Stills-crazy af­ter all these years

The Washington Post Sunday - - ARTS & STYLE - BY ROGER CATLIN

Stephen Stills was a rock star be­fore he ever ven­tured into the har­mo­niz­ing folkrock trio that would in­au­gu­rate largescale sta­dium tours. Af­ter es­tab­lish­ing his sound on Buf­falo Spring­field’s en­dur­ing “For What It’s Worth,” Stills helped craft some of the big­gest hits of Crosby, Stills and Nash while mak­ing hit solo al­bums, a duo al­bum with Neil Young and two with a whole other band named Manas­sas, af­ter the Civil War bat­tle­field in Vir­ginia. ¶ Stills is a clas­sic rock Zelig, hav­ing played all of the big fes­ti­vals — from Monterey Pop (with Buf­falo Spring­field) to Wood­stock and Altamont (with CSNY — af­ter Neil Young joined). A decade later, he played the Ha­vana Jam, then No Nukes and Live Aid. ¶ Stills, 70, au­di­tioned with the Mon­kees, got both Jimi Hen­drix and Eric Clap­ton to play on his solo de­but, and played per­cus­sion on the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Danc­ing.” In re­cent years, Stills recorded a blues al­bum with Kenny Wayne Shep­herd. ¶ Now, in a year when CSN has al­ready toured Asia and the United States and heads to Europe in the fall, Stills is gear­ing up for a solo tour that kicks off July 6 not far from that bat­tle­field, at Alexandria’s Birch­mere, where Crosby had a solo date in June and Nash has one in Au­gust. Here’s a look at Stills’s timeline so far.

1945

Jan­uary: Stephen Arthur Stills is born to a mil­i­tary fam­ily in Dal­las.

1962

Jan­uary: Stills is briefly in a band called the Con­ti­nen­tals in Gainesville, Fla., with fu­ture Ea­gles gui­tarist Don Felder. And when his fam­ily moves to Costa Rica, he records tracks out of bore­dom. One of them, “Trav­elin’,” which he cut at age 17, would sur­face on a boxed set more than 50 years later.

1964

July: While play­ing New York’s Green­wich Vil­lage as a solo act, Stills joins the Au Go Go Singers, an out­fit born at the Cafe au Go Go night­club that also in­cluded fu­ture Buf­falo Spring­field band­mate Richie Fu­ray.

1965

April: The Com­pany, a band formed from the Au Go Go Singers, tours Canada, where Stills first meets Neil Young at the Fourth Di­men­sion Cof­fee­house in Thun­der Bay, On­tario. Young’s group, the Squires, is the open­ing act.

Septem­ber: Back in Los An­ge­les, Stills au­di­tions for the Mon­kees, but sug­gests his friend Peter Tork, who gets the gig.

1966

April: Stills forms Buf­falo Spring­field with Fu­ray, Young and oth­ers. They re­lease three stu­dio al­bums, but break up af­ter two years.

De­cem­ber: Records “For What It’s Worth” with Buf­falo Spring­field, which would be­come the band’s big­gest hit when re­leased a month later.

1967

Jan­uary: “Sit Down, I Think I Love You,” a song Stills wrote for Buf­falo Spring­field, be­comes a Top 40 hit for the San Fran­cisco group the Mojo Men.

1968

Early: Stills col­lab­o­rates with Paul Kant­ner of Jef­fer­son Air­plane and David Crosby, re­cently dis­missed from the Byrds, on the song “Wooden Ships” while on Crosby’s boat in Fort Laud­erdale, Fla.

May: Stills records with Al Kooper on the al­bum “Su­per Ses­sion” when gui­tarist Mike Bloom­field fails to fin­ish the ses­sion. He’s on side two, in­clud­ing the 11-minute take of “Sea­son of the Witch.”

July: Dur­ing a party at Joni Mitchell’s house, Stills and Crosby first har­mo­nize with Graham Nash of the Hol­lies, on Stills’s song “You Don’t Have to Cry.” They de­cide to form a trio.

