“…By the time they got to Joni’s…..” or “…It was a long time coming…..” …

Written by on July 3, 2018


“…By the time they got to Joni’s…..” or “…It was a long time coming…..” 50 years ago today.

Everybody wants to hold that one epic party in their lifetime, you know, the one people will talk about for years to come. Joni Mitchell had one.

On July 3, 1968, Joni had a a get-together for her musician friends at her home in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon. She had invited a bunch of her musician friends to be there. 3 of the guests were David Crosby of The Byrds, Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash of The Hollies.

The 3 of them started up a little jam session which led directly to the formation of Crosby, Stills & Nash.

There are those that will say that this event actually took place at Mama Cass Elliot’s home. Yes, Crosby met Nash through Cass, but the first time they played together was at Joni’s. The following are out takes from Joni Mitchell’s biography.

“…Knowing they’d be in the same city, David Crosby had given Graham (they’d met through Cass Elliot) advance word on Joni. “He’d said, ‘Watch out for this woman’ – in a good way, that she was very special and very beautiful,” Graham recalls….

…..Graham returned to England, but on the basis of transatlantic counsel from Mama Cass, he began thinking of quitting the Hollies, moving to L.A., and trying to launch himself as a solo act. He had already written the bouncy, quite wonderful Marrakesh Express….

….In July, Graham moved to L.A. and moved in with Joni at her new house in the Canyon, a romantic aerie home with wide plank floors, broad-paned leaded windows, and wood-beamed ceilings at 8217 Lookout Mountain. “We were pretty much terrified of a deep relationship,” Graham says, but they slipped into one anyway.

One night, shortly after Graham moved in, David Crosby and Stephen Stills came over to Joni’s. The ex-Byrd and the Springfield member had been spending days writing and singing together. For all his rock-bad-boy panache, David was a folkie at heart; his bottom tenor was luminous. As for Stills, it was his scratchy, bluesy voice that had made the Springfield’s For What It’s Worth a radical political battle cry….

Page 280 – Crosby, Stills and Nash harmonize

….Stephen had penned a song, You Don’t Have to Cry, for Judy Collins, whose high-powered career was pulling his macho nose out of joint. “In the morning, when you rise,” the song asked, “Are you thinkin’ of telephones / And managers and where you got to be at noon?” (Stills’s Suite: Judy Blue Eyes would be his swan song to her.)

Both Crosby and Stills had heard kudos for Nash’s high harmony, but they’d never tried to sing with him. Sitting around Joni’s living room, getting high, Stills and Crosby sang the first bar of the new song: Crosby the tenor, Stills the alto. Nash asked, “Would you sing that again?” Stills and Crosby repeated the bar. Nash listened intently and then chimed in, producing a straining, poignant slightly sour top note that lifted the song to an ecstatic new dimension. “All four of us – the three of us fellows and Joan – knew! It was a truly amazing moment,” Graham recalls…..”

The picture here is not from that party, but of the guys during that time period.

Were not sure if we should say ‘Happy 50th Birthday’ or ‘Happy Conception Day’ to CSN, so instead we’ll state the obvious, Thank You Joni!!!!

Quick pop quiz…. Your favorite song by CSN (we will allow CSNY songs)?




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