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Just two months after their historic appearance at the Woodstock Festival, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were scheduled to play their first-ever gigs at Bill Graham's Fillmore West and Winterland on October 2-4. CSNY was forced to postpone the show, and Janis Joplin and Santana stepped in to replace them, along with the original billing of Blues Image and John Sebastian. A month later returned to the city to play four sold-out dates at Winterland.
Crosby Stills & Nash had released their eponymous first album in may of 1969 and after some consternation brought Neil Young into the group with the contract stipulation that he could continue to record and perform with Crazy Horse. With Young on board, the restructured group embarked on a four-leg, 39-date tour that ended with three European concerts in January 1970. Their first gig was on August 16, 1969, at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, with Joni Mitchell as their opening act. They mentioned they were going to someplace called Woodstock the next day, but that they had no idea where that was.
Their one-hour second show in the early morning of August 18, 1969, was a baptism by fire at the Woodstock Festival. The crowd of industry friends looking on from offstage was intimidating and prompted Stills to say, "This is only the second time we've performed in front of people. We're scared shitless." Their appearance at the festival and in the subsequent movie, along with recording the Joni Mitchell song memorializing Woodstock, boosted the visibility of the quartet.