1969

May: The de­but “Crosby, Stills & Nash” al­bum is re­leased, fea­tur­ing two Top 40 hits — “Mar­rakesh Ex­press” and Stills’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”

Au­gust: Crosby, Stills and Nash, with new mem­ber Young, plays its sec­ond gig — at Wood­stock.

1970

March: The band’s sec­ond al­bum, “Deja Vu,” is the first cred­ited to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It would spawn three Top 40 hits — “Wood­stock,” “Teach Your Chil­dren” and “Our House.”

May: “Ohio” is recorded by CSNY 17 days af­ter the killings at Kent State Univer­sity in Ohio. Re­leased in June, it reaches No. 14.

May: By now, each mem­ber of the band also is record­ing on his own. Stills trades licks with Jimi Hen­drix in the stu­dio. The only track of­fi­cially re­leased from that par­tic­u­lar ses­sion ap­pears on the 2013 Stills an­thol­ogy “Carry On” and ti­tled “No-Name Jam.”

Novem­ber: The solo al­bum “Stephen Stills” is re­leased, reach­ing No. 3 the fol­low­ing month with “Love the One You’re With,” which be­comes Stills’s big­gest hit sin­gle, reach­ing No. 14. Jimi Hen­drix, Eric Clap­ton and Ringo Starr are among guests on the LP (as are Crosby and Nash).

1971

June: Stills’s sec­ond solo al­bum, “Stephen Stills 2,” re­leased seven months af­ter the first, peaks at No. 8. Grate­ful Dead gui­tarist Jerry Gar­cia plays pedal steel on the sin­gle “Change Part­ners.” Other con­trib­u­tors in­clude Clap­ton, Nils Lof­gren and Billy Pre­ston.

1972

May: Stills’s new band, Manas­sas, re­leases its de­but dou­ble al­bum. The group fea­tures ex-Byrd Chris Hill­man and two other mem­bers of Hill­man’s band at the time, the Fly­ing Bur­rito Broth­ers.

1973

May: Sec­ond and fi­nal Manas­sas al­bum is re­leased. The band would break up af­ter a 1973 tour that ended with a San Fran­cisco show where Stills was joined on­stage by Crosby, Nash and Young.

June: CSNY tries out ma­te­rial for a new al­bum at ses­sions that break down ac­ri­mo­niously. Still, the band plans a fall tour.

Oc­to­ber: CSNY tour can­celed af­ter Young drops out.

1974

July: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are en­cour­aged to re-form for a con­cert tour that would end up gross­ing $11 mil­lion, a record at the time. Although the shows were recorded, a live al­bum wasn’t re­leased un­til 2014.

De­cem­ber: The band man­ages to record a few songs be­fore ses­sions break down again.

1975

Jan­uary: As Stills and Nash ar­gue over a sin­gle har­mony note, Young leaves the ses­sion, vow­ing to never re­turn.

June: Stills re­leases his third solo al­bum, “Stills,” the first of three for Columbia Records.

1976

June: Stills plays per­cus­sion on the Bee Gees’ No. 1 sin­gle “You Should Be Danc­ing.”

June: Stills and Young com­bine as the Stills/Young Band, but their tour lasts only nine dates be­fore Young splits.

Au­gust: Stills sees a show at Los An­ge­les’s Greek Theatre by Crosby and Nash, who had been record­ing and tour­ing to­gether; the three end up singing on the encore of “Teach Your Chil­dren.”

Septem­ber: The Stills/Young Band al­bum, “Long May You Run,” is re­leased and reaches No. 26. Vo­cal con­tri­bu­tions by Crosby and Nash had been erased, caus­ing Crosby to vow he’d never work with ei­ther of them again.

De­cem­ber: Crosby changes his mind, and CSN goes back into the stu­dio to record again, with­out Young.

1977

June: The re­united Crosby, Stills and Nash re­leases “CSN,” its sec­ond al­bum as a trio, and fifth over­all, which goes to No. 2 with Nash’s Top 10 “Just a Song Be­fore I Go.”

