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Stephen Stills

Neil Young wrote about him in his autobiography "Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream" from 2013: "Stephen is a genius".


So let's tell you a little about the man Neil Young crowned as no less than a "genius" - singer, guitarist and songwriter Stephen Stills:



1. Steven (Stephen) Stills was born in Dallas Texas as Stephen Arthur Stills on January 3, 1945.


2. As someone who grew up in a "military" family he used to move with his parents from one place of residence to another. Following his family's residences in various places in the southern United States and in Central American countries, he was influenced by folk, blues and Latin music.


3. One of the first bands he was a member of in the early 60's was "The Continentals", which also included Don Felder who would later become the guitarist of the "Eagles".


4. In 1964 he was part of the folk band "Au Go Go Singers", where he met Richie Furay, who two years later would form the "Buffalo Springfield" with him.


5. After the dissolution of "Au Go Go Singers" in 1965, he formed the folk-rock band "Company" which played live in several places in Canada. That's how he first met Neil Young, while performing at a club in Ontario Canada.


6.In 1966 he persuaded Furay to move with him to California in search of their musical future.


7. That same year Neil Young and Bruce Palmer went on a similar voyage. After disbanding their band "Mynah Birds" in Canada, the two sold all of the band's equipment, purchased a funeral car named Mort II and crossed the U.S. border, illegally, in search of a musical future in Los Angeles.


8. Stills and Furay will spot Neil Young and Palmer traveling in Mort II while stuck in a traffic jam at Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Stills made an illegal U-turn to get Young and Palmer and it was this random encounter that spawned "Buffalo Springfield."


9. "Buffalo Springfield" has greatly influenced the development of the country-rock and folk-rock genres. Stills was the living spirit behind the band along with Neil Young.


10. On December 5, 1966 they released their debut album, "Buffalo Springfield".


11. The single "For What It's Worth" from it was released on the day. Stills wrote the song which immediately became a hit. Later the song was also adopted by the anti-war movements against the Vietnam War and become an anti-war anthem.


12. By 1968 Stills would release with 2 more albums "Buffalo Springfield", before disbanding.


13. Following the breakup of "Buffalo Springfield" he will team up with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield to release the 1968 masterpiece album "Super Session".


14. On April 26, 1968, he entered a recording studio in New York with his girlfriend Judy Collins. After Collins finished recording Stills asked to take advantage of the time left from the session for which Judy paid in advance to record his demos. He was left in the studio alone that night and recorded the first demos for songs that would be released shortly thereafter as part of "Crosby, Stills and Nash".


15. Stills will release the original recordings of the demos from that magical night as part of the album "Just Roll Tape: April 26, 1968", released in 2007.


16. Stills' connection with Crosby and Nash began in late 1967 when David Crosby was fired from "The Byrds". Graham Nash who was a member of "The Hollies", met Crosby during the Byrds' tour in England.


17. After the dissolution of the "Buffalo Springfield" in July 1968, the three meet at a private party held at Johnny Mitchell's house (Stills still insists it was at Mama Cass' house from "The mamas And Papas").


18. Crosby and Stills played a new song written by Stills "You Don't Have to Cry", which will later appear on the band's debut album. Nash joined them in singing third harmony, and right at that moment the three realized that there was an amazing vocal combination between them that could not be ignored. The crazy vocal chemistry and this special connection, made Nash leave "The Hollies" and join the emerging "Supergroup".


19. In May 1969, the supergroup's first album, named after the band Crosby, Stills & Nash, was released.


20. Stills took the lead and played most of the instruments on the album, guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals, with Crosby and Nash adding acoustic guitars and of course the vocal roles. Dallas Taylor was hired to perform the drum roles.


21. The album opens with "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" written by Stills, a four-part work, lasting more than 7 minutes, with a number of transitions and rhythm changes, that Stills wrote about Judy Collins.


22. Together with "CSN" he will become the leader of the struggle against the Vietnam War. This will earn them the nickname "the voice of the generation".


23. About three months after the release of the debut album, "CSN" has already appeared at the legendary Woodstock Festival. It was only their second live show ever.


24. Neil Young will take the stage and join the trio in the second and more "electric" part of the show. This moment will be the trigger that will turn the trio into the quartet "CSNY", when Neil Young joins them as a full member.


25. During the 1969 "Big Sur" folk festival in California, which was supposed to send an anti-war message, Stills was caught on camera in a fit fight with one of the spectators.


26. In 1970 he released his first solo album called "Stephen Stills".


27. It's the only album in history to feature both Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.


28. The album also features Ringo Starr, Cass Elliot, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Rita Coolidge and more.


29. Stills was a good friend of Jimi Hendrix and used to jam with him.


30. In fact Jimi Hendrix was the one who taught him to play lead guitar.


31. Rumor has it that he was also a candidate to fill the role of bass player in Jimi Hendrix's backing band.


32. Stills auditioned for the 1960s TV series and the band "The Monkees".


33. In 1971 he participated in Bill Withers' album "Just as I Am" and played guitar on the hit "Ain't No Sunshine".


34. At the end of 1971 he joined Chris Hillman who was the bassist of "the Byrds", to form "Manassas".


35. In 1976 he played the percussion in the song "You Should Be Dancing" by the "Bee Gees", band taken from their album "Children of the World".


36. The Gibb brothers returned a favor, when Andy Gibb (brother of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb) sang background vocals in two songs from Stills' 1978 album "Thoroughfare Gap".


37. In 1976 when Crosby & Nash recorded and performed under the name "Crosby & Nash", Young and Stills formed "The Stills-Young Band" and released the album "Long May You Run".


38. The idyll between the two fell apart after only nine shows, while Young abandons Stills in a telegram message.


39. In 1979 he took part in the "Havana Jam" festival held in Cuba and became (along with Billy Joel, Chris Christopherson and others who performed there), one of the first American artists to appear on Cuban soil after the missile crisis with the United States.


40. Stills collaborated with members of "Public Enemy" on the song "He Got Game", which included quotes from "For What It's Worth" by "Buffalo Springfield".


41. He has performed at the three mythical festivals of the 1960s - in Monterey with the "Buffalo Springfield", and in Woodstock and "Altamont" with the CSN.


42. Stills is the first artist to enter the Rock Hall of Fame twice at the same evening, both as a member of "Buffalo Springfield" and as a member of "Crosby, Stills and Nash."


43. On his 63rd birthday, January 3, 2008, he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth in his prostate. The operation was successful.


44. His last appearance with "Crosby, Stills & Nash" was at the "White House" as part of a the Christmas of 2015 cellebrations.


45. "Rolling Stone" magazine ranked Stills 47th on the list of greatest guitarists of all time and noted that he is one of the most underrated Rock guitarists, probably due to the fact that he is perceived as a singer-songwriter.


46. ​​Stills has released over 30 studio albums during his illustrious career, including: three albums with "Buffalo Springfield", two albums with "Manassas", thirteen with "CSN", three with "CSNY", one with the band "The Stills-Young Band", one with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield and eight solo albums.


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