Sharp Notes Monday: ‘Almost Cut My Hair’

By Richard Lee

With the passing of David Crosby, it seems appropriate to choose a Crosby composition for this week’s Sharp Notes Monday selection.

David left us with numerous songs that addressed music and social justice. He even showed us how songs can take on new significance years after they are written.

I vividly recall sitting in the audience at a CSNY Roosevelt Stadium on Aug. 8, 1974. The band left the stage for a few minutes, then raced back onstage as Graham Nash announced “Nixon quit!” Within a few seconds, they launched into Crosby’s “Long Time Gone,” which opened with lyrics that could have been written for that night:

It’s been a long time comin’
It’s goin’ to be a long time gone

As memorable as that evening was, I have decided to go with “Almost Cut My Hair” as this week’s Sharp Notes Monday selection. Musically and lyrically it captures the essence of the era’s counterculture — the rebellion and defiance, as well as the fear and paranoia.

As James Perone wrote in The Album: A Guide to Pop Music’s Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations, Volume 1, “’Almost Cut My Hair’ captures the extent to which the divisiveness in American society over war, race, drugs, sexual experimentation and so on, had boiled over into violence and terror more than any other song of the entire, due in large part to the passion with which Crosby sings.”

As part of our “Sharp Notes, Sharp Thoughts” music and social media project, we share a song every Monday to start your week.

View previous Sharp Notes Monday selections.

Visit our “Sharp Notes, Sharp Thoughts” music and social media page to learn more about the project and view videos of our presentations.

Categories: Jandoli Institute, Music and Social Justice, Sharp Notes Monday, Sharp Notes Sharp Thoughts


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