Fans of CSNY, the first great “supergroup", will cherish this collection of music essays by some of rock n’ roll’s best writers in 4 Way Street: The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Reader. Edited and compiled by rock music author and former record executive Dave Zimmer, who also wrote Crosby, Stills & Nash: The Biography, this book offers dozens of insightful glimpses into the world of one of music’s alltime greatest bands, including offerings from such critics and luminaries as Cameron Crowe, Ben Fong-Torres, Roy Carre, Lenny Kaye and Joel Selvin, accompanied by over fifty black and white candid photos.
From the band members’ humble musical origins playing in some of the best 1960’s pop acts, to their formation as CSNY in 1969, to their awesome Woodstock appearance, to their chart-topping success with albums like Déjà vu, to David Crosby’s debilitating addiction, to their personal and solo careers and ambitions and failures, this comprehensive guide to all things CSNY will satisfy even those diehard fans who thought they knew everything there was to know about the band. The essays take us behind the stage and behind the scenes into the lives of these four unique individuals, who came from diverse musical backgrounds to unite in a supergroup that would go down in history as one of the handful of major arena draws and history-making artists to truly change the face of rock music.
Some of the essays are interviews (including the famous Rolling Stone interviews with Ben Fong-Torres) with probing questions that shed light upon what drove these men to make the music and live the often brutal and exhausting lifestyle, and other essays offer up more analytical insight into why CSNY’s music was so critical in influencing other artists over the last few decades. We get to know these four men -- David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young -- not only collectively, as a band, but as strong and often clashing individuals each with their own signature sound and musical genius.
Other essays cover the break-ups and reunions, the solo acts that took off and those that failed, and the personal struggles of each member as they dealt with the results of their massive success…some more maturely than others. Some of the later interviews, including one for Guitar World magazine in 1999, shed the most light on the band as the members open up to questions about their past experiences and how success has changed them and their music. Their introspection about the paths they’ve walked is truly moving and fascinating, perhaps even more so than some of the early interviews, when their passion and energy was youthful and raw. There is, after all, something to be said for maturity and wisdom.
4 Way Street is a must-have for any genuine music lover who desires to better understand the forces behind the “forces” that shaped rock and set the stage for just about every band and performer to come after them. CSNY, CSN and the four men who lived the saga remain legends of rock and roll, and this book solidifies the reasons why. It is a must-have for anyone interested in the history of rock, and those that actually made that history come to life.