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Stephen Stills

Famed for his work in Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash, two of pop music's most successful and enduring groups, Stephen Stills was born in Dallas, Texas on January 3, 1945. He became fascinated by music at a young age, and by the age of 15 was playing professionally. He eventually dropped out of college to move to New York City to try his hand as a folk performer before signing on as a guitar player with the Au Go Go Singers, where he befriended a fellow bandmate named Richie Furay. After a tour of Canada (during which they headlined a bill with the Squires, which featured guitarist Neil Young), Stills left the Au Go Go's in 1965 for Los Angeles, where he became enmeshed in the city's burgeoning folk-rock community. After a series of session gigs and auditions (including one for the TV series The Monkees), in the spring of 1966 Stills enlisted Young, Furay, bassist Bruce Palmer and drummer Dewey Martin to form the Herd, later dubbed the Buffalo Springfield. A year later, the group issued their eponymous debut; its Stills-penned single "For What It's Worth," made them stars. Internal problems, ego clashes and drugs were already tearing the band apart, however, and by the release of 1968's Last Time Around, the Springfield had already dissolved.

Stills quickly resurfaced with 1968's Super Session, recorded with fellow guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper. A jam session with ex-Byrd David Crosby and former Hollies member Graham Nash led to the formation of the vocal harmony supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash; released in 1969, their self-titled debut was hugely successful, propelled by the single "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," written by Stills for folk singer Judy Collins. Later that year, Neil Young joined the loose-knit group, and in 1970, as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, they issued Deja Vu, another major hit.

From its inception, CSNY was designed to allow the individual performers great latitude for their solo work, and following the recording of the group's live LP Four Way Street, in late 1970 Stills released his self-titled solo debut. Sparked the success of the hit single "Love the One You're With," the album, which featured cameos from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, was another smash, as was his 1971 follow-up Stephen Stills 2. In 1972, Stills began performing with a new backing unit, Manassas, which featured ex-Byrd and Flying Burrito Brother Chris Hillman; both their eponymous debut and 1973's Down the Road continued Stills' long string of chart successes.


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