Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Wembley Stadium 1974

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Wembley Stadium 1974
Special guests: Joni Mitchell, The Band, Jesse Colin Young
Looking back this was a very strong line-up and a truly historic gig, although I’m not sure I realised it at the time. A group of us went down to London by train, primarily to see CSN&Y. To be honest ( and to my shame) I had little interest in seeing the other acts on the bill. This gig was very much a coming together of the long hairs; everyone there to see a cluster of west coast superstars who rarely appeared in the UK. The weather was good, a hot late summer day, and the vibe friendly and laid back. I remember running into loads of people from the North East. We had tickets for the stands, and couldn’t get down on the pitch which was frustrating. My mates and I spent some time next to the back stage area, star spotting. We saw (I think; from a bad….memory) members of the Moody Blues, The Faces, Led Zeppelin and Marc Bolan. My mate Don and I ran into Robert Plant in the gents, and we chatted to him; Don offered Plant a drink from his bottle of beer, Plant took a swig to Don’s delight (he swore he would keep the bottle for ever!). We arrived early and saw all the bands; I wish I’d taken more notice of their sets than I did. Jesse Colin Young’s “Darkness, Darkness” is now one of my favourite songs, but I remember nothing of what he played that day. I remember that the Band played a solid set including “The Weight”, “Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and “Cripple Creek”. Joni Mitchell’s set was part solo on acoustic guitar or piano, and part accompanied by Tom Scott’s L.A. Express. Her album at the time was Court and Spark, and she played tracks from that lp plus favourites such as “Woodstock”, “Big Yellow Taxi” and “This Flight Tonight”. She is another artist who I really appreciate now; much more so than I did back then in the day. CSN&Y played a long set of around four (!) hours. They were just amazing; incredible harmonies, great musicianship. There were times when it dragged a little for me, as the set included a lot of songs which were unfamiliar to me. However, before too long another classic would come along, the harmonies would be spot on, and the guitar duels would spark off again. My enduring memories are of the start and end of their set. They started with an extended version of “Love the one you’re with” and the place went crazy. My last memory is of standing on a wooden bench, such as the seats were in the Wembley stands in those days, singing the chorus of “Ohio”, with 72,000 other people. Days don’t come any better. Where did the years go?
CSNY setlist: Love the One You’re With; Wooden Ships; Immigration Man; Helpless; Military Madness; Johnny’s Garden; Traces; Almost Cut My Hair; Teach Your Children; Only Love Can Break Your Heart; The Lee Shore; Time After Time; It’s All Right; Another Sleep Song; Our House; Hawaiian Sunrise; Star of Bethlehem; Love Art Blues; Old Man; Change Partners; Blackbird; Myth of Sisyphus; Word Game; Suite: Judy Blue Eyes; Déjà Vu; First Things First; Don’t Be Denied; Black Queen; Pushed It Over the End; Pre-Road Downs; Carry On; Ohio

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10 responses to this post.

  1. […] Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Wembley Stadium 1974 … […]

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  2. Posted by Ian Hunter on February 14, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Amazing Day for a 17 year old boy from the North Country. All night bus there, missed all night bus back so slept on steps outside Wembley. Remember above all hearing Neil Young Dont be Denied and the intensity of the corus wailing chant Dont be Denied over and over leading to mass stomping on the benches all around the stadium. Also remember Robert Plant walking past on pitch side and thinking did that just happen. Lots of pictures of Planty in mosh pit stage front for Joni are around in Zeppelin catalogues now. Joni Free Man in Paris long remembered and treasured. I recall there was a big air of anticipation that Dylan might make a guest appearance with The Band but the dissapointment faded as the set went on. It seems trivial now in the day of stadium tours but this was significant as the the first major stadium gig ever in UK. Wembley had hosted Rock and Rollers gig (Berry/JLL?) a few months earlier with about 35K but I do think this was the first major stadium 60K + gig.

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  3. Yep exactly as you described it. I hitched up from home in Swansea as a 17 year old, primarily to see CSN&Y. Needless to say I was blown away by the Band and by Joni, both becoming much more familiar to me as a result of that gig. I remembger hitching back through the night. It was a warm afternoon but the rain started around Swindon. I was just outside Swansea at about 5am when this Jag shot past me pulling a trailer. It belonged to well known ‘local’ DJ on his way back from a gig. His name was Vince Savile – apparently he had a brother. Not sure now whether I’m glad he went past or not, but I was drenched and I thought at the time he was a mean bugger for leaving me there. The things we do for music, eh?

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  4. Posted by CharlieWhisky on October 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Traveled up after hearing on the radio there were still tickets available on the doors. Got there in time to see Joni and CSN&Y. Fabulous day. One of my favourite memories

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    • Posted by vintagerock on October 15, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks Just been to see CS&N at Gateshead tonight, which brought back memories of the Wembley gig Peter

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      • Posted by Ian Hunter on October 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm

        Peter I left earlier message on this thread & was also at Sage last night for CSN, and yes, I sat there transfixed and recalling all of those same 39 year old memories, even at times imagining Neil to the audience right as it was in 74. Ive seen CSN a few times and Neil many times since those days and each time I feel this strange juxtaposition about what I prefer CSN or CSNY? the only conclusion to come to is that its all timeless quality. Highlights last night…………………. a delightful performance Our House and the amazing Crosser delivery of Almost Cut my Hair.

        Great website………………….going to enjoy looking for more on Newcastle City Hall, Knebworth and other 70s festivals. Ive not searched for it yet but Neil Young + Eagles at City Hall Nov 73 another great memory.

        ian Hunter

  5. Posted by vintagerock on October 17, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Many thanks Ian. I’m pleased you enjoyed the Sage gig, I thought they were great. Hope you enjoying looking at my blog. Best wishes Peter

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  6. I was there it was a great day.

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  7. Posted by Robert O' Donoghue on May 8, 2017 at 1:01 am

    I took the bus from Birmingham 14 days into my 16th year, spent most of my time, great fun, met more people I knew from Limerick than I met when in Limerick.

    Reply

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