David Crosby R.I.P.

Dead at 81.


My favorite CSN/CSNY tunes have always been Crosby's. His distinctive melodic sensibility and fondness for open tunings on big 'ol Martin dreads has a lot to do with it. IICORMN is one of my favorite albums of its genre. 

As to his personal fallibilities, well, we've had discussions here on this topic often enough to suggest that great talent and less than great character are not exactly a rare juxtoposition. But this is not only evident in the arts; it's a paradoxical aspect of being human. I'm not defending anyone's bad behavior or suggesting how anyone else should judge such individuals. I will say that I believe it's unrealistic to assume that anyone who is highly accomplished in a particular field will necessarily be virtuous as well. 


As a harmony singer and composer I think he held his own with his bandmates, and IICORMN has remained one of my favorite albums since its release (and it has long been included in TAS's recommended LPs, for good reason--Croz noted that the engineer Stephen Barncard was the best at recording acoustic guitars).  Qobuz's HR version of the album is indistinguishable from my original vinyl on my system, which has an excellent turntable/tonearm and preamp.  The 50th anniversary version has some interesting alternate takes, outtakes and demos.

Croz showed his jazz influences more than Stills, Nash or Young, and the unusual chords he used in some of his songs reflect that.  Like Joni Mitchell (and probably due to her influence) he often used alternative guitar tunings as the basis for his own songs, and those tunings facilitated unusual chord choices.  He sparingly produced one or two of her earliest albums.

I saw him live several times with CSN, CPR and Nash, and he was entertaining, although he seemed more introverted/low-key after he cleaned up.  CPR and the band with Nash were great bands--he knew good musicians when he heard them.  Some of the bands and performances during the freebasing stage of his solo career were less appealing to me.

I recommend Croz's autobiography Long Time Gone for an intimate glimpse into his life and the colorful times in which he lived.  He even includes a psychiatric evaluation of himself from around the time he was ending his addictive lifestyle.  Now that's being open!

His Voyage anthology is excellent and in HDCD format, for those of you who have players which support that format.  I think it does sound a bit better than Redbook, having compared the two on the same tracks, but not as good as higher-res formats.

About a year ago I discovered his recent albums Croz, Lighthouse, Sky Trails, Here If You Listen, and For Free. They, and his two studio albums with CPR, have been getting heavy play ever since. What a great talent.

Glorious high tenor; in the rock world right up there with Roy Orbison.  Creator of beautiful harmonies for the Byrds and for CSN as well as his own work.  If I Could Only Remember My Name was Crosby's masterpiece and a masterpiece of the era.  He was free to put his hand to the harmonies he heard in his head.  And look at the list of musicians and singers who worked on the album with him.

Very pleased to hear it reported he made it up with Nash before the end.

All in all, Crosby did well to outlive some of his substance abuse competitors by more than 50 years.

Peace David.

So sad.  R.I.P. brother.  Your music put a smile on many faces.  Thank you for sharing your talents with the world.

He was a  part of musical history in an amazing time and at this point trying to quantify his talent is silly...he was good at everything he did, and went at it hard until his end...well done David!

The news of Crosby's death has prompted me to put my bought-soon-after-it-came-out LP of Mr. Tambourine Man on the turntable. Plastic inner sleeve. Pressing weighs a ton. It's probably the first time I've played it when I've had a high-end system. It's certainly the first time I've put it on the 'table this century.

In any event, son-of-a-gun is that album gorgeous. The guitars jingle-jangle majestically. The vocals angelically ring out. The rhythm section plays with purpose. What can I say? A religious experience.

Local radio station, KCRW, was saying that he was recording new music with a live band. So likely to see some new music in the future. I guess that means the music was not put together on a computer, like a lot of artists these days.

I was listening to the song Guinevere this morning on the radio and the line about "peacocks wandering aimlessly" made me think the song was written somewhere near Pasadena, CA. There are peacocks walking aimlessly all over some of the residential neighborhoods.


Upon learning about David Crosby's death, I started listening to Crosby's 1971 record, "If I Could Only Remember My Name".  I owned an 8 Track tape of that and listened to it in my 1970 Mustang.  Once I got rid of that car, I had nothing to play 8 tracks on, so until this morning, had not not listened to the album in years.  What an excellent album.  I can make out the voices and guitar playing of Joni Mitchell, Grace Slick, Jerry Garcia, and Jorma Kaukonen. 

The music that Crosby played was a big part in establishing my musical interests.  He was playing Americana music in the early 70's.   I think that it was fantastic that Crosby kept putting out new music later in life.  I was thrilled to see him perform on Chris Thile's "Live From Here" a few years ago playing duet performances with Chris Thile.






I concur with your assessment of DC and post. He did indeed wore out his welcome in group settings.


Happy Listening!


I loved Crosby's voice, and both his voice and his presence added immeasurably to the bands he was in but, yeah, the way I see it he could never quite match the intensity and charisma of his fellow band members. I also saw him live, a couple times, and he never seemed to cut through the way I wanted him to. Maybe he was just too polite in a group setting?

I definitely preferred the songs of 'C' to that of 'S' or especially 'N'. 

Played Cowboy Movie from If I could only Remember my Name as loud as I could last night.  So good!  Besides his music, he was a very intelligent and witty speaker. 

