|Stephen Arthur Stills was born in Dallas, Texas on January 3rd, 1945.
He would later, head off to
military school in Tampa, Florida. As Stephen puts it, he witnessed
great music in in Florida, heard and played on back porches,
"incredible music" floating over the orange groves. Picking up
blues sounds, along with his dad's old blues
Also, he would be a traveler,
traveling with his parents, from Louisiana, to Cuba. Enriching his soul
with everything from Bluegrass, to Latin
Prior to 1964, he was in a
group called the Company, in which he met a future bandmate Neil
Young, and they agreed to keep contact, even though they were
working in other projects. In 1964 he would join his future bandmate,
Richie Furray in folk group called
"The Au Go Go Singers." Stephen's
broad vocals would carry even in the earliest of his music, and two
vocally incredible songs would be produced on this album by him, "Miss
Nellie" and "High Flying Bird,"
displaying rich vocal roots, with a soulful voice, on their first and
only LP, "And they call us Au Go-Go Singers."
Then during the mid 1960's, he would meet
Neil Young, on the freeway, as Stephen
spotted Neil and Neil spotted Stephen, and things began to get arranged.
They would form a band, with fellow friends, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer,
and Dewey Martin (and later, Jim Messina). And what lied ahead would be
a very bumpy ride for all of them, through fame and tribulation.
During this time (around 1968) Stephen would met David Crosby (a member
the of the Byrds) and Stephen asked David to join Buffalo Springfield
on stage at "The Montery Pop Festival" when Neil didn't show.
In 1968, Buffalo Springfield disbanded.
Later, Mama Cass would first
set up a meeting between David and Graham Nash
(a member of the Hollies, a Mersey group)
at her house in California. She and David would then bring Graham to
meet Stephen. Graham would later say in an interview, that, he saw a
blonde haired guy sitting at the piano, banging the shit out of it, as David opened up the door and said "THAT'S Stephen."
It was there they discovered their incredible harmonies together.
And as Joni Mitchell would say, they would
just sit, sing a few notes and fall over laughing, because they couldn't
believe the incredible sound of their voices mixed so well together. Later
that year they would record a spectacular debut album titled
"Crosby Stills and Nash," the
album famously referred to as "the couch album." Stephen would
play most of the instruments featured and help produce. He would learn
from Bill Halverson the ins and outs of producing and arranging. Some of the songs on this album would include "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"
(Stills) written for Judy Collins, "Wooden Ships" (Crosby, Stills & Paul Kanter
of the Jefferson Airplane), "49 Bye-Byes" (Stills),"Helplessly Hoping"
(Stills) and "Pre-Road Downs" (Nash). The album has and still has an incredible impact.
In 1969 they would play at the music festival
which would only be there second time performing with each other, which Neil Young would join them.
And Neil would continue to perform and work with them, as they would continue to play gigs, including
"The Big Sur Folk Festival." Another album surfaced in 1970,
titled "Deja Vu." Some songs on this album would include
"Helpless" (Young), "4+20" (Stills), "Woodstock" (written by Joni Mitchell),"Our house"
(Nash) and "Almost Cut My Hair" (David Crosby.) They would tour after that until 1971, when
they went their seperate ways.
(CSN&Y would also release
a live album called "4 Way Street"
from these performances, mostly from the Fillmore) During 1970 and 1971 Stephen would produce two solo albums
titled "Stephen Stills" and
"Stephen Stills 2." On
"Stephen Stills" songs included in his classic poignant style
are "Love the one your with" and "We are not helpless." That album would also include guest
appearances by David Crosby, Graham Nash, Eric
Clapton, Rita Coolidge and Ringo Starr on drums. The second solo album would
dig more into his solo career, with songs including "Change Partners" and "Singin' Call."
In 1972 and 1973, Stephen would join up with his friends Chris Hillman (former member of the Byrds),
Joe Lala, Al
Perkins, Dallas Taylor, Fuzzy Samuel and
Paul Harris to form the band Manassas. They would release two albums
including their debut "Stephen Stills &
Manassas" - with songs such as "Jesus Gave Love away
for free," "Rock 'N' Roll Crazies," and "Jet Set
(sigh)," blending a potpourri of Rock 'N' Roll, Blues and Latin
rythems. And "Stephen Stills & Manassas - Down the
Road." With songs like "Pensamiento" and "Do you remember the Americans?"
incorporating the same distinctive sound.
In 1974, Crosby Stills Nash and Young
and tour. Playing large stadiums such as Wembley. In 1975 he
would venture off on another solo album titled "Stills" (songs including
"Turn Back the Pages," "To Mama from Christopher and the old man"
written for his brand new child, Chris, "As I come of Age,"
"Myth of Sysiphus" and "Cold Cold World."
In December on 1975, another album of Stephen's would be released titled
"Stephen Stills Live", a collection
of live in concert songs.
In 1976, he would release a solo album titled "Illegal
Stills", songs including "Stateline Blues" and "Different
Tongues." And an album with Neil, with the Stills/Young
Band called "Long may you run", Stills tunes "12/8 Blues"
and "Black Coral" and Young tunes such as "Long May You
Run" and "Ocean Girl." They would perform these songs on this tour.
In 1977, he would join Graham and David to record their album
"CSN", adding "Shadow Captain" and "Dark Star" to his catalog.
1978 sparked the release of another Stephen solo
record titled "Thoroughfare Gap". This album was
not popular amoung critics, but well received by many fans. From dance
beats in "Can't get no booty," to the pure awesome beauty of
"Thoroughfare Gap," the title song.
Then he would continue to record more albums with
CSN including "Daylight Again", and "Allies." And do
gigs supporting them.
In 1984, he would release another solo album "Right
By You", including a song he co-wrote with his son Chris titled "Stranger."
And a bluesy tinted title track "Right By You."
1988 would show a release of CSN&Y's "American Dream"
album including "Driving Thunder," and "Night Song"
and "That Girl." In 1990 - CSN's "Live it
up". And in 1991 a acoustic solo album titled "Stills Alone", with
such amazing work as "Isn't it So?" and "Tree top
flyer" - in which you can almost feel what he's writing. 1994 would
bring CSN's "After the Storm" - in which
his son Chris and daughter Jennifer would guest. In 1997, Stephen would
be the first person in Rock history to be inducted into the Rock 'N'
Roll Hall of fame twice in one night. Once with Buffalo Springfield, and
second with Crosby Stills & Nash. And in 1999, they would
release "Looking Forward." The first album they have worked on
with Neil since 1988, and would tour supporting this album on their
CSNY2K tour, there first cross US tour since 1974. This album would
bring out such tunes in Stephen such as reagae inspired "Faith In
Me," Dylan inspired "Seen Enough," roof-tearing "No
Tears Left" only proving more than Stephen has not lost any ability
to move us.
Rumor has it, he is now
working on a new solo album. Lets hope this one is true. : )