Searching for a cooler climate leads to the Santa Barbara Bowl and Crosby, Stills and Nash!

The calendar may say October, and you might be enjoying early  Autumn, but we are still in full summer mode! The oven is blasting!

Los Angeles County temperatures ranged today between 95 and 105 degrees. Even the beaches were hot!  Some areas of the Inland Empire saw temperatures as high as 108 and tomorrow is expected to do a repeat performance. It’s rather oppressive, yes, but this isn’t really a surprise.

Some parts of the country take a period of late summer or early fall heat and designate it “Indian Summer.” In Southern California it is simply known as “wildfire season,” and it arrives every year like clockwork!

All Southern California residents are aware of the dangers of October heat.

Earlier this summer I took a photo of  a memorial marker outside the entrance of our favorite camping resort in the San Jacinto Mountains.  In October 2006,  the Esperanza Fire took the lives of five firefighters–Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Daniel Najera, Mark Loutzenhiser and Pablo Cerda died defending private property near our campground.

It’s that level of heat again this October. The region is on fire alert. And we had no idea when we purchased concert tickets in June, that our plans to visit the beautiful coastal city of Santa Barbara would come at such an opportune time to spend  the weekend in a much cooler climate.

Crosby, Stills & Nash performed Friday night at the Santa Barbara Bowl! It was a great performance–but I knew it would be. Yes, they’ve aged. No, their voices aren’t as consistent as they once were–but that was perhaps also due to their taxing touring schedule which began in January.

When Jay told a young bank teller where we were going, she asked, “Who?” That’s okay. They have a loyal fan base, and their fans aren’t confined to just one generation.

We spent an hour of pre-concert time with two much younger guys who very enthusiastically told about other CSN concerts they’d attended, and had a wealth of trivia between them related to the group’s Laurel Canyon beginnings and arrival at Woodstock.

I wonder if you remember that Crosby, Stills & Nash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. First, collectively as the group, but also individually. David Crosby was one of the original Byrds, Stephen Stills with Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash, the Hollies–three other groups that helped define the music of the 60’s.

When they sing and combine to create such great harmonies, I still see them like the three young guys on my original vinyl LP–“Crosby, Still & Nash,” released in 1969. The cover of the record is unpretentious and simple, not well-managed and slick as would be today. The guys are lined up on an old sofa in the opposite order of the record’s title: Nash, Stills & Crosby.

We had a wonderful time! And it may be that where you live the season for outdoor concerts is over for another six months or so! But let me encourage you to scout around for music venues you may not have visited for a while. Sometimes tickets go on sale months before a tour arrives and it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

After enjoying the Santa Barbara Bowl, much smaller and more intimate than the Hollywood Bowl, I have requested email alerts to inform me of future concert possibilities. I found out too late that Bob Dylan is coming to the Bowl at the end of the month…I fell asleep at that switch! I would have enjoyed the now sold-out concert!

Later this week I’ll share about our Saturday tour of the 1782 Spanish Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara, a military installation responsible for defending one of four military districts associated with the California Missions. You know I won’t be able to keep that to myself!

We had a wonderful time of music, history and just enjoying beautiful ocean and cooling breezes. We have no immediate plans to go out-of-town again for awhile, so I do hope it cools off soon. Will somebody please turn the oven off?

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63 thoughts on “Searching for a cooler climate leads to the Santa Barbara Bowl and Crosby, Stills and Nash!

    1. I woud have been quite sure you’d love CS&N, too. I like Neil Young, so, but think his strength can sometimes take away a bit from the others, or maybe I just presume that would happen in a concert. If can ever see the four of them, I would! They did a 2 1/2 hour concert with only a 15 minute break, so they sang their hearts out. They sang many of their early songs, and I realized that I tend to think of them as a “group” and not necessarily distinguish the songs each of them has contributed. They sang, Lay Me Down, Wooden Ships, Love the One You’re With, For What It’s Worth, Carry On, Long Time Gone, and encouraged audience participation with Our House. They didn’t sing Teach Your Children, which I love. At the end they hadn’t performed Suite Judy Blue Eyes and I was sure it was too long and they wouldn’t. They walked off early for the “mandatory encore” and when I looked at the clock I knew they had time and would…and they did. Loved that. No Ohio, or Woodstock, or songs that were clearly identified with NY. But they still get their political and social messages across. Just very gently now! 🙂 It was great fun.

    1. No O-HI-O, Frank! I don’t know if it was absent because of being so identified with Neil Young, or bad memories! They had other opportunities to address social justice and political activism, though. They had an audience receptive to those kinds of messages! 🙂

  1. I enjoyed your photo post card. I know it must have been nice to get away from the heat and it sounds like you had a terrific time. To have an Indian Summer in New England there has to be a killing frost followed by warmer than normal temps…it does happen some years.

