“I count myself hugely lucky in life, for all the people that I’ve gotten to make music with,” David Crosby tells Andy Greene in never-before-heard interview audio. “I’ve gotten to make music with some stunningly talented people.”
Excerpts from two of Greene’s final interviews with Crosby, who died last week at age 81, appear in the latest episode of Rolling Stone Music Now. Also in the episode, David Browne (author of the biography Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: The Wild, Definitive Saga of Rock’s Greatest Supergroup) joins Greene and host Brian Hiatt to go through Crosby’s discography and wild life story, from his struggles with drug addiction to his triumphant late-life run of strong solo albums.
In the interview audio, Crosby explains how a late-night text from Donald Fagen led to his joining Steely Dan onstage for a killer version of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Wooden Ships” in 2019. ” “I get a fucking message at like, one o’clock in the morning,” he says, “and it says, ‘You know, ‘Wooden Ships’ is actually a really good fucking song. I’m gonna tell the band to learn it,’” he tells Greene. “And I think to myself, he’s fucking with me. I’ve never heard of him learning anybody else’s songs. He doesn’t do that. Just not gonna happen. And he says, ‘No, I mean it! Come to New York, to the Beacon [Theatre] and sing it with us.’… He’s a brilliant guy. I have been trying to make friends with him because I fucking admire him beyond belief, man. Aja and Gaucho are in my top ten.”
Crosby also looks back on his guest-star-packed first solo album, 1971’s If I Could Only Remember My Name, made in the aftermath of a life-changing tragedy. “I was trying to survive,” he says. “I had no higher goal than that. I had a girl that I loved. She was killed in a car wreck. I didn’t have any way to deal with it… So that’s the state that I was in when I went in to do this. Now, here comes Jerry Garcia…. He plays like God on a fucking good day. And every time he sits down with a guitar and I sit down with a guitar with him, magic happens. So it’s a strange, very conflicted environment… The maximum amount of happiness and the maximum amount of sadness, but at the same time.”
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