Following their appearance at Woodstock, a week long residency at the Greek Theater in L.A. and before four nights at the Fillmore East in New York, the band played another festival, the annual Big Sur, CA music festival staged by the Esalen institute the weekend of September 13 & 14, 1969. This year, the proceedings were filmed for a documentary, which had its premiere on April 9th 1971 in New York.
CSNY performed on both days:
September 13: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes / Blackbird / Helplessly Hoping / Guinnevere / Lady Of The Island / Birds / 4 + 20 / You Don’t Have To Cry / Pre-Road Downs / Long Time Gone / Bluebird Revisited / Sea Of Madness / Wooden Ships / Down By The River
September 14: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes / Pre-Road Downs / Long Time Gone / Bluebird Revisited / Sea Of Madness / Wooden Ships / Down By The River
The movie soundtrack contained the following CSNY selections:
“Sea of Madness”
“4 + 20” – Stills solo performance
“Down By the River” [incomplete]
As the bootlegs have significantly more, and in the case of “Down By The River”, complete performances and the audio quality is pretty good, the source was likely a pre-production soundboard tape for the documentary; although ghostsontheroad.co.uk also mentions a tape “possibly from a radio broadcast”.
Looking at the vinyl bootlegs that appeared ca. 1971, we can find two distinct versions – those that include the officially released version of “Ohio” – TMOQ’s 71013 Ohio Wooden Nickel [which also adds a live version of “Find The Cost Of Freedom” from an unknown source] and Ohio on Snoopy Records [which also added the studio version of “Teach Your Children”] – and those that do not: Bluebird Live on Dittolino, Wooden Nickel on Canyon Records and the CBM copy. ghostsontheroad.co.uk states that out of these, TMOQ’s Ohio Wooden Nickel was the first release.
This is the best image I could find of the insert, which, unless I’m mistaken, came only with later re-issues. Anyone have a better and complete one?
TMOQ track list: Side 1: Ohio (Studio) / Guinevere (September 13) / Birds (Sept. 13) / 4 & 20 (Sept 13) / You Don’t Have To Cry (Sept. 13) / Suite To Judy Blue Eyes (Sept. 14)
Side 2: Find The Cost Of Freedom (?) / Listen Once Again To My Bluebird [Bluebird Revisited] (Sept. 14) / Sea Of Madness (Sept. 14) / Down By The River… (not studio, Sept .13)
The album was listed as “0003” in Hot Wacks. While not shown on this insert more numbers following the same format exist (I do have a close up of ‘0004’ for the next release) and I have decided to use it. I just wish I knew the other numbers as well.
Dittolini Discs track list: Side 1: Guinevere (September 13; 4:33) / Birds (Sept. 13; 2:54) / 4 & 20 (Sept 13; 1:58) / You Don’t Have To Cry (Sept. 13; 3:13) / Suite To Judy Blue Eyes (Sept. 14; 7:44) Side 2: Listen Once Again To My Bluebird [Bluebird Revisited] (Sept. 14; 3:11) / Sea Of Madness (Sept. 14; 3:28) / Down By The River… (not studio, Sept .13; 13:50)
Rare praise for the Dittolino version comes from this collector comment:
“A PA soundboard tape from the gig became an early classic bootleg under the clever moniker “Wooden Nickel” pressed up by Canyon Records (and a later better re-master by So Cal’s Dittolino Discs). Side 1 was a very nice acoustic set featuring Guinnevere and and Birds. Side 2 featured Sea Of Madness and Down By The River. The problem was, being a PA mix, the mix featured only vocals (and screechy harmonies), drums, bass, and organ; the only guitar sound (amped separately), only bled into the mix via the vocal mics. The album gave them some “street cred”, but was also quite flawed (the opening track Side 2 lurched to a start well into the first verse). For a while the only CSNY live tracks available were either this album, or the few paltry tracks available on albums Woodstock and Woodstock 2 (and Sea Of Madness is allegedly NOT from the Woodstock gig!).
I believe Dallas Taylor and Greg Reeves were let go at the end of touring in 1969 as they “were asking equal billing” or pay(?), and a 1970 CSNY tour was launched with replacements Johnny Barbata and Calvin Samuels. Dates were taped on multi-track specifically for a live album. “Wooden Nickel” was clearly weighing on their minds. On one of the multi-track tapes for “4 Way Street” (Chicago?), Crosby is either prompted or simply starts a rap to the audience about “Wooden Nickel” on “Bogus Records”,…”steal your money”. He clearly tries to downplay the audience cheers for the bootleg, and seems particularly embarrassed by the electric side. Neil also lets the audience know that Bill Halverson is downstairs recording the gig for a live album, and bumps mics and chairs for comic effect.
The impact of the official “4 Way Street” was almost lost by the release by heavy-hitter Rubber-Dubber Records’ “Live At The L.A. Forum” with red, white and blue American flag cover, as several of the tracks were to be included on “4 Way Street”. Rubber Dubber’s tape was a very inferior audience tape, however, so THAT bootleg quickly died on the vine. In later years, some of Bill Halverson’s tapes started circulating, but Atlantic was cluey enough to include some of these “outtakes”, particularly a Neil Young acoustic medley, as bonus tracks on their extended cd re-release of “4 Way Street”. ” [from http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/bootlegs-that-have-inspired-forced-official-releases.166441/ ]
SNOOPY RECORDS S231718
As noted, “Teach Your Children”, closing side 1 here, was pirated from the official LP.
Side 2: Guinevere (September 13) / Birds (Sept. 13) / 4 & 20 (Sept 13) / You Don’t Have To Cry (Sept. 13) / Suite To Judy Blue Eyes (Sept. 14)
Below, the Canyon Records version.
Track list is identical to Dittolini Discs release. I have previously included this release with a green label.
The version shown above made the papers, as Atlantic Records and the group were not amused:
Source: Billboard, July 4 1970 edition
Contraband copy: I was not able to find an image for this.
Jamming in their drive way with Greg Reeves, ca. 1969.
I see images like these and I want to get a time machine and transport myself there.