March 28, 1982, Crosby was on driving to a nuclear plant in San Onofre, California, where he was scheduled to join Stills and Nash at a protest concert. But en route, Crosby had a seizure, and his car veered from the right lane into concrete divider. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol—the first of several arrests that would almost derail Crosby, Stills & Nash as well as Crosby’s own life.
An eventful month, for better or worse!