May 4, 2015

"David Crosby and Nash claimed they hadn't played 'Page 43' in years..."

"... deciding to add it to the setlist after an afternoon run through. Given the impressive end result, that must have been one heck of a rehearsal."

Crosby, Stills and Nash played in Milwaukee last night.

A stray quoted from David Crosby: "These songs kept coming. So I quit smoking pot. I know, its shocking. But I think if the muse is going to stop by that often, I want to have the doors open and the lights on. ... I'll get back to it I'm sure."

Anyway... I was never a Crosby, Stills and Nash fan. I held them responsible for wussifying rock and roll. (I liked Neil Young though. And I loved Crosby as a Byrd, and I was fine with Stills in Buffalo Springfield, and had no problem with The Hollies.)

But this song "Page 43." I didn't know it. Listened to (half of) it here. And then I got distracted by the existence of a Snopes article on the song. What's the controversy? Is it a reference to the New Testament?

Look around again
It's the same old story
You see, it's got to be
It says right here on page 43
That you should grab ahold of it
Else you'll find
It's passed you by
Answer: False! Crosby was once asked if it was page 43 of any specific book, which would be helpful to Crosbyites who'd been checking page 43 of various different books, and why don't you pause for a sec and find something on page 43 or your nearest book?

Here, I'll do it: "When I found I loved to teach I swore that I would not become that cold, rigid automaton that I had encountered as a child. Now, I was not unconscious that it was given me to err on the other side." Ha ha.

Back to Crosby. He said:
A. No. As a matter of fact, some very peculiar things happened with people saying [in a low whisper], "Page 43. Yeah. I read that too. I know that nobody else knows, but that was really far out." [Laughter] And I'm thinking, "Yeah! What book are you thinking about?" "The Kaballah!" [Laughter] You have no idea which page 43 they're absolutely sure that I'm talking about. But they're sure.

Q: One guy told me he was absolutely sure it was page 43 of the New Testament.

A: The New Testament. See, that's the one I didn't read. I read the Old Testament. [Laughs] You know, Zap Comix, Issue 28. It could be anything. And they're sure. And they come up to you in a very conspiratorial way and say, "Page 43, yeah, I got it, man."
It's so easy to laugh when you're "under the influence," as Crosby said he was. He was "was under the influence... of James Taylor." Talk about responsibility for the wussification of rock and roll. That James Taylor was strong stuff.

51 comments:

Mark Nielsen said...

Sorry, I like CSNY in pretty much all of their various combinations, and I like James Taylor, too, for that matter. But the Crosby-Nash song Page 43 is a piece of junk.

Coupe said...

I went to Paul's funeral, and met Billy Shears. He could really thump the bass, and played a ripping lead guitar, but in a way, he wasn't as pretty as Paul was. You have to take the good with the bad. I wrote about this on page 43 of my Beatles tour photo book.

Ann Althouse said...

I like James Taylor now.

Now that the damage is done.

The Singer-Songwriter And the Damage Done.

Ann Althouse said...

In my mind, I'm going to Carolina...

I like that one.

Phil 3:14 said...

I liked their harmonics, especially on Country Girl medley.

Didn't like the politics

nor the rape culture (i.e. "Love the one you're with")

hoyden said...

Page 43 is one of my favorite songs from an untitled album. Never thought about the words.

David said...

CSNY was perfect drug music. It made me want to try drugs even though I had long avoided drugs out of (well placed) fear. Seductive music in more ways than one.

Chris said...

And now I've got "American Dream" stuck in my head as I digest the morning's 2016 electoral nonsense.

hoyden said...

Page 43 Augustine's Laws by Norm Augustine

Lord Kelvin once observed that "Large increases in cost with questionable increases in performance can be tolerated only for race houses and fancy women."

hoyden said...

"Horses" not houses.

Ann Althouse said...

"race houses"

If only we were high, we could riff on that and laugh for 5 minutes.

Quayle said...

I've always liked Wooden Ships

Quayle said...

But, then, I've always liked Paul Katner, and the early Jefferson Airplane crowd and sound.

Quayle said...

typo. should be Kantner

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, when was the last time you got stoned? All of the oldsters are doing it again. How about you? It really helps with joint pains and constipation.

EDH said...

The White House has become a "race house".

Tank said...


Once written, twice... said...

Ann, when was the last time you got stoned? All of the oldsters are doing it again. How about you? It really helps with joint pains and constipation.

I wonder if that would effect AA's "tasting" problem.

EMD said...

Young > CSN.

Ann Althouse said...

The chance that smoking something would have a good effect on the sense of smell is vanishingly small. I'm not an alternative medicine type. Why not just try everything in case something might have a positive effect?

And I'm not big on the medical bullshit around marijuana. Let people decide for themselves why they want to use it, including to make music sound better or jokes seem funnier.

As I have explained before, I favor the legalization of marijuana precisely because I think human beings need substances that cause disinhibition. The most important use of disinhibition is to help us laugh at authority figures.

