60s Youngsters who think they are wise

March 16, 2008

Here is a video of Stephen Stills on the Dick Cavett Show. Wow! What a circle of stars. Sitting next to him are Joni Mitchell and David Crosby, and I saw Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen and Marty Balin (?) from the Jefferson Airplane.

In my life as a folk singer I loved to sing this song. The mode of the verse is major, the mode of the “chorus” is minor pentatonic. The guitar is in D tuning if I remember correctly. I love the poncho Stills has on.

The content of the lyrics and his tone make it sound like he is the wisened old sage passing down words of wisdom while rocking in his rocking chair, puffing on his pipe and staring into the distance. At least that was the image I always had. Everyone else around the circle looks like they are, well, mellow. This video was filmed right after Woodstock.

“4 + 20 by Stephen Stills”


So, in that song, Stills talks about being 24 years old. In this song, John Sebastian of the Lovin Spoonful sings as if he is an old man “And now a quarter of my life has past…” And what it the pitch he is singing on the hook “Darlin be home soon.” It’s as though he can’t make up his mind which note to give us so he gives us both as a kind of tremulant begging tone.

“Darling Be Home Soon” (Sebastian) by the Lovin’ Spoonful


In “My Back Pages” Bob Dylan declares “…ah but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” The Byrds covered ths song and adapted this line for their “Younger than Yesterday” album

“My Back Pages” (Dylan) sung by Bob Dylan

And here is recent cover by Roger McGuinn (Byrds) playing the song solo on his Rickenbacker. May I take this opportunity to let you know if you’re thinking of what to get me for Xmas, I’d like this 12-string Rickenbacker. Having that guitar was my biggest wish in high school and I’ve never had one.

“My Back Pages” (Dylan) sung by Roger McGuinn

And let’s have one more superstar cover at the 1992 Dylan tribute. I see Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and George Harrison all tip their hats to Master Bob.

“My Back Pages”

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