Stephen Stills

Stephen Stills album cover
Stephen Stills album cover

Stephen Stills is an American guitarist and singer/songwriter best known for his work with the Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (at first it was Crosby, Stills and Nash; Young joined the group after their first album).


Early Years

Stills was born in Dallas, Texas on January 3, 1945 to a military family. Moving around as a child, he developed an interest in blues and folk music. He was also influenced by Latin music after spending his teenage years in Costa Rica and the Panama Canal Zone, where he graduated high school.

Stills dropped out of the University of Florida to pursue a music career in the early 1960s. He was in a series of unsuccessful bands including the Continentals, which featured future Eagles guitarist Don Felder. Stills eventually ended up in a nine member vocal harmony group called the Au Go Go Singers where he met Richie Furay. This group would release one album and embark on a tour of Canada where Stills and Furay would meet a young guitarist named Neil Young. On the VH1 CSNY Legends special, Stills would say that at that time, Young was doing what he always wanted to do, "play folk music in a rock band." The Au Go Go Singers would break up shortly afterwards.

Buffalo Springfield & CSNY

Main articles: Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young)

Years later, Stills, Furay, and Young would meet up in Los Angeles and form the core of the Buffalo Springfield. The band would release three albums (Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around) and one hit single (Stills' "For What It's Worth") before breaking up.

Stills' guitar playing continually evolved. Early on, it would display sources in generic rock'n'roll, blues, and country music, as well as the chordings familiar in the acoustic-folk music scene. Soon Stills' playing would show the influence of his friend Jimi Hendrix and also sometimes the rhythms and riffs of various kinds of Latin music.

During the disintegration of the Buffalo Springfield, Stills would join up with ex-Byrd David Crosby and ex-Hollie Graham Nash to form the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash. Neil Young would be added for their second album, and the group would become Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, CSN and CSNY was one of the few North American groups to rival the Beatles in popularity. Despite several breakups and reformations, CSN (and sometimes CSNY) still records and tours to this day.

Solo Years

In the wake of CSNY's success, all four members recorded solo albums. Stephen Stills featured guests Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Ringo Starr as well as contributions from other members of CSNY. It provided Stills with the hit single "Love The One You're With" as well as the concert favorite "Black Queen." Stills followed this with Stephen Stills 2, which featured "Change Partners", a metaphor for the many relationships in CSNY.

The next year, Stills teamed up with ex-Byrd Chris Hillman and several CSNY sidemen to form the band Manassas. Then he switched to Columbia Records before an attempted reunion with Young. At one point, Long May You Run was supposed to be a CSNY record, but when Crosby and Nash left to fufill recording and touring obligations, Stills and Young decided to go on as the Stills-Young Band. However, Young would leave midway through the resulting tour. Stills was contractually obligated to finish the tour, but he did reunite with Crosby and Nash shortly afterwards. This has led to the semi-permanent CSN reunion even though all three have released solo records since then.

In 1997, Stills became the first person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice in the same night for his work with CSN and the Buffalo Springfield.

Political Activities

CSNY has long been associated with liberal causes. In 2000, Stills was an Al Gore delegate from Florida during the Democratic National Convention.



  • Super Sessions (with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield), 1968
  • Stephen Stills, 1970
  • Stephen Stills 2, 1971
  • Manassas, 1972
  • Down The Road, 1973
  • Stills Live, 1975
  • Stills, 1975
  • Still Stills: The Best of Stephen Stills, 1976
  • Illegal Stills, 1976
  • Thoroughfare Gap, 1978
  • Right By You, 1984
  • Stills Alone, 1991
  • Turning Back The Pages, 2003
  • Man Alive!, 2005

As a member of the Au Go Go Singers

  • Au Go Go Singers, 1964

As a member of the Buffalo Springfield

  • Buffalo Springfield, 1967
  • Buffalo Springfield Again, 1967
  • Last Time Around, 1968
  • Best of the Buffalo Springfield, 1969
  • Box Set, 2001

As a member of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and Young)

  • Crosby, Stills, and Nash, 1969
  • Deja Vu, 1970
  • Four Way Street, 1971
  • So Far, 1974
  • CSN, 1977
  • Replay, 1980
  • Daylight Again, 1982
  • Allies, 1983
  • American Drean, 1988
  • Live It Up, 1990
  • CSN (box set), 1991
  • After The Storm, 1994
  • Carry On, 1998
  • Looking Forward, 1999
  • Greatest Hits, 2005

As a member of the Stills-Young Band

  • Long May You Run, 1975

See also

nl:Stephen Stills pl:Stephen Stills


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