Summer is unofficially here, I'm officially married as of May 25, and the July Music & Art issue of LI Pulse will be out soon, featuring an interview with Stephen Stills, conducted in NYC on April 22.
Stills has recently released Carry On, a 4-CD boxed collection spanning five decades and five hours, containing the musical record of a true genius. I've interviewed David Crosby and Graham Nash numerous times over the past twenty years for CSN, CSNY, Crosby-Nash, CPR, and solo ventures ... but encounters with Stills have been far fewer. Our last conversation took place in 1995 after a triumphant solo performance at the legendary NYC club Tramps. Stills had just mesmerized a packed house with a set that featured an acoustic medley of songs from Manassas (which moved Atlantic Records mogul Ahmet Ertegun, sitting two tables away from me, to tears) and concluded with a blistering version of Crosby's "Long Time Gone." That night, Stills and I spent a good twenty minutes shooting the breeze at the after-show party. Clear-eyed, sober, and articulate as hell, he was curious to hear my opinion of the show. Mentioning the Manassas medley and "Long Time Gone" as particular highlights, Stills nodded his head, showing both appreciation and agreement in one movement. I've seen CSN (and Y) in every possible permutation from 1977 through the present, and have to say that the combination of having seen Stills onstage with CSN last June at Westbury and the experience of immersing myself in the 4-CD collection for the past several weeks has elevated my respect for this artist to a new high level. Look for the interview in LI Pulse next month . The Island Zone Update will feature the full transcript within a few weeks.
- Roy Abrams
Long Island, NY