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    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock’s Greatest Supergroup by David Browne Book Review

    I have been a fan of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young) since I was a teenager in the late 90s.

    I’m also a fan of Crosby, Stills, & Nash and all of these guys’ solo and other group (The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Hollies, Crazy Horse, Crosby/Nash, The Stills/Young Band, CPR, to name a few) ventures.

    I have been somewhat aware of their history through documentaries, books of their own for the ones who have written books (David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Neil Young), but I had not yet read a book about all of them together.

    So on a whim, I bought this book when I was at a bookstore recently.

    Again, I was somewhat aware of their history, both collectively and individually, so I knew this was going to be a wild ride.

    And shew it was.

    Judging by this book (which is quite detailed and actually David Crosby and Graham Nash were interviewed for it along with many people who know or have worked with them) and judging by everything I’ve ever heard, read, or saw, I am AMAZED that these guys collectively could make even one song, have a drink, breathe in the same room, or do ANYTHING together.

    I love these guys, but they are the perfect example of a dysfunctional group of people who cannot agree on much of anything.

    I knew they were dysfunctional, but my goodness they were dysfunctional.

    When they were able, they made great music together and have made a lot of people happy with their music.  Myself included.

    But many times when they tried to make music together, they would start and then never finish.  Or restart sometime later, sometimes years later, and not finish.  Or they would start a concert tour, either as trio or quartet, and not finish it.  Or it would not even get past the idea stage.

    It is unbelievable to me the dysfunction that existed within this collective.

    I can tell there was always respect, but the egos and/or substances, quite frankly, would almost always get in the way.

    CSNY made three studio albums.  I love all three, but there were many years in between them (1970 for Deja Vu, 1988 for American Dream, and 1999 for Looking Forward).

    CSN made five studio albums (Crosby, Stills, & Nash in 1969, CSN in 1977, Daylight Again in 1982, Live It Up in 1990, and After The Storm in 1994).  I love them too, but again, it is amazing they made even one.

    I can definitely tell that CSN worked better than CSNY because they did more albums and a lot more concert tours, but CSNY always was bigger.  So when the opportunities arose and when everyone agreed, they would do that.

    But unlike The Rolling Stones, U2, Aerosmith, or any typical band who have been around many years, it was few and far between when it happened.

    It was essentially four solo artists getting together to do a group tour.

    And that gets to what I’m about to say.  Again judging by this book, it seems to me these guys may have been better off just being solo artists or front their own individual groups and have them be the boss of each one.  

    As a fan, I’m glad they were able to make the music they made together because I think it is great stuff.

    But I feel each person may have benefitted just being on their own period.

    And each have made amazing albums on their own too and as other groups, so there is something to be said there.

    For example, I think David’s (RIP in 2023) last five albums (Croz, Lighthouse, Sky Trails, Here If You Listen, and For Free) are five of my favorite albums of all time.  And he made those in basically the last ten years of his life.

    But I can really see after reading this book why they did not make as much music together.

    And that is sad.  So much potential, and at times amazing, but gosh how much time was wasted.

    But saying that, I’m just glad it happened at all.  And at the end of the day, I’m sure that each man was and is grateful for the music they did make together and the times, however dysfunctional, they did spend together.

    Music is a funny thing.  In the most darkest of times, it brings people together.

    And it certainly did bring, at times, these four very talented people together.  Not a lot of time, but when it happened, it was MAGICAL.