It’s Friday Night and the Coffee is On

Quick Sketch of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Quick Sketch of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

The stage personalities, the presence, and the look of these characters were unique. Young, with his sunken-eyed stare shooting out from behind long black strands of hair, loomed to one side of the stage like a captive renegade. Stills floated out front more often, standing with his back straight like a country gentleman, striking hard poses while soloing, or loosening into a pained bluesman at the mike. Nash was the gentle, personable English hippie, who always charmed the crowd with his good nature. Without a doubt, it was Crosby who centered the team on stage. By his own admission, he was “the group mouthpiece.” David also, at this time, coined a visual image that pretty much became the international archetypal hippie look–a long mustache brushed down over the lips, long frizzy hair grown to the shoulders, and a frontiersman’s buckskin jacket, with fringe flying.

Dave Zimmer, Crosby, Stills & Nash: the Biography

These are the simple pleasures that I feel more profoundly now than in earlier years. Spring Break has begun, and I’m delighted to leave school for a week. Temperatures are sliding downward this winter evening and I’m glad to stay indoors. Coffee steams in my mug, Buffalo Springfield spins on my turntable, a good book is in my lap, and I guess I have to admit that I miss not having a cat or dog to scratch right now. My last pet died a couple of summers ago and it does get a little solitary around here when the weekends grow quiet.

I rewarded my quiet hours tonight by kicking out a quick sketch of CSN&Y, then pulling out the acoustic guitar and loosening up with some of their numbers. This was the group that seized my heart right after they put out their first album. I didn’t discover it until 1970, but it made me lay down the electric guitar and pick up the 12-string acoustic. Since then, I’ve only wanted to be an acoustic guitarist and to find people around me to work up some vocal harmonies. I’ve been fortunate to experience some of this, and now recently have found the company of some beautiful acoustic guitarists who challenge me to be better at it. I keep thinking that someday I’ll find myself in a group again, as I miss some of that dynamic from my past. Below, I’ve posted a picture from years gone by when I used to appear with a band at a local watering hole in Fort Worth. I can’t say I really miss those days, but I do miss playing regularly with kindred spirits. It’s been too long.

Former Times in the Pepper Mill Lounge

Former Times in the Pepper Mill Lounge

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