Neil Young Addresses His Decision To Leave Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

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Neil Young made an appearance on The Howard Stern Show for an interview in which he talked about the decision he made to leave Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Throughout the band’s career, tensions broke between Young, Crosby, and Stills. During the makings of ‘Déjà Vu,’ Young and Stills argued frequently. On July 9, 1970, the band broke up after their tour, and band members pursued solo careers. During that period, Young achieved success as a solo musician.

In June and July 1973, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young met at Young’s ranch and entered the studio to record new material. After a few unsuccessful attempts to reunite, they came back together for their 1974 reunion tour. Due to internal conflicts, Young left the band again during the recordings of a follow-up to ‘Déjà Vu.’

As a result of the disagreements between him and other band members, Young rejoined and left the band several more times. He worked with the band between 1986 and 1988, in 1991, between 1999 and 2006, and in 2013. In most of his statements, Young claimed that CSNY will never get together again.

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Neil Young revealed his thoughts on his decision to leave CSNY. During the conversation, Howard Stern told him saying goodbye to the band must have taken some nerve, but he thinks Young had so much faith in his songwriting that he wasn’t intimidated or scared by that.

As a response, Neil Young said he wanted to make music focused on what songs were about, connecting with their fans, and their fans’ reception. He then said this was all that mattered to him, and he left the group when he noticed they were drifting away from that. Moreover, Young said he decided he can’t make music with them anymore as he wanted to be himself.

During the interview, Howard Stern told Neil Young:

“I even think about Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. You said goodbye to those guys. That took some nerve, but I feel like you had so much faith in your own songwriting that no one could really scare you or intimidate you. Do I have that right?”

Neil Young then responded:

“That’s where I wanted to go, Howard. I wanted to do this thing that was focused on what the songs were about, the look on the people’s faces, the people who came to see us, and how we connected with them. To me that was the holy grail, that was it. That’s all that mattered to me.

Once we started drifting away from that, I was gone. I didn’t think about it from the standpoint [of] anybody else, I just thought if I’m gonna be me, I’m gonna be me. If this is who I am, I can’t do what I do if I don’t act like I believe.”

 You can watch the interview below.