Tuesday 03 Oct 2017
by Colin Larkin
By Martin Dee June 14, 2017 12:03
Stephen Stills, Change Partners: The Definitive Biography by David Roberts
In writing a negative review of a biography that purports to be 'definitive' you must spell out why. This is simply and cut and paste book that every CSN or Stephen Stills fan will know already. Johnny Rogan and Dave Zimmer have already done this in much greater detail with their carefully researched biographies. Likewise a proper biographer, even though the book is unauthorised, will go to as many sources as possible and find stuff about the artist that we do not already know. This is a pedestrian compilation of quotes and sourced material that the compiler does at least credit the source, even if it gets boring; so said blah of blah blah. But we already know all this stuff; surely the point of this book is for Stills fans to read about the man they know is a musical genius, so let us find out about Stills the person, his personal life, his deep passion for guitars (the word Martin, comes up once, and that is not even relating to Stephen's long relationship with Martin Guitars). To put it in perspective Stephen's first 30 years take up 230 pages. Stephen's next 42 years are packed in 96 pages. Barely a line or two about his solo albums post 1974, but plenty of CSNY quotes. I hope a real biographer like Rogan or Philip Norman or Joel Selvin might one day do Stills justice but sadly this book is a compilation only, and without wishing to be too harsh, it is pointless.