Woodstock: The Day After
Here's something we've never seen before.
This YouTube video is a compilation of various footage of Crosby, Stills and Nash from 1969.
It includes a segment from The Dick Cavett TV program that was filmed the day after Woodstock with Joni Mitchell and The Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner and Grace Slick.
And out walk David Crosby and Stephen Stills basically straight from Woodstock. Stills shows everyone the mud that is still caked to his jeans which everyone seems to find pretty groovy. Stephen then plays "4+20".
There are other clips from the summer and fall of 1969 including scenes from their home studio in Laurel Canyon, California. Song clips include Crosby's "Song With No Words", Stills' "Black Queen", "Find The Cost of Freedom", and Crosby's "Laughing".
Certainly there's a lot of folklore that's been built up about going down to Yasgur's Farm and joining in a rock and roll band. Like that story about Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young riding a stolen truck to Woodstock.
So it turns out that Neil Young was actually at Woodstock afterall even though he does not appear in the film.
There are a lot of stories about why Neil isn't in the film. Most commonly, it's because he didn't want to be filmed and the lights were cut during CSNY's performance.
Neil's had a lot of contradictory reflections to Woodstock over the years. He used the Woodstock stage announcements extensively during the 1978 Rust Never Sleeps tour. (Hey, if we think really hard, be the rain.)
Conversely, look closely at the desert scene in the film Journey Through the Past where there is a shot revealing The Graduate wearing a Woodstock shirt just before shooting up.
So it would seem that some of the ethos of the period didn't sit too well with Neil judging by the lyrics of 1986's "Hippie Dream" from Landing On Water
'Cause the tie-dye sails
Are the screamin' sheets
And the dusty trail
Leads to blood in the streets
And the wooden ships
Are a hippie dream
Capsized in excess
And it would seem that's Neil's feelings towards that day only seemed to harden over the years. A quote from biographer Jimmy McDonough's Shakey has been bouncing around the blogs driven by a look at the flip-side of Woodstock in The Globe and Mail:
“Woodstock was a bullshit gig. A piece of shit. We played fuckin’ awful. No one was into the music. I think Stephen [Stills] was way overboard into the huge crowd. Everybody was on this Hollywood trip with the fuckin’ cameras. They weren’t playin’ to the audience as much as to the cameras…I could see everybody changing their performances for the fucking camera and I thought that was bullshit. All these assholes filming, everybody’s carried away with how cool they are…I wasn’t moved.”
Nevertheless, a duet with Stills on "Mr. Soul" from Woodstock was used on The Archives. So maybe the hippie dream wasn't so bad afterall?
But -- for many -- Neil seemed to really drive a stake into the '60's hippie vibe of "peace, love and music" culture with his "music can't change the world" comments last year. And based on the overwhelming reaction, not everyone agreed that the spirit of the 1960's was dead.
But we still think Neil loves hippies.
On the Greendale tour in 2003, we heard Neil say just before "Carmichael" that:
"It used to be that hippies were good and the cops are bad. Nowadays, it's the cops who are good and the hippies that are bad."
Recall how last fall Neil sported that hippie button?
Nostalgia dies hard.
peace. love. music.
We still think that's what it's all about. While just singing a song won't change the world, it's a start.