Laslo Spatula said...

"... friend Graham Nash insisted Sunday that (Joni Mitchell) was doing "much, much better." He dedicated "Our House" to her Sunday, and encouraged the crowd to sing along "so Joni could hear," a request the audience gladly obliged."

Sixties Wonder Powers Activate!


I am Laslo.

Bob R said...

Stills was the best instrumentalist of all of that crowd. I like his guitar work on Mananas, and his bass line on Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is a classic. Stills and Young trading licks made CSNY worth it.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, did you get stoned this morning?

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

The chance that smoking something would have a good effect on the sense of smell is vanishingly small. I'm not an alternative medicine type. Why not just try everything in case something might have a positive effect?

And I'm not big on the medical bullshit around marijuana.


Pot is not "everything," but rather, a substance that is known to enhance or intensify the senses for many people. The legality issue, or just not wanting to be "stoned," might be good reasons not to try it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Pot is not "everything," but rather, a substance that is known to enhance or intensify the senses for many people."

Well, I think that intensification is in the mind's perception, not in the sense organ itself. It's not like my mind is having trouble receiving input from my nose.

madAsHell said...

wussifying rock and roll

They have brought a lot to rock-n-roll. They have squeezed a couple of songs out of Palmer Modal Tuning which is a really strange tuning. I think Stills also uses Open-D. They used harmonic voices.

...and they never appeared in Tiger Beat magazine with Bobby Sherman.

Sebastian said...

"I favor the legalization of marijuana precisely because I think human beings need substances that cause disinhibition."

Any kind? Besides the one below, what inhibitions, specifically, must be dissed?

"The most important use of disinhibition is to help us laugh at authority figures."

Won't work. For Progs laughing at their Dear Leaders is the mark of a bad trip.

Mark Nielsen said...

I don't agree with the "wussification" accusation. Stills and Young are two of the most talented rock musicians of that generation. I think Stills is vastly unappreciated. Having Nash along for the ride mellowed them a lot -- he's probably most responsible for what Althouse sees as wussification. But Nash's firs solo album (Songs for Beginners) is really good.

Charlie Currie said...

My first encounter with David Crosby was in the summer of '64 at The New Balladeer, a coffee house in Santa Monica, CA. He play acoustic 12-string guitar (with open-d tuning...madAsHell) and sang passionate, heart rending love songs, as well as, the first version of Hey Joe I ever heard (and still the best, in MHO).

I became a huge fan and still am today. And, because of David Crosby, I was able to meet Bob Dylan...but that's another story for another day.

Saint Croix said...

Anyway... I was never a Crosby, Stills and Nash fan. I held them responsible for wussifying rock and roll.

What's notable about Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is how Republican they were in their outlook. They would sing a song about raising children. They would sing a song about buying a house. It's like a rebuttal to hippie horseshit. I liked that about them, even when I was a kid, that they zigged conservative when the whole culture is zagging the other way. And of course Young brought a radical fire to the group, too. I'm a huge fan of Neil Young.

And harmonies are always awesome, in my book. From Simon and Garfunkel to Peter, Paul and Mary, if the harmony is beautiful, I dig it.

Saint Croix said...

Off topic but I have just discovered how frickin' awesome Blondie is. How did I miss Blondie? I was there. I was listening to the Violent Femmes and the Police and all the rest of the New Wave.

And somehow I missed Blondie, arguably the best band of that era. Strange.

Anthony said...

I really love their Daylight Again album....Southern Cross just melts me every time......but otherwise I don't care for them all that much.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

I'm with Saint Croix on the harmonies being awesome - and with Quayle on early Jeff Airplane.

I thought of CSNY as more elaborating folk than wussifying rock.

Kirk Parker said...

Oh, come on, Althouse!

Suite Judy Blue Eyes?

jr565 said...

Saint Croix wrote:
What's notable about Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is how Republican they were in their outlook. They would sing a song about raising children.

I think that's Graham Nash. He's probably more conservative/normal than Crosby say, who was a complete degenerate.
Not sure what Stills politics were.

jr565 said...

I just started listening to Crosby Stills Nash recently after hating them my whole life. And they are actually better than I remembered.

Smilin' Jack said...

As I have explained before, I favor the legalization of marijuana precisely because I think human beings need substances that cause disinhibition. The most important use of disinhibition is to help us laugh at authority figures.

But that's also the most important use of the current marijuana laws.

Mac McConnell said...

EMD said...
Young > CSN.

Agreed!

CSN&Y > CSN


The Prof should attend a large venue CSN&Y concert, 1st half mellow, 2nd half balls to the wall.

Coupe said...

Saint Croix said......somehow I missed Blondie

Their early records were all listenable, and I bought them. I thought some of the fare was bubble-gum, but it didn't creep me out too far.

Their last album was Autoamerican, which was cool, because they did one song in each genre. She even did this unknown crap called Rap music, which being before its time, was actually listenable and funny "Now he only eats guitars!"

