The Oral History of CSNY's Infamous 1974 'Doom Tour' | Rolling Stone
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - 1974
The Ranch Rehearsals
Photo by Joel Bernstein
(Click photo to enlarge)
Some pretty amazing stories from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1974 tour are beginning to surface as a prelude to the upcoming "CSNY 74" box set release.
So much for what happens on the road, stays on the road.
From The Oral History of CSNY's Infamous 1974 'Doom Tour' | Rolling Stone by Andy Greene:
Tim Drummond (bass): "We had a shitload of songs. Neil was the greatest. He'd just pull one of out his ass or his hat and the rest of them would grab and hang on. That's what made it so fresh and exciting. It wasn't rehearsed or any of that shit."As noted, all of the surviving band members participated in the article -- except one. Guess who declined to be interviewed?
Russ Kunkel (drums): "Sometimes there was a set list, but it changed a lot. There weren't many soundchecks. What you have to remember about these guys is that they're magicians and music is magic. We had arrangements for songs and we knew how they went, but when it came to solos there was no telling how long Neil would play. He would turn around to me while soloing and I'd see his eyes over the top of his mirrored sunglasses. It was like he was saying, 'I could die doing this solo. I'm going to give it everything I have, so you'd better go with me.' It was an incredible experience."
Crosby: "The advantage of having four writers is that you've got this enormously wide palate to work with. We were writing new songs every night. There must have been a dozen times where one of us would come in and say, 'Hey, I've got a new song. Here's how it goes. What do you think?' Take 'Time After Time.' At the end, of it, Neil and Stephen just walked on and started singing with me. Stephen was holding his little son Christopher. They didn't know the song, but they joined in. And then Neil… My God. 'Pushed It Over The End,' 'Don't Be Denied,' 'Mellow My Mind.' He knocked it out of the park over and over and over. He set the bar very, very high."
Nash: One of the reasons that Neil wound up having more songs on this box set them the rest of us is that he hit a writing spell that was unbelievable. He wrote 'On The Beach,' 'Don't Be Denied,' 'Pushed It Over the End,' 'Hawaiian Sunrise.' He'd hit it. As a band, we only want to present the best face, which is why he's got the most songs. David and Stephen haven't complained yet, and it's too late now."
CSNY 1974 comes with a DVD containing footage shot at Maryland's Capital Center and London's Wembley Stadium.
Joel Bernstein: "I found footage from the Capital Center in Graham's Vault. I was very surprised to find it and I have no idea how it got there. They were the first venue in the US to feature an in-house life, real time video system that projected beams - which were too small by today's standards - to screens hung up near where the scoreboard is in today's arena. There was a director, but it was semi-pro at best. It was recorded to open reel, one-inch tape. It's a format that wasn't used for very long. The show they taped happened to be one they audio recorded.' Since the format was so archaic, it took a lot of work to get the footage together."
Nash: "The footage is funky and not lit right and sometimes it's too blue or too red, but I think that people would be very interested to see live footage of us from that time."
Bernstein: "The cameras had tubes in them and the tubes were shaking with the bass. You can see the picture vibrate with the bass. It's quite remarkable. With the case of Wembley, we were using the MPSC transfer from the original PAL Master. We have no idea where the master is."
More at The Oral History of CSNY's Infamous 1974 'Doom Tour' | Rolling Stone.
Also, see Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "CSNY 74" box set release .