Friday 20 January 2023

Long Time Gone

David Crosby 

14th August 1941 - 18th January 2023

David Crosby has left the building and I’m left devastated by the sad news of his passing. He leaves behind a fabulous legacy of gorgeous music, not only with bands such as The Byrds and more notably Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young but also as a solo artist.

This man introduced the wonderful music of Crosby, Stills & Nash into my life, he also discovered Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne who were to enter my soul as well as my LP collection. CSN were my favourite go to band, a group of musicians I’ve grown up with, listened to forever and seen in concert many times. Their debut album back in 1969 is still one of the best albums in my collection. The blend of those three part vocal harmonies and the songs are simply perfect. At their peak CSN were unsurpassed, a true supergroup of musicians.

There was no other concert experience like watching Crosby perform live on stage. His angry masterpiece ‘Almost Cut My. Hair’ became a classic and the delightfully delicate and jazzy ‘Guinnevere’ showed off his acoustic guitar playing skills at their very best. He was the consummate musician’s musician.

Crosby was also a political animal who often courted controversy. He was the archetypal Woodstock hippy calling for peace and love, not war. But he took no prisoners in his calls for justice. Whether he was singing about student deaths at Kent State University in ‘Ohio’ or saving whales in ‘Wind On The Water’ or worrying about nuclear waste in ‘Don’t Dig Here’, David Crosby always had a cause to fight for and then bring it to our attention, he very much wore his heart on his sleeve.

David Crosby led a colourful and somewhat troubled life. In 1983 he was sent to prison for carrying a gun and drug offences, he narrowly escaped death several times due to his poor health and heavy habitual drug abuse. He also had a penchant for riling and upsetting those around him, including his closest friend Graham Nash.

Crosby somehow survived his wasted years of the 1980’s, got clean, started writing songs and playing guitar again and began his long journey back on the road to recovery with wife Jan. He reunited with CSN and his 'lost' son James Raymond and was to make some of the best solo music of his career in recent years before sadly passing away at age 81. Throughout his life it was his music that shone, that’s what he will be remembered for.

Danny Baker tweeted a tribute that sums up The Croz eloquently: ‘David Crosby was often an unlovable, egotistical, belligerent druggy old cuss. But he was genuinely touched with genius. To the end he cursed himself for squandering his gift. Creations like this are bordering on the divine’. Four sentences that sum up the man and his life perfectly.

RIP David Crosby.

An older Crosby performing an old favourite, 'Guinnevere'

Crosby Stills & Nash belting out Crosby's 'Almost Cut My Hair'

No comments:

Post a Comment