Thursday, April 16, 2015

David Crosby: The Dramatic Story of the Artists and Causes that Changed ...

3 comments:

Tim Nolan said...

David Van Cortlandt Crosby (born August 14, 1941) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of three bands: The Byrds; Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN, who are sometimes joined by Neil Young as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young [CSNY]); and CPR.

Crosby has been depicted as emblematic of the counterculture.

Crosby has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: once for his work in The Byrds and once for his work with CSN.

Crosby joined Jim McGuinn (who later changed his name to Roger) and Gene Clark, who were then named the Jet Set. They were augmented by drummer Michael Clarke, at which point Crosby attempted, unsuccessfully, to play bass. Late in 1964, Chris Hillman joined as bassist, and Crosby relieved Gene Clark of rhythm guitar duties. Through connections that Jim Dickson (The Byrds' manager) had with Bob Dylan's publisher, the band obtained a demo acetate disc of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and recorded a cover version of the song, featuring McGuinn's 12-string guitar as well as McGuinn, Crosby, and Clark's vocal harmonizing.[7] The song turned into a massive hit, soaring to number one in the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom during 1965.[7] While Roger McGuinn originated The Byrds' trademark 12-string guitar sound, Crosby was responsible for the soaring harmonies and often unusual phrasing on their songs.

Tim Nolan said...

In 1966 Gene Clark, who then was the band's primary songwriter, left the group due to stress. This placed all the group's songwriting responsibilities in the hands of McGuinn, Crosby, and Hillman.[8] Crosby took the opportunity to hone his craft and soon became a prolific songwriter. His early Byrds efforts included the 1966 hit "Eight Miles High" (to which he contributed one line, while Clark and McGuinn wrote the rest), and its flip side "Why," co-written with McGuinn.

Crosby is widely credited with popularizing the song "Hey Joe." Since he felt responsible for having popularized the song, Crosby persuaded the other members of The Byrds to cover it on Fifth Dimension. By Younger Than Yesterday, The Byrds' album of 1967, Crosby clearly began to find his trademark style.

Friction between Crosby and the other Byrds came to a head in mid-1967. Tensions were high after the Monterey Pop Festival in June, when Crosby's onstage political diatribes between songs elicited rancor from McGuinn and Hillman. The next night he further annoyed his bandmates when, at the invitation of Stephen Stills, he substituted for an absent Neil Young during Buffalo Springfield's set. The internal conflict boiled over during recording of The Notorious Byrd Brothers album in August and September. Differences over song selections led to arguments, with Crosby being particularly adamant that the band should record only original material. McGuinn and Hillman dismissed Crosby in mid-September after he refused to participate in the recording session of the Goffin and King song "Goin' Back." Crosby's controversial menage-a-trois ode "Triad," recorded by the band before his dismissal, was left off the album. Jefferson Airplane recorded the song and released it on their album Crown of Creation in 1968. David Crosby sang a solo acoustic version on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1971 double live album Four Way Street. The Byrds' version appeared decades later on the 1988 Never Before release and is now available on the CD re-release of The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

Tim Nolan said...

In 1973 Crosby reunited with the original Byrds for the album Byrds, with Crosby acting as the album's producer. The album charted well (at number 20, their best album showing since their second album) but was generally not perceived to be a critical success. It marked the final artistic collaboration of the original band.

Around the time of Crosby's departure from the Byrds, he met a recently unemployed Stephen Stills at a party at the home of Cass Elliot (of The Mamas and the Papas) in California in March 1968, and the two started meeting informally together and jamming. They were soon joined by Graham Nash, who would leave his commercially successful group The Hollies to play with Crosby and Stills. Their appearance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969 constituted their second live performance ever.

Their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash of 1969, was an immediate hit, spawning two Top 40 hit singles and receiving key airplay on the new FM radio format, in its early days populated by unfettered disc jockeys who then had the option of playing entire albums at once.

The songs he wrote while with CSN include “Guinnevere,” “Almost Cut My Hair,” “Long Time Gone,” and “Delta.” He also co-wrote “Wooden Ships” with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Stephen Stills.