David Crosby: Remember My Name

David Crosby: Remember My Name (David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, Jackson Brown, Graham Nash) – By all accounts including his own, David Crosby was a jerk – an addicted, loud-mouthed, self-absorbed, obnoxious, talented a**hole.  Now in his late ‘70s, Crosby is sober, repentant, and trying hard to understand why he has survived when so many of his contemporaries haven’t.

He is still making music, having a resurgence as a songwriter and solo performer.  Instead of the great arenas and stadiums of the world where he prospered as an original member of The Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, he is now playing small venues across the country.  He has released several new albums that feature his signature voice singing his own folk-tinged songs.

Crosby will always be remembered as an artist firmly planted at the epi-center of the rock ‘n roll universe in the pivotal mid-60s to mid-70s.  He was among the first singer-songwriters to inhabit the legendary Laurel Canyon section of the L.A. hills.  He found Joni Mitchell singing in a coffee house in south Florida and brought her to Laurel Canyon to make music and make love.  He befriended Cass Elliott, Stephen Stills, Jackson Brown, Brian Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, and virtually every artist who invented the California music scene.

As this fine documentary reveals, virtually none of those people, if they are still alive, have a good thing to say about the man.  He has pissed off every one of them, including his “brothers”: Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young, and Roger McGuinn.  As Crosby says in the film “None of them will talk to me today.”

Yet he is a compelling character.  He was a part of the seminal American super-group, the Byrds.  When Mama Cass introduced Crosby and Stills to ex-Hollies lead singer Graham Nash, it took “40 seconds” of singing together to realize they were about to create music history.  And then, Stills’ former Buffalo Springfield bandmate Neil Young joined the group … and music was never the same.

The documentary, conceived largely by Cameron Crowe (who interviews Crosby in the film), tells the history of the times, Crosby’s relationships, his musical journey, his many health issues, and his relentless search for the meaning of his life.

For music fans, this is a must-see film, an unabashedly candid “behind the music” look at a complicated man who helped define the counter-culture generation.

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