    1. I’m glad you clarified a New England “Indian Summer.” I don’t know that I ever really understood the distinctions, Karen, other than it always seemed to be around this time of year. I went into a Subway Sandwich at lunch and the television was posting temperatures…108 degree high! It’s insane! I would really like to start my Christmas baking. LOL! Our concert was indeed fun, and if you are ever on the west coast I can guarantee that Santa Barbara would be your kind of place! 🙂

    1. It is so hot, Kristy! I think I keep talking about pleading for sympathy! Ha! We’ll be so happy when it cools down to 85 to 90 degrees by next weekend. 🙂 We had a wonderful concert and get-away. Despite the weather, our “summer” is over and we may not be getting away too often for a while. We’ve had a full time, though. 🙂

  2. Dear Debra, that 2006 wildfire truly needs that plaque with the boot. We simply mustn’t forget that firefighters lay their lives on the lines for us again and again and against daunting odds.

    I’m glad you pictured the cover of CSN’s album. I so remember seeing it at the home of a friend in one of the early years after I left the convent. I hadn’t heard any “secular” music for eight and a half years. So all the new music of the sixties (I left the convent on Christmas Eve in 1966) enthralled me. Thanks for bringing those times back to me so forcefully. Peace.

    1. It must have been quite disorienting to leave the convent landing under a barrage of so much cultural and social change. Of course I’ve read many of your accounts, Dee, and see how your teaching took you into the middle of the “action” everywhere! Music was so relevant at the time and in many ways galvanized a generation of young people and groups like CSN have really endured.

      And thank you for commenting on the firefighter’s memorial. We have a very good friend who is a fire Captain. With the weather we’re having (106 degrees right now) I do think of him and his station. It almost feels inevitable that there will be fires. Hope you’re doing well today! And cool? 🙂

  3. Kathy Tiss

    We feel your pain (heat) clear up here in Northern California. It is suppose to be 102 today and then a gentle cooling trend. Hooray. We love Crosby Stills and Nash. We saw them back in 1974 at “Day on the Green” at the Oakland Colliseum, which included at that time Neil Young. They were fabulous then and I’m sure wonderful now. How fun you could do that.
    Thanks for sharing, Debra. I love hearing of your experiences, even if we don’t get to see you often enough!!
    Love, Kathy

    1. Oh Kathy! How fun to have seen CSN in 1974! This was my first time to see them perform, and I’d definitely go to another concert if I had the opportunity. They did not disappoint! Thanks for being such an enthusiastic armchair visitor…you travel with me to these fun little local events. We were watching California Gold last night and they took us on a “tour” of the Ide Adobe…and we were in Red Bluff! Miss you, too! 🙂

  4. Good grief! That is hot! It’s bumping around high 60s, low 70s here in the east. Perfect weather except for the occasional showers. Love CS&N and CSN&Y. They didn’t do a song I didn’t love!

    1. Yes, Kate, it is HOT. It was 106 at noon! I hope I don’t self-combust! 🙂 And every year just as I begin to think it would be a good idea to start some Christmas baking. Ha! We did enjoy our concert and they sang as many of their hits as they could in a 2 1/2 hour concert. They did not disappoint.

    1. The truth about the CSN album cover is that even with these “old guys” grooving the best they could on the stage, I saw their “age” but really “felt” the young guys on that iconic album cover. Sort of like Jay and I…we felt a lot younger than we are just by being there with a fan base enthusing over 60’s music. Nice to feel 16 again…for an evening anyway. And our heat is even worse today. But I remember in early July when the midwest was burning up and we were almost cold! It’s just our turn, isn’t it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and enjoying my photos with me, Celi!

    1. Yes, I suppose I share about the heat as another way to emphasize why I can be a bit obsessed about water! Aren’t you glad you weren’t shopping for your pretty dress in this kind of weather? 🙂 I wonder if your parents ever played that album around you, Fiona? I remember that you liked The Band, and I think CSN and The Band have similar influences!

  5. Your last 3 posts show what an interesting and interested life you lead, Debra. I love the way you are so open to experience and memory, instead of getting bogged down in the ruts of everyday life. I do hope the weather cools down for you soon and that the wildfire season passes safely. Perhaps you could send a bit of your excess heat across the pond to us. Here in Wales the daytime temperature is struggling to reach the lower 50s F at the moment. Sigh….

