This was a tough one. I loved David Crosby and my few interactions with him only confirmed my speculation of his deep love of music and adventurous spirit. Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant beforehand, as that old adage “Never Meet Your Heroes” was swirling around my head but within one minute it was apparent that would not be the case here. He was warm, funny and thrilled that I only desired to basically play records with him. He broke into a huge grin when I explained the concept. People of our generation spent a lot of time playing records, turning each other on to what we discovered, tracing the names on the record jackets back to dig deeper and learn all we could about how this sound came about. Music was the engine that drove our culture.
No internet, games consisted of board games or the pinball machine at the local hangout and there was one phone in the house and no matter how long the cord was, it wasn’t going in your room. Television consisted of the three Networks and in my case, a pair of independent stations in New York and PBS. That’s it. To change the channel, you had to physically go to the set and turn the knob. But music was everywhere. 77 WABC was on the air and everyone was tuned in. On Saturdays we would beg our parents to take us to Two Guys (From Harrison) to spend our paper route earnings on the latest 45’s. By 1966 the music was changing, growing with us and before long, we shifted to this new station called WOR-FM, which gave way to WNEW-FM and our world moved from black and white to color. Looking back makes me appreciate that I essentially was smack dab in the middle of what will be hailed as a Renaissance Period for music. And David Crosby was one of the creators through each twist and turn. Outspoken, sincere and most of the time, high as fuck, Croz was a magnet for trouble.
There’s no need to rehash his descent into junkiedom, it’s a tale well told. But through it all it remains a mystery how he was able to keep his voice, that remarkable instrument was still perfectly intact after everything he put it through, including prison. He also never let go of the music, his desire to keep moving forward, listening with wide open ears and passion that never waivered. Now that David Crosby has left, I prefer to be thankful that he managed to pull himself out of a deadly spiral and wind up with nearly four decades of Bonus Time, living until the age of 81. Absolutely no one around when the shit hit the fan in Texas, would have believed it.
This is the first of what will likely be a two part tribute and I hope you enjoy the show.
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