Music: Bard of Woodstock, David Crosby, dies at 81
Woodstock bard David Crosby has died aged 81
American rocker David Crosby, who co-founded the Byrds before joining supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, has died at the age of 81.
With his guitar and mustache, he was the young America of the 1960s and 70s, between rock-folk riffs and man-made paradises: David Crosby co-founded the Byrds before joining the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. his extreme moves to restart his solo career.
With five albums since 2014, the long-haired Californian, who died on Thursday at the age of 81, according to American media, had begun a renaissance noticed by critics, who hailed his clear, tobacco-protected voice, although he had touched many drugs, not long before that. a rare survivor of an outgoing generation.
“I don’t know why I’m alive and Jimi (Hendrix) isn’t and Janis (Joplin)…” he marveled to Rolling Stone magazine in 2014. “I was lucky.” The singer is very proud of this life of going back and forth between several groups, mixed with controversy and cocaine. “The important things in my life weren’t the problems I was going through, it was this magic that happened to me that allowed me to make all this music,” he told the Guardian in 2021 from his California home.
It was in this state that he was born on August 14, 1941, to parents who descended from large New York families, a stay-at-home mother and a father in the cinema, who won an Oscar for best photography. Before his 25th birthday, he was one of the founders of The Byrds, a group that combined rock from England with traditional American folk. It is David Crosby in particular who brings this last component full of melody with his guitar and voice. The Byrds’ lasting influence would be felt especially in other groups such as the Eagles and later REM.
cocaine and guns
We owe it to them, especially the hit “Eight Mile High,” a cutting edge piece of psychedelic rock whose references to illegal substances would have kept him out of puritanical American radio stations for a while. These items, David Crosby knew them very well. “At the end of the concert you are on top, I took a lot. It allowed me to stop after the show,” he recalls to Rolling Stone.
In 1969, his partner died in a car accident. He produced his first solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name. There, in distress and heroin, he saves himself by singing. “The only place I could cope was in the studio,” Cruz told the Los Angeles Times in 2021. Since then, the singer, who is a huge fan of sailing, has not stopped surprising herself by surviving the roller coaster.
In 1986, he served five months in a Texas prison after being arrested several years earlier in a Dallas nightclub with cocaine and a loaded assault rifle. Since then, his body has reminded him of his excesses: diabetes, a heart attack, a liver transplant in 1994.
Gandalf the hippie
His peak must have been a few years ago. On August 17, 1969, at the legendary Woodstock festival, he had already grown his mustache and long hair, like Buffalo Bill on stage for the second concert of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Kicked out of the Byrds in 1968, he found Steven Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies at the mountain home of Joni Mitchell, folk legend and David Crosby’s one-time lover. Neil Young will join them from time to time.
With “Our House” or “Ohio”, they occupy the American FM group in this bright, hippie nation due to their albums, breakups and successive meetings of this concentration of talent and ego. “I think when the Beatles broke up (1970) we were the best band in the world,” David Crosby said. He was with the trio in “Gandalf of Woodstock” (Variety), the 1979 concert against nuclear power, and the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement. A few years later, he advocated for firearms as well as for youth. environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
His prison term in 1986 served as forced drug treatment. He says he hasn’t touched a single hard drug since then. “Actually, I feel pretty good,” he said. “My job is not just playing the guitar and singing. I’m not the best at all,” the old bard told AFP in January 2021. “What I’m really good at is breaking that fourth wall, taking you on a little journey,” he continued. “Make you laugh so you can cry. This is my job.”
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