Long Time Gone

Album: Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
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Songfacts®:

  • In 1968, David Crosby joined forces with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash to create Crosby, Stills & Nash. Their voices meshed together uncommonly well, but on their own they were all capable songwriters and each brought in tunes for their first album. "Long Time Gone" was one of Crosby's.

    In the liner notes for the 1991 box set Crosby, Stills & Nash, explained what the song is about: "It was written the night Bobby Kennedy was killed. I believed in him because he said he wanted to make some positive changes in America, and he hadn't been bought and sold like Johnson and Nixon - cats who made their deals years ago with the special interests in this country in order to gain power. I thought Bobby, like his brother, was a leader who had not made those deals. I was already angry about Jack Kennedy getting killed and it boiled over into this song when they got his brother, too."
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash played "Long Time Gone" at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, which was just their second gig. This performance was used to open the Woodstock movie (1970), which shows the workers preparing Max Yasgur's farm for the festival. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cam - Cambridge, Canada
  • Did you know that Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young played Altamont, the 1969 concert that turned tragic when a fan was stabbed and killed while The Rolling Stones played? "Long Time Gone" was one of five songs in their set, which most don't remember because they played early and then split because they had a gig that night.

Comments: 8

  • Janine from Naples, FlWho is singing in the beginning of this song? Crosby?
  • Patrick Hubbell from Houston, TxIs it safe to assume Stephen Stills played the lead guitar on this?
  • Rick From San Diego from San DiegoFor years and years I was singing the song with these lyrics, "But don't, no don't, no, try to get yourself elected
    If you do you might as well cuff your hands..." Which I thought made sense. Oh well!
  • Jd from ColoradoRenee, it's relevant to politics at any time, no matter who's in office.
  • Renee from Naples FlThe song is relevant to today’s politics
  • Mike from Berkeley, CaEver since I heard this, I thought the lyrics were:
    "But don't, no don't, no, try to get yourself elected
    If you do you had better duck your head..."
    Sure, I might very well be wrong, and all those other lyrics sites (including this one) be right, but knowing that he wrote it in reaction to Bobby and John Kennedy's assassinations, 'ducking your head' would not only fit, it would make the song much more powerful.
  • Barry from New York, NcThe version of Long Time Gone featured in the movie Woodstock is an alternate mix.
  • Wayne from Crockett, TxGreat harmony from some of the greatest voices in rock music.
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