David Crosby: Guinnevere (alt. version)

December 2, 2008

Some time ago, probably late 80s, I was sitting in Hugos in West Hollywood, with my partner having dinner. I looked across from me and there was David Crosby with his wife Jan. I couldn’t resist telling him that he changed my life and my music was very much influenced by his music. He was amused — amused enough to agree to come to UCLA to talk to our students about stuff (don’t take drugs — he was freshly sober), and his most recent music.

Before that, he came to my apartment in West Hollywood. He played me a cassette of the Bulgarian Women’s Chorus (their first Nonesuch recording), and I played him my Dickinson Madrigals, Book I where there was harmony that I felt was very Crosby influenced. He said he didn’t hear it, but he liked it.

I then pulled out my guitar, showed him that I knew the tuning for “Guinnevere”, he was impressed, and then I started playing it. We sang it together for a verse and bridge and stopped. “Yeah, that’s not exactly how I play it but those are definitely the notes.” I was sanctified.

The sound of “Guinnevere” pervaded my late-60s high school days. To be with this guy, WOW.

Here is a video of another version that was made at the same time with some very interesting variants from the one they released on Crosby Stills and Nash’s first album.

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Michael Kaulkin: About the Composer » Blog Archive » Do You Know Guinnevere?
December 2, 2008 at 9:40 am

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Michael December 2, 2008 at 9:34 am

Wow, thanks for this! I love hearing these rough-around-the-edges versions of well known songs. One frequently gets a better sense of what makes them tick, and this is no exception.

I tried to decide which version I like better, and then decided it’s neither here nor there. They’re both good.

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