Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

David Browne

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 0306820722

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Set against a backdrop of world-changing historical and political events, Fire and Rain tells the extraordinary story of one pivotal year in the lives and music of four legendary artists, and reveals how these artists and their songs both shaped and reflected their times. Drawing on interviews, rare recordings, and newly discovered documents, acclaimed journalist David Browne “allows us to see—and to hear—the elusive moment when the ’60s became the ’70s in a completely fresh way” (Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution).

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for the Déjà vu cover, they assumed it was inspired by Stills’ time in military school in St. Petersburg, Florida. But another reason for evoking North versus South was simple. “We felt,” Stills recalled, “like we were in the Civil War.” At that moment, everyone did. The country had been ripped apart politically and culturally during the past few years, and the shell-shocked results were now coming in. In February, one nationwide poll concluded six out of ten Americans were tired of hearing

Smith one day. Taylor was distraught, and Smith said he should go to Smith’s house and wait for him. There, Taylor and Smith’s wife sat waiting for Smith to come home, Taylor barely saying a word for nearly a half hour. “My wife can make a conversation with a wall, but he sat there and said nothing,” Smith recalled. “She finally called me and said, ‘Get home!’” The sense that Taylor had been damaged by drugs or mental instability only added to his mystique. When a reporter interviewed college

students about Taylor’s appeal, one answered, astutely, “The fact that he was in a mental hospital colors people emotionally before they even hear the songs. They all feel sorry for him. The girls, especially.” By then, even Taylor understood that playing up his flaws wasn’t such a bad idea. “I feel fine just to know you’re around,” he began plucking and crooning at Berkeley. At first it sounded like a love song, but soon the crowd started realizing what was happening. Wait, what is this song?

was having a relaxed time until someone began banging on the door. Stone went over, pulled it open, and was face-to-face with a persistent fan. Stone told him to go away; the band needed privacy. He closed the door and returned to the table. Another knock. Again, the same fan; again, the same do-not-disturb request. Stone slammed the door and returned to the game. Finally, a third knock. This time, Stone didn’t want a conversation. Unlatching the door, he threw a punch and slammed it shut. He

found him clashing with McCartney and Phil Spector, and he was beginning to suspect something was taking place between his wife, Pattie, and his friend Eric Clapton. Yet one encouraging bit of news was in the air: At the time of the press conference, Harrison had only a few more songs to complete for his first album proper, All Things Must Pass, whose title alone was a less-than-veiled comment on life after the Beatles. Harrison had considered making an album even before McCartney’s

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