It was about something bigger, deeper, a sense of hope that my generation, coming of age in the late 1960s and 70s, had once clinged to fiercely but gradually began to abandon as they grew older. It wasn’t just because disappointment and life’s limitations crept up on us, but because something more important seemed to slip away: a belief in human connection and progress, a belief in the power of beauty, It washes away human petty and cruel impulses. Human nature and allowing us to start over.
Over the years, whenever I’ve felt lonely, confused, or discouraged, I’ve found a close-knit blend of harmonious voices and uplifting messages that Crosby, Steve Stills, and Graham Nash have crafted, often with Neil Young. In “Wooden Ships,” a missing soldier reaches out to his enemies, shares wild berries, and asks who won the war. In “Our House” a man puts fresh flowers in a vase and depicts “his two cats in the garden” and a happy family life.
Some of their songs are hymns or pleas to a cause I’ve shared. For example, their early homage, “To the Last Whale,” describes magnificent cetaceans hunted to near extinction to make cosmetics and pet food. Others lament the folly of celebrity and complacency, or painfully acknowledge their inner struggle and yearning for lasting peace.
David Crosby soundtracked a national comedown after Woodstock
“Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, the soul knows where it has been. I wrote it in my later years. “Lay me down in the river and wash away this place. Crush me like the sand of stone.
But even their most depressing songs are still soothing. Their protests are sung in a familiar blend of voices, and melodies are always resolved with reassuring notes. has cherished the music of
I am forever defined by songs such as Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in their Game” and Simon’s “Cathy’s Song”, as well as many other Crosby, Stills and Crew songs. I know I will always stay in a time warp. “Daylight Again/Find the Cost of Freedom” and “See the Changes.”
I also know that one day in the not too distant future all of these songwriters and singers will be gone. But somehow, despite his private strife and public estrangement, the death of Crosby, who was 81, feels to me like a death of harmony in the new age of rage.
I first heard the group’s music in 1970, when I was a freshman in college. It was the year after Woodstock, and lilting melodies wafted across the campus greenery from dorm room speakers, beckoning us with tantalizing visions of unleashed adventures and inner journeys. Then came the Cambodian bombing and the police shooting at Kent State University, shattering Woodstock’s freewheeling, peace-loving illusion with a force of harsh rage.
Vermont singer-songwriter Scott Ainsley was one of several friends with whom I exchanged e-mails on Friday to express sympathy over Crosby’s death. He told me that he was at a Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert. At one point, Stills introduced his Young. Young hooked up his guitar to an amp and played “Ohio”, a great song he had just written about the protest shooting on the campus of Kent State University that killed four students and injured nine. bottom.
“The children’s bodies were barely on the ground the first time they heard that song,” Scott wrote. The impact of piercing guitars and powerful lyrics changed him forever. “I have never forgotten it and have long tried to pay off the debt I owe them with my work.”
I remember buying all the albums, but it was about 10 years ago that I heard him sing live. It was a summer reunion concert at Wolf Trap. The Stills were beefy and scratchy, but the guitars were nimble nonetheless. Crosby was warm and smiling, survived many trips to hell, and wrote several songs about it. I blended into nature.
David Crosby, personification of the Woodstock generation, dies at 81
Like me, many in the audience were as old and gray as the performers, but we were still alive and kicking. In some ways, it feels like they want to maintain the idealism and communal spirit that once defined our generation, even if the tickets are too expensive and sitting on the sloping lawn is no longer comfortable. I got
We wanted to feel the still-flickering, important thing that draws us in without introduction or hesitation. We clapped and smiled wildly at strangers during breaks and shared unspoken memories.
now even a little Ten years later, the concept seems almost strange. Driven by COVID-19 and politics, our society has become even more divided, withdrawn, aggression and accountability. Deadly violence is more common than in Kent, and guns are everywhere. Sure, there are many causes that appeal to newer generations, especially global warming and racial injustice, but it’s hard to find common ground.
Life is noisier, faster and more dangerous now. The quiet songs of old children fade with the passionate innocence of an age that will never come again.