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Veteran Rockers Continue to Make Musical Statement


Over the past 40 years, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young has been among the most popular music groups in the United States. Musicians David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young have never been shy about using their musical harmonies to make political statements and continue to do so on their latest tour. For producer Babak Bordbar, VOA's Larry London has more on the band.

Since their appearance on the American music scene in the late 60s, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young have remained relevant both together and as solo artists.

Nearly 40 years after their appearance at the Woodstock music festival, the group has reunited to speak out on issues they feel strongly about.

Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Graham Nash explain.

Stephen Stills: "Well, it started out as any of the C.S.N.Y. tours do which is that Neil called everybody in and had a great idea."

Neil Young: “The songs that I have written are words that I heard from all my friends, words that I have seen on television, words that I read in the newspaper. It is all about what is going on right now."

Graham Nash: "The current C.S.N.Y. tour is very focused on a certain message."

Named "Freedom of Speech '06," Nash says the tour seeks to deliver its message with a blend of both old and new songs while focusing on one of the most important rights guaranteed by the American Constitution.

Nash: "Freedom of Speech is the most vital way that we can keep in touch with what's going on."

Stills: "And the whole theme of it is that having a free voice and having, being able to express yourself freely in a free society is why we're here."

Nash: "It Is the thing that separates us from a lot of other countries that do not have the ability to speak our minds."

Stills: "It is the backbone of our country."

Nash: "One of the things we wanted to get across to people is that they do have freedom of speech."

Over the years, "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's music has been a blend of politically motivated anthems and songs about life in general.

Young: "In the 70s, we sang some songs that were protest songs but in the main we sang about life and what was going on and everything and there was always a lot of positives."

Whether the message is political or social, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's music continues to resonate with their fans.

Stills: "I wrote this song in 1965 called "For What It's Worth". "There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear…"

A fan commented, "These guys have always had something to say, you know… 'Ohio', Woodstock… it is always going to be relevant to what is going on."

And how do they feel America has changed in the past four decades?

Nash: "I think the country's gone through enormous changes since Woodstock."

Stills: "We have become a much more culturally divided people. People are misunderstanding each other's faiths."

Nash: "It is an incredibly complex set of situations.

Another fan says, "It's ageless, man. These guys are as cool as they ever were… and then they are just, they are better and better and better."

Nash: "What is going on generally is the Middle East is not happening 'out there'. It is happening to all of us. We are, all of us are, members of this planet. It is happening to all of us."

Stills: "We are your friends. Please do not forget that and do not feel that we have abandoned you or that you have to wreak your vengeance on our culture because people are different. However you want to live is fine. Just let's do it in peace."