    1. You know, speaking of heat and weather, I do chuckle. The blogging opportunities have made the world feel so much smaller to me. I feel like you’re my neighbor! Then we talk about weather and I’m definitely reminded how big this world is! We do not share the same climate zones, do we! If only we could share and balance it out a bit. I will say that having lived in Southern California my whole life I don’t suffer too much. And thank you so much for such a complimentary comment regarding not being bogged down in the ruts of every day life. It’s true, I do tend towards being an explorer. We live in such an urban center that museums and concerts and a variety of activities are very easily accessed. That makes a difference. And then, again because of living in such an urban center, I have to get out of it sometimes and head to the places I know will be peaceful and calm. Truthfully, though, we don’t really travel! Everything is close to home. At heart I really am a homebody! 🙂

  6. I’ve been aware of your heat wave and wondered about the fire danger. I hope you get some relief and soon! Yes, I not only remember each being included in the Hall of Fame twice, I remember songs from the Byrds, Springfield, and the Hollies. (This is probably why I cannot remember things like what I had for lunch yesterday One only has so many brain cells and mine are mired in the 60s & 70s.) That concert sounds like my kind of night out. Lucky you! 🙂

    1. I am sure you would have enjoyed the concert, John. The venue wasn’t large, so all seats were good, and it was a very enthusiastic crowd. Most of the people were probably close to my age, but many brought young adult children or were like the guys we visited with while waiting to be seated, who were a good decade or two younger than we are and they knew so much more detail about the band than I did. At one point they began to talk about Woodstock with such relish and asked me something that made me stop to remind them that “I wasn’t actually there, you know, I was a junior in high school.” They were so funny! I get very nostalgic and love listening to the music of that era. My brother and sister-in-law are going to see Dylan soon when he comes to Los Angeles. Now that’s the ticket I’m trying to finagle out of my brother! 🙂 I didn’t even know he was coming until it was too late!

    1. I know I’m always mentioning my grandmother to you, Kate. I adored her, so she comes to mind a lot. But she, from Scotland, really suffered in this heat! She never did acclimate. I think you’d love the sunshine, but the heat is almost cruel! Now we have lovely weather in December and January. Do come then! 🙂 Now places on the coast like Santa Barbara are just gorgeous! And nearly perfect year round. I think it’s wonderful that we can visit, and I have fantasies of living there. They are just that, fantasies!

  7. Sounds wonderful, Debra ~ the music, not the temps.

    We’ve seen CSN in concert . . . as well as Neil Young & Crazy Horse ~ FAB! We grew up on some great music, eh?

    1. Yes, Nancy, the music of the 60s and 70s is energizing and at times can be galvanizing! The guys were still putting out their social and political messages, toned down a bit perhaps, but they knew who their fans were! 🙂 It was fun. I would love to see Neil Young in concert. There are so many of the old groups still performing and it really must be very hard work for them. But the crowds keep coming!

  8. Oh, gosh, Debra, we actually still have that album; you know, the old vinyl kind. We’re big CSN fans here, having seen them in college, as young marrieds at Ravinia, then as “mature” adults (tee hee) in McCormick Place. While I don’t envy you your heat with its inherent danger, I do envy your wonderful experience.

    Here’s to cooler and safer weather.

    1. The heat has become a personal challenge, Penny! Not to get grumpy! It really is cyclical and in a month or two it will be mild and beautiful. I just need patience. I have yard work that is screaming at me and I won’t touch it right now. The photo of the CSN album is my vinyl, too, Penny! I haven’t played it in ages, but thought I would soon, just for fun. This was my first time to see CSN in concert. I would have known you were a fan! Since you’ve shared about seeing Simon and Garfunkel in concert (I never did) and a few other bands and artists you’ve mentioned I have a good idea of the music you enjoy. It would have been fun to share this concert with you and hear what you thought. They are aging, like we all are, and yet their youthful energy still comes through. Their voices aren’t as clear, but they are even stronger instrumentally. David Crosby had a “senior moment” with lyrics, and the other two just popped in, saved him, and they moved on! It was just a lot of fun. Nice to feel like a kid again! Sometimes I think we need to practice that art a little more often. 🙂

    1. We did have a nice time at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Marie. Do you ever get down to Southern California? I think you’d enjoy some time in Santa Barbara without coming all the way to Los Angeles. It’s a lovely destination! Maybe next summer? 🙂

  9. I would love to go to a Crosby Stills and Nash concert. Great music that’s certainly stood the test of time. I keep hearing how hot it is in LA. You certainly are having an extended summer. We’re having a beautiful Spring which is so welcome after such a cold, wet and disappointing summer last year – it’s a long time since we’ve had consistent blue skies and warm, sunny days xx

    1. I can really understand how eager you are for spring, Charlie! It’s your turn! 🙂 We are cooling down a little bit, or at least enough to feel some relief. And our concert was so good. I think this year I’ve been much more intentional about nursing some of my sentimental memories. This concert was full of an entire audience of people doing the same thing! It made for an enjoyable evening. oxo

