Crosby, Stills & Nash: The Biography by Dave Zimmer

By Dave Zimmer

Crosby, Stills & Nash created probably the most indelible songs and gorgeous harmonies of the past due Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Woodstock,” “Teach Your Children.” This copiously illustrated account of the trio's own and musical heritage tells the tale at the back of the songs. Longtime CSN chronicler Dave Zimmer, with the whole cooperation of the band, lines all the performers from their musical roots to their first music jointly in L.A.'s storied Laurel Canyon; from their addition of Neil younger to Woodstock; and during their stormy years of inventive conflicts, reunions, and reconciliations. This new version has been totally reconfigured and up-to-date to rejoice the trio's fortieth anniversary and to house over three hundred photographs, in addition to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's debatable Living with War tour.

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With their cooperation, over the next couple of years, Henry Diltz and I worked at piecing together the CSN story, one filled with magic, tragedy, pain, and triumph. The process involved hundreds of hours of conversations with Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as their friends and bandmates, former managers and producers, engineers and roadies, promoters and fans. Ahmet Ertegun, the president of Atlantic Records and an ally of CSN’s from the very start, had this to say: “Crosby, Stills & Nash, their sound is one of the great phenomenons in rock ’n’ roll.

The preparation and publication of the updated edition of this book was made possible with the help and contributions of a small army of people, most importantly David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young—sincere thanks for sharing your words and ongoing musical magic. Also on board during the process, offering insights, support, or just plain inspiration: Stephen Barncard, Joel Bernstein, Gary Burden, Crazy Horse (Ralph Molina, Frank Sampedro, and Billy Talbot), Cameron Crowe, Marge Falcon Clark, Jan Crosby, Dave Di-Martino, John Einarson, David Fricke, Michael O’Hara Garcia, Michael Goldberg, Don Gooch, Glenn Goodwin, Matthew Greenwald, Paul Higham, Robert Hilburn, Steve Hochman, Peter Holmstedt, Alan Jenkins (NYAS), Michael Jensen, Tom King, Pete Long, Francesco Lucarelli, The Lee Shore (Mick Anderson, Dean “Doc” Dunn, Jay Camel, Ernie Osborne, and other CSN fans from around the world who people this online tribe), Jimmy McDonough, Allan McDougall (who should also be thanked for his vivid memories lent to the first edition), Debbie Meister, Bob Merlis, Susan Nash, Scott Oxman, Jeff Pevar, Chris “Hoover” Rankin, James Raymond, Johnny Rogan, Davin Seay, Mike “Coach” Sexton, Steve Silberman, Tom Stienstra, Kristen Stills, Gerry Tolman, Mike Thomas, Hans van Netburg, Dolf van Stijgeren, Hans Velduizen, Kenny Weiss, and Taro Yoshida.

When William refused to tell the police from whom he had bought the camera, he was thrown in jail for a full year. “My family was shattered,” Graham says. “It was a tense time. I had to quit school to get a job to help support my family. ” Fortunately, Graham had little trouble finding work at the engineering firm where Allan had been working for several months. At two pounds five shillings a week, it was a solid job. However, the Two Teens earned almost that much in one night! Working and playing music occupied all of Graham’s waking hours for some time.

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