David Crosby let his FREAK FLAG fly in Aspen last night. "The Cros", a musical icon and ROCK legend was the guest of honor at Lyrically Speaking, an interview/concert series sponsored by The Aspen Writer's Foundation, a local non-profit. Greatness was among us.
Crosby, a founding member two seminal Rock bands, The Byrds and CSNY, hosted an intimate performance/discussion before a SRO crowd. Crosby shared incredible insights into his life, and his music. He admitted that he was extremely jealous of Bob Dylan in the early 60's, and jokingly said that he himself "sings way better than him". He told great stories about Sweet Baby James, Jackson and Joni in the 60's. He quipped that it took Stephen Stills "about 20 years" to finally learn to play WOODEN SHIPS. Cros interacted casually with the audience and even led the entire room in an a cappella sing-a-long.
The interview was riveting, but the attendees were aching for a performance. Crosby seemed a little reluctant to play, but he finally loosened up and gave the crowd several tunes. Just him and his guitar. He confessed that in CSNY "it was my job to write the weird sh*t". Regarding the anthem, ALMOST CUT MY HAIR, Crosby said, "it was an audio bulldozer----one take".
He was instrumental in Joni Mitchell's career, getting her signed and producing her first record. I was her "old man, and falling in love with Joni Mitchell was like falling in love with a cement mixer, she was a turbulent girl". He spoke frankly about his use of hard drugs and his one year jail stint in Texas. Sober now, Crosby laughed that being "old, fat and ugly" served him well in the Texas prison system.
He shared fantastic tales about Graham Nash, Neil Young, Roger McGuinn, Jerry Garcia, Mama Cass, Jefferson Airplane and the Beatles. Crosby revealed how he watched Neil Young write OHIO, in one sitting, off the top of his head, and how Ahmet Ertegun had the song recorded, pressed and on the air within a week of the Kent State debacle in 1970.
Freedom of Speech is clearly important to David Crosby, and he has never been shy about his political views, both on stage and off. We don't want to see him getting in any more trouble with the Feds so we won't publish his strong opinions about our current President. We do, however, agree with his viewpoint----Keep on rockin', David.
Basically ---Crosby's tune, LONG TIME GONE says it all---- "Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness. You got to speak your mind. If you dare".