Q&A With David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash
‘I’m feeling GREAT. I’ve got a family and a job and I’m very happy.’
The first thing David Crosby wants you to know is that he’s happy. Really happy. You can hear it in his voice, soft and slightly high-pitched. A voice that, in either lead or backup form, has colored generations of musical memories, both stinging (“Ohio”) and wise (“Teach Your Children”).
But on this day he starts the conversation explaining that he’s a “happy, happy man” because he played his first solo show promoting his new album, Croz, the night before in California and things went swimmingly.
Later he jokes that playing with his mates Stephen Stills and Graham Nash in Crosby, Stills & Nash – which kicks off its tour at the Carpenter Theatre March 4 – is comparatively easy since he has to do only one-third of the work.
At 72, Crosby has survived drug addiction, prison time and a highly publicized liver transplant in 1994. With so many things in the rearview mirror, it’s understandable that he doesn’t like talking about the past.
So here are some thoughts from the forward-looking folk-rock legend, who says the CSN tour will include some solo work from each of the guys, but plenty of classics as well.
Q: IT’S BEEN TWO DECADES SINCE YOUR LAST SOLO ALBUM [1993’S THOUSAND ROADS ]. HAVE YOU BEEN STOCKPILING SONGS?
A: No, these are all recent, the product of the past two years of writing, mostly James [his son, James Raymond] and I, or just James or just me. At my stage of life most people peter out and feel they have said what they need to say. But it’s been really good.
Q: THE ALBUM IS ON BLUE CASTLE RECORDS, THE LABEL YOU STARTED WITH NASH A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO.
A: We made the record in my son’s garage where he has a studio because we didn’t have any money. I would sleep on his couch and we’d work, and my friends would come and play for free.
Q: I WOULD THINK IF PEOPLE HEAR YOU’RE RECORDING IN YOUR SON’S GARAGE, THEY’D WONDER HOW DAVID CROSBY COULD NOT HAVE ANY MONEY!
A: I just didn’t save it. I blew it. But this record worked because of the generosity of our friends and we got what we think is a very good record.
Q: HOW ARE YOU FEELING THESE DAYS?
A: I’m feeling GREAT. I’ve been going to the gym, been trying to stay very healthy and stay alive. I’ve got a family and a job and I’m very happy.
Q: NASH RELEASED A BOOK [WILD TALES: A ROCK & ROLL LIFE] LAST FALL. HAVE YOU READ IT?
A: I have.
Q: EVEN THOUGH YOU WROTE YOUR OWN CANDID BOOK IN 2006 [SINCE THEN: HOW I SURVIVED EVERYTHING AND LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT] HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT HIM SHARING SOME OF THOSE STORIES?
A: I’m just tired of the stories. That’s all history. I’ve been through it over and over. I wasn’t really happy about it, it’s OK. But is that what I want to concentrate on? Not at all.