1979

Septem­ber: CSN ap­pears at the No Nukes con­cert at Madi­son Square Gar­den with Bruce Spring­steen, Bon­nie Raitt, James Tay­lor and oth­ers.

1982

June: CSN re­leases “Day­light Again,” which was to have been a Stills-Nash al­bum un­til record ex­ec­u­tives in­sisted that Crosby, who had been ar­rested twice on drug and gun charges, be part of it. It reaches No. 8.

Novem­ber: Stills’s “South­ern Cross” from “Day­light Again” hits No. 18 on the sin­gles chart.

1984

July: Stills re­leases his sixth solo al­bum, “Right by You,” fea­tur­ing such guests as Jimmy Page, Bernie Leadon, Hill­man and Nash.

1988

Novem­ber: CSNY re­leases “Amer­i­can Dream,” its ninth al­bum, but only its sec­ond stu­dio re­lease with the full quar­tet. Stills writes four songs on the al­bum, three with Young, who re­fuses to go on the sub­se­quent tour.

1991

Septem­ber: Stills’s new solo al­bum, “Stills Alone,” fea­tures him­self alone or with min­i­mal back­ing on songs that in­clude cov­ers of the Bea­tles and Bob Dy­lan.

1993

Jan­uary: Stills per­forms at Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s in­au­gu­ra­tion con­cert at the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial.

1994

Oc­to­ber: A 25th-an­niver­sary CSN tour is can­celed be­cause Crosby needs a liver trans­plant.

1997

May: Stills be­comes the first per­son to be in­ducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the same night — for his work in Buf­falo Spring­field, as well as Crosby, Stills and Nash.

2003

De­cem­ber: Rolling Stone ranks Stills No. 28 on its list of the 100 great­est gui­tarists of all time.

2005

Au­gust: Stills re­leases his solo al­bum “Man Alive!,” fea­tur­ing Her­bie Han­cock, Young and Nash.

2009

June: Stills, along with Crosby and Nash, is in­ducted into the Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame.

2011

Novem­ber: Stills drops to No. 47 on Rolling Stone’s re­vised list of 100 great­est gui­tarists of all time.

2013

Au­gust: Stills re­leases the al­bum “Can’t Get Enough” with Kenny Wayne Shep­herd and Barry Gold­berg as a band called the Rides, which Stills calls “the blues band of my dreams.”

2014

July: On “The Tonight Show,” CSN sings Iggy Aza­lea’s “Fancy,” with Jimmy Fal­lon fill­ing in as Young.

Oc­to­ber: Asked in con­cert if the four would ever re­unite, Young says, “CSNY will never tour again ever, but I love those guys.”

2015

July: Stills be­gins a solo tour with a band that in­cludes bassist Kevin McCormick, key­boardist Todd Cald­well and Mario Calire on drums.

AT­LANTIC RECORDS/RHINO RECORDS

RON KUNTZ/REUTERS

MICHAEL OCHS AR­CHIVES/GETTY IM­AGES

1966 AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHOTO

2000 PHOTO OF STEPHENS STILLS, GRAHAM NASH, DAVID CROSBY AND NEIL YOUNG BY E.J. FLYNN/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

2004 PHOTO OF STEPHEN STILLS BY FRAZER HAR­RI­SON/GETTY IM­AGES

1971 PHOTO OF CHRIS HILL­MAN, STEPHEN STILLS AND CALVIN SA­MUEL OF MANAS­SAS BY GI­JS­BERT HANEKROOT/REDFERNS/GETTY IM­AGES

DOU­GLAS GOREN­STEIN/NBC

AT­LANTIC RECORDS/RHINO RECORDS

RICHARD E. AARON/REDFERNS/GETTY IM­AGES

GI­JS­BERT HANEKROOT/REDFERNS/GETTY IM­AGES

MARCY NIGHSWANDER/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

EVAN AGOS­TINI/INVISION/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

RON KUNTZ/REUTERS

CAR­LOS RENE PEREZ/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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