After Autoamerican, they were all tapped-out junkies and the records were merely contractual fodder.

Coupe said...

All this talk about smoking marijuana makes me want to tell people, that smoking dope today, is nothing like smoking dope in the 60's.

It would take you a whole bag of dope in Portland in 1969 to get high. We used to smoke a whole bag at parties and even then we'd have to switch to wine or malt liqueur.

Today, it's good shit. My daughter gave me one of her joints a few years ago, and it knocked me on my ass. No shit, I asked her if she dipped it in PCP "what??" OK, that was just dope? "yea-ah??"

Holy shit, we used to have to smoke hash, or dip the joint in PCP just to get half that high...

I'm telling you, it's good shit right now, but even still... I'm a sipper. I don't like getting knocked on my ass, I want to enjoy myself. Food, sex, warm water on my nipples, all these things mean more to me than THC ripping my heart out.

I never liked that slow rock/folk music stuff. There's laid back, then there's laid back, and that AM music mostly creeped me out.

I wanted to hear bass in my lungs, and I wanted to hear the stratocaster in my liver. It had to make my toes hurt when I tried to touch the sky.

Strumming is for girls...

lgv said...

Wussifying? The Byrds weren't exactly rock.

Yes, I love CSN w/ or w/o Y. There is a reason. I was part of choir group that toured Poland for 3 weeks in 1974, long before the Gdansk uprising. We were in youth hostel (university during the summer) in Krakow. Three members of our group had brought acoustic guitars and would play sessions covering CSNY and all the hostel guests would show up and have a great time. They probably came from a dozen different countries, mostly eastern bloc, all brought together to sing and listen to CSNY songs.

Unknown said...

I went to a Sills & Young concert circa 1976 in Springfield, Ma. The smoke was so thick you could get high breathing deep. They did some acoustic, but Young got pissy when people wouldn't be quiet & refused to continue.

Clyde said...

I stumbled across Stephen Stills'
Manassas album a few years back and was just blown away by it. It held up very well for an album almost 40 years old at the time. If you haven't heard it, find it. Worth the listen.

Scott said...

I always wanted to know who made the brown suede boots that David Crosby wore on the cover of the "Crosby, Stills & Nash" album. I have never seen any like them anywhere else.

jr565 said...

Coupe wrote:
All this talk about smoking marijuana makes me want to tell people, that smoking dope today, is nothing like smoking dope in the 60's.

so if it would take you 40 years of dope smoking to get Morgellon's in the 60's you'll now get it in 5.

Ron said...

But Graham Nash helped give us fine art printing!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Nash#Early_digital_fine_art_printing

eddie willers said...

I had tickets to the Stills/Young Band. Neil left before the tour got to Atlanta. I don't remember what I did with those tickets.

Long may you run.

Coupe said...

jr565 said...so if it would take you 40 years of dope smoking to get Morgellon's in the 60's you'll now get it in 5.

People stress about all the wrong stuff.

The thing that is killing me, is not a schedule 1 or 2 drug, it's not even on a schedule. It is high fructose corn syrup.

Slurp...

madAsHell said...

It would take you a whole bag of dope in Portland in 1969 to get high.

yeah....I miss paraquat pot.

RecChief said...

I can appreciate teh harmonies, but jsut a little too flower child for me.

Trashhauler said...

Their general relevance is about as timeless as their lyrics. Take, for example, those immortal words, "If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with."

What husband, wife, or lover today doesn't agree with that sentiment?

RichardJohnson said...

Saint Croix said...
What's notable about Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is how Republican they were in their outlook. They would sing a song about raising children. They would sing a song about buying a house. It's like a rebuttal to hippie horseshit.

You might be interested in reading Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream. It maintains that a lot of the 1960s musicians who hung out in Laurel Canyon came from military/intelligence backgrounds.The father of Stephen Stills, for example, worked for the USG in Central America. It at least implies that the folk rock/country etc music of the Laurel Canyon set was done to distract young people from politics.


But there was a dark side to that scene as well.
Many didn't make it out alive, and many of those deaths remain shrouded in mystery to this day. Far more integrated into the scene than most would care to admit was a guy by the name of Charles Manson, along with his murderous entourage. Also floating about the periphery were various political operatives, up-and-coming politicians, and intelligence personnel - the same sort of people who just happened to give birth to many of the rock stars populating the canyon. And all of the canyon's colorful characters - rock stars, hippies, murderers, and politicos - happily coexisted alongside a covert military installation.


The author goes overboard in trying to fit all to his hypothesis. In trying to fit Peter Tork/Torkelson to this military/intellegence mold, he points out that Tork "like so many others in this story,hailed from Washington, DC." But Peter Tork spent only his first year of life in DC, and his father requested for his memorial service,that instead of flowers,people contribute to a Marxist libary in Oakland. Not precisely what a military/intelligence operative would do.