  10. Your interests are so diverse and so interesting. Crosby, Stills and Nash was one of my husband’s favorite groups. His favorite song was ‘Our house is a very,very fine house.” We still play this signature song in our home! What a lovely blog! Thank you! Take Care, Thea

    1. I loved hearing that your husband sang “Our House” and still consider it a signature song! CSN played many very familiar and popular songs, but when they sang “Our House” they invited the audience to sing along. It is so iconic! They would drop out at the chorus and the audience just sang out loud and clear…people who don’t even really care about CSN I believe know that song! Thank you, Thea oxo

    1. Santa Barbara really is a jewel, isn’t it Elizabeth? There have been so many road improvements we were able to get there in under two hours and on a weekend! I mentioned that we need to go there more often just for the day! 🙂

      1. There is a fantastic little restaurant that makes the best bread on the planet. I was supposed to go there before moving back to NY. I’ll ask my friend who told me about it and you should check it out…. There are things about Southern California I don’t miss, but I miss the fresh foods and the gorgeous landscapes. 😉

        1. So true, Elizabeth! There are wonderful things about the Los Angeles region, and many that are growing more and more difficult to navigate and live with harmoniously! I am not putting down the concept of a poet laureate, I just cannot imagine what aspect of L.A. would be considered authentically worthy of poetry. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’d love to have the name of the restaurant you’re remembering. That would be fun! I’d gladly go on a trek to find good bread! 🙂

  11. May you stay fire-free, Debra, and get some cooler weather soon. I love your pictures of Santa Barbara. I’ve never been, though I do know of it because of the old soap opera. 🙂

    I always love to try to get tickets to shows at smaller venues like that one. It is a more intimate experience where I feel like I’ve actually spent time with the performer(s). You are very lucky to be so close to it.

    1. It’s already a little cooler here today! A nice break! Santa Barbara is an amazingly beautiful city with a leisurely pace. This is the area where Michael Jackson’s Neverland and Oprah’s ranch sit up in the hills. It’s worth a destination vacation sometime. 🙂

  12. I had that album.. and I love Crosby Stills and Nash!! You must have loved that concert for sure! Do they still have long hair?? I’m sorry to hear about your hot temperatures. It’s definitely a year for strange weather, we had unseasonably hot weather until.. last night when it snowed and got really, really cold.. just like that! xx

    1. Snow! Wow, Barb. That’s a sure shift in seasons! We are cooling just a little bit. There’s hope! 🙂 CSN still have long hair, but not as long as when they were younger. They still carry off the look of a young rock band as much as they can! Then again, maybe that’s just still how I see them! I was very much caught in high school memories and suspended time as much as I could. Have a great fall day, Barbara!

  13. Oh I wondered what you were doing in Sta B over the weekend – you said “you’d gone there for a function”. I didn’t know that Sta B has a Bowl and appreciate the heads up that it’s smaller and nicer than L.A’s… (What do you think of the Greek Theater?)

    Ha ha My husband – like Thea’s also played ‘Our house is a very,very fine house.” over and over again.

    Isn’t it wonderful that you can go see a group you knew as a teenager and discover that after all these years – +40 – they still have that certain something? Could you recognize them?

    We were in Big Bear Lake last weekend. Did some marvellous hikes. It was in the 70’s and sunny in the day and nice and cool at night.

    Good gracious I just read Barbara Bamber’s comment that it snowed last night. It’s very early for snow! Where does she live?

  14. I love the Hollywood Bowl and get a thrill every time we go! The ability to picnic and see such wonderful performances is always enjoyable to me. The Santa Barbara Bowl is much smaller and you can’t bring anything in. Not even an opened water. I don’t know why they are so restrictive, especially when you get inside and they don’t have that many options for food and drink. The setting is gorgeous, though. It is small enough that there are no bad seats, and from our position in the Bowl we could see the ocean. I will definitely think about going again. As for the Greek, I haven’t been in a long time. I always enjoyed it, but often the artists aren’t among my favorites, or if they are, then it’s a sold out concert before I catch on! It’s great to have so many options close to home, isn’t it?

    Barb lives in Calgary! Can you imagine snow? I’m not usually a “cold weather girl” but right about now snow sounds like a very nice change! 🙂

  15. Pingback: “That’s Me!” « Spirit Lights The Way

  16. I really need to keep an eye on the Santa Barbara Bowl as well. How I wish to turn back the time and purchase a Bob Dylan concert ticket. 😦
    Yup, the weather god is loft-sided this year, all over the world actually. I’ve been done with summer a long time ago.
    I was practically in Santa Barbara all month long last September, but for work and other things. I didn’t get the chance to really wander around. Thanks for the awesome images esp. of the boats.

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