Crosby, Stills, and Nash: Almost Cut My Hair
Yes, that's me up there, in 2002: prep school teacher, daddy, and long haired hippie freak. Though I've never identified as terribly liberal or hippie-ish, I managed to avoid cutting my hair from the middle of high school; by the time I turned thirty, I could sit on it. The stories that this brought about are numerous, and include multiple old ladies stroking my head without asking first, a long-standing reputation as one of the "cool teachers" on the faculty, and a long tense standoff with the well-intentioned folks at the Amsterdam airport, who seemed convinced that anyone who looked like one of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers was surely trying to smuggle hash back into the United States.
I swear, I only cut it because the changing table was higher than my hair hung down. That, and the sheer weight was starting to cause serious back and neck problems.
David Crosby's freak anthem, written and recorded in the midst of some pretty heavy drug use, has been recorded several times by Crosby and company, but I've always liked the long-form take above, recorded in 1970 but not released until 1991. It was played multiple times to welcome me to parties, in my long and misbegotten youth.
In my defense, I liked having long hair. The way it functioned as a bullshit detector for people carrying the weight of stereotype, and the way it lowered expectations from the universe, leaving room to impress, were a shield against the world as I learned to become a late-blooming adult. Unfortunately, I have no such excuse for the hemp necklace, nor the patchouli vial which hangs suspended from it, which you can see in the picture above.
On the ‘Tube: Ethan Gold
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