‘Almost cut my hair’

Almost cut my hair
Happened just the other day
It’s gettin’ kind of long
I could’ve said it was in my way

But I didn’t and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
And I feel like I owe it, to someone, yeah

Must be because I had the flu this Christmas
And I’m not feeling up to par
And increases my paranoia
Like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car

-Songwriter-David Crosby

Performed by-Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Here WE go again taking a respite from the boring stories about politicians and their almost insatiable greed to perpetuate themselves in office at the expense of the natives. Make no mistake everything these bloody politicians say and do is always in aid of election or re-election.

Serve the people, my foot!

Anyways as our tradition here, our break from the boring and toxic world of politics is art, be it books, film or music although one of these days I would love to talk about performance art.

It’s quite ironic though that the music or particular song we will be talking about is political in theme, a protest song.

And we segue to that particular song …

From that free online encyclopedia a.k.a. the internet –

Almost Cut My Hair” is a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young originally released on the band’s 1970 album Déjà Vu. It was recorded at Wally Heider Studios on Jan. 9, 1970.

The song describes a real-life dilemma faced by many hippies: whether to cut one’s hair to a more practical length, or leave it long as a symbol of rebellion. It was written by David Crosby, and features solo vocals by Crosby, with the rest of the band joining in on instruments rather than on vocal harmony, as in many of their other songs. Unlike most of the tracks on Déja Vu, the quartet and their studio musicians, Dallas Taylor (drums) and Greg Reeves (bass), all recorded it at the same place and time. It was one of only two songs from the album that Neil Young joined in on, despite not writing.

Although the notion of long hair as a “freak flag” appeared earlier, notably in a 1967 Jimi Hendrix song “If 6 Was 9“, Crosby’s song has been credited with popularizing the idea of long hair as a deliberate and visible symbol of the wearer’s affiliation with the counterculture, and opposition to establishment values. The song also writes about the singer’s “paranoia” at seeing the police; James Perone writes that, “more than any other song of the entire era”, it “captures the extent to which the divisiveness in American society … had boiled over into violence and terror”.

Indeed, Almost Cut My Hair was one of the anthems of my era; it truly reflects the attitude of the establishment on the youth particularly on how we dressed and have long hair so much so that having long hair was not only for aesthetic purposes but as a form of protest.

Back then if you a wore tie-dye T-shirt, faded Levis, beat up trainers and had shoulder- length hair you were a hippie and being one meant you did not conform with the establishment.

Of course you smoked marijuana, listened to rock music and practiced free love much to the disdain of the establishment.

And the uninitiated may wonder who Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are, then wonder no more.

Still from that free online encyclopedia:

Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) is a vocal folk rock supergroup made up of American singer-songwriters David Crosby and Stephen Stills and English singer-songwriter Graham Nash. They are also known as Crosby, Stills Nash & Young (CSNY) when joined by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young, who was an occasional fourth member. They are noted for their intricate vocal harmonies, often tumultuous interpersonal relationships, political activism, and lasting influence on American music and culture. Crosby, Stills & Nash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and all three members were also inducted for their work in other groups (Crosby for the Byrds, Stills for Buffalo Springfield and Nash for the Hollies). Neil Young has also been inducted as a solo artist and as a member of Buffalo Springfield.

Of course during the ’70s or the “summer of love” Moi was a hippie and still is albeit an ageing one. Naturally faded Levis chambray shirt or tie-dye T-shirt, faded Levis 501 and Adidas Rekord were my wardrobe of choice and the ubiquitous de rigour shoulder length hair.

I’m still a hairy guy all over except for my shaved head (for obvious reasons) and can truly feel and identify with sentiments at that time of the song Almost Cut My Hair as a protest song even today, the hair maybe gone but the song remains the same. ([email protected]/PN)


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