Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Stefano Frollano, along with Herman Verbeke, Francesco Lucarelli and Lucien
Van Diggelen, is the author of a few books on CSNY. He
wrote The Woodstock Project and I think its important to pass on his information. Here is
what Stefano knows:
Nash told us some time ago that we know everything about them more than they could
remember...Passion for this music is the only guide and I grew up with their
own music... I followed in the past many CSN gigs so I know many stories and anecdotes...
Sea Of Madness: I made an interview with Barncard and Halverson during the
recent years. I'm the specialist of the session recording (the other guys
cared about the text of the first two volumes, me and Francesco about the
third one) so during the interviews my curiosity carried many questions in that way...
I've literally bombarded Barncard Halverson and the Albert Brothers with questions
about the sessions, unreleased songs and recording techniques. If you really want
to know everything about CSNY you have to read these books ...we wanted to realize
our dream: complete the chronology concert and studio session ..cause we've always
thought this a kind of job would have make happy many fans around the world...
just like me and you...
One of the first questions I made to Halverson and Barncard was just about
this mystere... Barncard was still not involved at that time (Woodstock gig)
with them. He will begin to work with them in mid-October 1969. Halverson
worked with CSN and CSNY from the beginning (January 1969) . I've done various
interviews with him about the recording process and I found out many details
about CSNY records, especially Deja Vu and Four Way Street...but many questions
didn't find the answer..'cause Bill didn't recall details of thirty-two years
back (I can understand him)...so I asked to the authorized historician of CSN&Y,
Mr.Joel Bernstein...he didn't know what was the problem about the Atlantic album...
So I decided to verify personally ...going to read books, reviews fanzines etc.
and talk with people...and at the end, I've found out as follows:
1- CSNY recorded Fillmore shows of 19 and 20 Sept. 1969
2- A friend of mine have been at the Neil's ranch some years ago and it took
some shots inside the Neil's home; casually one of these shots was about some,
apparently, box similar to vhs boxes and with the spines indicating just the
CSNY Fillmore shows.
3- "Sea of Madness" was recorded at Stephen Stills' house by Bill Halverson
on 8-track machine with Nash and Young on dual vocal Crosby and Stills on
guitars, Dallas Taylor on drums and Bruce Palmer (if they recorded in July)
or Greg Reeves on bass.
4- Here what Barncard said to us about this : "There's a killer CSNY Sea Of
Madness" from the 8 track recordings recorded at Stephen's house previous
to Deja Vu by our own Mr.Halverson. No one else has heard it though. Neil
and Nash singin' two parts." Barncard mixed it twice at Stephen's house;
this studio version remains unreleased. So, boys, after this I have no
doubt...'cause I've thought sometime that Atlantic could have used a
studio version of the song...but Barncard confirmed that is still unreleased;
but I still had to solve the mystere ...
5- My research was strong and I've found out some old magazines (I don't
remember which ones). The info about the song coming from Nash directly!!!!
In fact, in 1974, on some interviews he declared that song came out from
another show. Some previous rumors told that CSNY overdubbed their Woodstock
performance. Chaos was augmenting on my mind. So I asked to Halverson about the
overdubs and he said: "Atlantic sent us the tapes to fix the vocals. We listened
and they chose not to fix anything". In 1974 Nash admitted that the version was
taken from Fillmore East and with vocal overdubs!!!! At the end, hands up, I've
decided to write this on our book. It was important to document the facts and
re-organize the sequel. Bill Halverson cannot remember everything so I have a
good reason to believe that Nash in 1974 had a fresh memory more than how Bill
can now recall ...don't you agree?
6- So I believe that CSNY and Halverson listening tapes decided to change
"Sea..." Woodstock version with another one. Probably, the Woodstock performance
was not good at all. They recorded it live also during their first perfomances
at Chicago, Woodstock, Greek Theatre in L.A.,at Big Sur and at Fillmore East.
At the Fillmore they played two shows each night. The version released on the
Woodstock soundtrack came out from Sept.20th, 1969. Early or late?? Boh...
The movie score -
The two tracks included on the movie - Long Time Gone and Wooden Ships were remixed
for the occasion, first copies of the film sounded mono. So we have two remixes,
mono and stereo; it depends which copy you have on vhs. Naturally, "Wooden Ships"
is present on the soundtrack triple lp but it's the live version that CSNY played
at the Festival.
The last final song , "Woodstock", is a different version from the released one on
CSNY's "Déjà Vu" album; it's a remixed and with a different solo guitar by Young.
Now the LPs -
Apart the story about "Sea Of Madness", I found out that :
on Woodstock 2 on the song "Marrakesh Express" you could hear a second guitar after
the first refrain. Probably this is one of the few overdubs that group played
(despite Bill Halverson declared). In fact, if you hear the song released on the
25th Anniversary you'll notice that is the remixed track where Atlantic removed the
overdubbed guitar riff. The "overdubs story" is justified by the Woodstock Director's
cut video; you can see Nash on guitar, Crosby and Stills on vocals and maracas, Greg
Reeves on Bass , Taylor on drums and Young (but out of the cameras) on piano; there's
no other guitarist on stage...
At the moment I don't know if they overdubbed some things just after the show or in 1970
..next to the soundtrack and the movie releases. The only note I'm sure of is that
"Woodstock" track was recorded on Nov. 5, 1969, so probably for the movie version they
gave to Atlantic an alternate take or add a different solo at the eleventh hour.
On Woodstock 2 you read 4+20 and Guinnevere by CSN&Y. Indeed, 4+20 is played by Stills
only and the other one is played by Crosby & Nash