5/26/09 Some "conversations" are more challenging than others. By that I mean some artists are far less interested in talking about their music than actually making it. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stephen Stills is firmly in this category. I just got back from speaking with him for about 20 minutes at a rehearsal studio in Burbank where Crosby, Stills & Nash were well, rehearsing for their upcoming tour. First: YES, I was in a rehearsal hall with CROSBY, STILLS & NASH!!! OK, sorry, I'll never be jaded enough to get over how very cool these moments are!!! Anyway, Stephen and I were scheduled to talk about Demos, an amazingly aptly titled new CD featuring 12 raw, early demos of some the band members' (collectively and individually) biggest hits, such as "Marrakesh Express," "Almost Cut My Hair," "Déjà vu," "Long Time Gone," "Chicago" and "Love the One You're With," among others.
From the moment I pressed "record," Stephen made no secret of his preference for making music and not taking about it. But like the professional that I am, I soldiered on, and eventually did get him to open up about songwriting, performing live, the magical musical connection that is CS&N, etc. But what really got him talking was when we got into politics. Man, I couldn't get him to be quiet about the bank bailouts, etc, etc. So, as tough a conversation as it was, I was eventually left to follow Stephen's own advice: "Love the One You're With."