@richardmathes Seriously? The least talented? I disagree completely. He and McGuinn and Stills were equals on most every level. Granted, McGuinn sang lead for The Byrds so he was out front, but really, Crosby was right there with him on a talent level. Same with Stills. Sure, he was a cantankerous MoFo, but so what. If you’re talking about pure talent, then Crosby was as good as the rest of them.

David Crosby was an important figure in rock's golden age. However, he was the least talented of any band he was in. McGuinn was the essential genius of the Byrds, Stills of CSN. CSN would more aptly have been called Stills, Nash, and Oh, Yeah, Crosby. He was a ceaseless self-promotor, and eventually offended most of his friends and bandmates. Appropriated more than his share of livers in his lifetime. That said, rest in peace.

If you can find a copy of "Another Stoney Evening," an acoustic concert by Crosby & Nash circa 1971, then you will hear a very intimate performance that shows you just how great Crosby is/was.

a little remembrance from Jorma Kaukonen's blog...


Indeed, it is that time of life when I find my contemporaries shuffling off the mortal coil at an alarming rate. I don’t like it a bit, but to be completely selfish, it beats the alternatives.

David and I had been friends since the early 60’s when we were just a bunch of young folkies.  Kantner met him when he moved from San Jose to Venice Beach with David Friberg. When the boys came back from Venice David came up and played the Offstage which is where I met him. This was pre-Byrds by a couple of years but David had already played the Ash Grove and the Troubadour in LA and the Ice House in Pasadena to name a few of the biggies. He was already a seasoned pro getting ready for the Big Dance which come along with the Byrds shortly.

I saw the Byrds open for the Rolling Stones at the San Jose Civic on May 21, 1965. McGuinn was playing his Rickenbacker 12 String, of course. David and the boys killed it, of course!

I remember when If Only I Could Remember My Name was being recorded, the Airplane, members of the Dead, Santana and who knows who else were all hanging out at Wally Heiders working on projects and as a result when David invited us to play on that project it was an easy ‘yes.’ Fast forward to the final mix which David brought by my house on Yerba Buena in St. Francis Wood.

I heard a car drive up and yes, it was David in a Dino Ferrari with an electric window stuck half open. . Anyway, I had a MacIntosh stereo I had gotten from Owsley and we put the test pressing on the turntable. David always had The Weed Of The Gods and he broke a joint that made the average fattie look anorexic.  I listened to IOICRMN through the lens of a wall bending total ego loss THC fantasy… and it was awesome!

David broke out another torpedo. ‘Let’s listen to it again.’ Seemed like a good idea plus I was in no condition to say ‘No’ to David Crosby.

The process was repeated two more times.

David was getting ready to go for round five as I was coming in for a landing. I reeled him in and we had a good laugh. That said, it was a beautiful project and it was an honor for me to be a small part of it. It was worth listening to four times and would have been just as good without the pot but hey… it was the 70’s.

That was David then and if he were still with us, it would be David now. There was never any gainsaying him.

He was an amazing human. His artistry never abandoned him and he continued to gift us with magnificent projects. He could be acerbic and self-centered… he could also be embracing in his own Crosby-like way. He’s going to give G_d a run for his money.

We were friends for over half a century and even though our paths would rarely cross, when they did it was as if no time had elapsed.

I shall selfishly miss his occasional presence in my life. As always, fair winds and following seas brother… fair winds and following seas. Wooden ships were always your friend

RIP David Crosby, indeed 

As the son of two baby boomers, I am so grateful that I was raised on The Byrds, CS&N etc.... I'm now a fan in my own right and I just bought the David Crosby and Graham Nash album from 72 in my local Record shop a few days ago. I loved his harmonies, and a handful of songs that he wrote are absolute masterpieces in my opinion....

Long time gone
Almost cut my hair
8 Miles high
Wooden ships
Deja Vu

Saw CSN at high and low points, and remember especially a ~2010-ish show (well post-transplant, as well as post SS vocal decline) at the Fillmore, where the band was super-tight and Crosby sounded like a 30-year old again...


RIP, David...

Shi**y past several years. 

too many people passing.


im sure no one’s reading, but condolences and respect to friends, family. 

Dino Danelli, Jeff Beck, now David Crosby!

Saw CSN 3 times. One of my all time favorite bands!

Their harmonies were fabulous! Glad I had that opportunity.

My sincere sympathy goes to his family and friends.

RIP David Crosby. So many great folks have left us this year and it's only January! 

Very sad to hear this one. Say it ain’t so...not Croz. RIP! He will be missed. You hope that some people will live forever, but they never do. Very sad.



Saw CSN in Hartford maybe 35 years or so back.   Great show.   Check a documentary Laurel Canyon if I have it correct.   He was interviewed.

Rest in peace David Crosby! I'll play my favorite album to honor the occasion:  

If I Could Only Remember My Name



I am very sad, indeed. ’Croz had one of the great voices and was a tremendous songwriter. Listening now to the MoFi SACD of "If I Could Only Remember My Name" in memoriam. RIP, ’Croz, and thanks for a great ride as part of my life’s soundtrack.

Just came here to post this!


How sad.. Last few weeks have been brutal.


R.I.P David! Thanks for all the GREAT tunes!!!



Last week it was Jeff Beck! Now we've lost Gina Lollabridgida and David Crosby! Makes one wonder who's next among celebrities?