Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Almost Cut My Hair

Song Review by

This David Crosby anthem of rebellion and personal freedom was recorded on January 9, 1970, at Wally Heider's "Studio C" in San Francisco. It is likewise one of the few songs from Déjà Vu to have been recorded live by CSN&Y. The truly inspired interaction exhibits the raw and unabashed fury that became synonymous with the supergroup's "electric" material with sizable instrumental contributions from all four. However, there is no doubt that it is Crosby who dominates the proceedings with perhaps the most impassioned lead vocal of his career. "Almost Cut My Hair" also amply demonstrates the three-way electric guitar "cross talk" between Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young. This is most prominent during the instrumental break prior to the "When I finally get myself together..." verse. There is an extended and unedited version of this break included on the Crosby, Stills & Nash box set. This song is also notable for first popularizing the phrase "let[ting] my freak flag fly" -- which took on new meaning in the late '80s after Crosby served a year in a Texas prison. He began performing the song with a lyrical alteration to the line "...it increases my paranoia, like looking in my mirror and seeing a lit up Texas trooper."

A blistering solo version featuring Black Crowes vocalist Chris Robinson can be heard on Crosby's live release It's All Coming Back to Me Now... (1994).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Déjà Vu 1970 Atlantic 4:25