Guinnevere

Album: Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)

Songfacts®:

  • David Crosby, who wrote this track, told Rolling Stone magazine about it: "That is a very unusual song, it's in a very strange tuning with strange time signatures. It's about three women that I loved. One of whom was Christine Hinton, the girl who got killed who was my girlfriend, and one of whom was Joni Mitchell and the other one is somebody that I can't tell. It might be my best song."
  • In the same Rolling Stone interview Graham Nash added: "Crosby sent me a tape of 'Guinnevere' in 1968 and it was one of the things that [made me] really realize that this man was a profound thinker and a great musician. I still have people coming up to me saying, you know, 'I broke my hand trying to play 'Guinnevere.' Until David reminds 'em that it's in a tuning. 'Guinnevere' and 'Déjà Vu' were on the same tape and it was then that I realized that Crosby was something special. And we've had a great time singing that song 'cause we never do it the same way twice."
  • When Crosby, Stills & Nash was released, fans confused Nash with Crosby, since Crosby's name appears directly above Nash's on the album sleeve. Nash told Rolling Stone: "We're all sitting in the wrong order because we decided to call ourselves Crosby, Stills and Nash. It flows off the tongue better than any other combination. That's why people keep calling me Crosby. They think I wrote 'Guinnevere.'"
  • Miles Davis recorded a lengthy psychedelic jazz version . David Crosby couldn't get his head around Davis' 20-minute interpretation of his song at first. He told Uncut in 2016:

    "Miles played it for me, but I didn't get it because there's no recognizable part of Guinnevere in it. I was more concerned about my tune than I was in the honor of the fact that he used it as a starting point for one of his records. I was kind of snooty about it. But now, obviously, I am completely thrilled."

    Originally intended for inclusion on Davis' 1970 Bitches Brew album, the Jazz legend's cosmic cover didn't make the final cut. It was first made available to the general public on 1979's collection of leftover Davis tracks, Circle in the Round.

Comments: 2

  • Karol from Pori, FinlandYou can hear drumset played with the brushes in the background.
  • Sam from Hipsville, CaLove this whole thing----every aspect of it, but especially the harmonies.
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