Classic Hits & Oldies

David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash reflect on CSNY’s enduring debut album, ‘Déjà Vu’

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David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash were interviewed recently by Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young‘s 1970 debut album, Déjà Vu, in celebration of the new expanded reissue of the classic record.

Graham reminisced about Neil Young joined the group shortly after the Crosby, Stills & Nash album was released. He recalled that before agreeing Young being part of the band, he had breakfast with Neil to see if they could get along.

Nash noted that at the end of the meal, he said to Young, “[T]ell me one reason why we should invite you into this band.”

Graham remembered that Neil, who previously played with Stills in Buffalo Springfield, responded, “Have you ever heard me and Stephen play guitar together?…That’s why you want be in this band.” Nash added, “[H]e was right.”

However, Crosby had a different take on why the trio wanted Young in the group.

“[It] was not his guitar playing, not his singing, not…that he was nice or anything,” Crosby told Lowe. “It was those songs. He writes really good songs.”

Reflecting on how the quartet decided on which songs would go on the album, Crosby noted, “We would listen to each other’s songs, and a song would either move you or it wouldn’t. Neil sang us ‘Helpless,’ we knew what to do. It was a wonderful song. Stills…comes with ‘Carry On,’ and you just go, ‘Oh, s***. I’m glad I’m in a band with this guy.'”

Stills, meanwhile, explained how he knows Déjà Vu is such an enduring album.

“If decades later, it’s still resonating, you go, ‘Oh, now we’ve fulfilled our purpose there,'” he said. “And [if] 50 years later, [I can] still remember it, let alone…feel that it’s somewhat profound, it’s really a gift.”

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