Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young and More Remember David Crosby

Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young and More Remember David Crosby

Photo Credit: Anna Webber

On Thursday evening, Variety confirmed that seminal singer-songwriter, guitarist and founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, David Crosby passed away. News of the artist’s passing spread rapidly across social media as fellow collaborators, friends and admirers paid tribute to the ’60’s icon. Amongst the artist that delivered thoughtful remembrances were Crosby’s CSNY bandmates, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young, among others. See more below. 

On social media, Nash penned a message to fans and followers, writing: “It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed. I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years. David was fearless in life and in music. He leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world. He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most. My heart is truly with his wife, Jan, his son, Django, and all of the people he has touched in this world.”

Stills remembered his former bandmate, adding his own sentiments:“I read a quote in this morning’s paper attributed to composer Gustav Mahler that stopped me for a moment: ‘Death has, on placid cat’s paws, entered the room.’ I shoulda known something was up. David and I butted heads a lot over time, but they were mostly glancing blows, yet still left us numb skulls. I was happy to be at peace with him. He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius. The glue that held us together as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun. I am deeply saddened at his passing and shall miss him beyond measure.”

Young also offered a comment this morning, “David is gone, but his music lives on. The soul of CSNY, David’s voice and energy were at the heart of our band. His great songs stood for what we believed in and it was always fun and exciting when we got to play together. ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ ‘Dejavu’, and so many other great songs he wrote were wonderful to jam on and Stills and I had a blast as he kept us going on and on. His singing with Graham was so memorable, their duo spot a highlight of so many of our shows. We had so many great times, especially in the early years. Crosby was a very supportive friend in my early life, as we bit off big pieces of our experience together. David was the catalyst of many things. My heart goes out to Jan and Django, his wife and son. Lots of love to you. Thanks David for your spirit and songs, Love you man. I remember the best times!”

Other artists, such as Warren Haynes chimed in as well. “Not sure I can keep doing this. Still reeling from Jeff Beck’s death and now Croz. I guess we’ve reached that time where our musical heroes are passing at a frequency that is no surprise but still shocking. David Crosby changed the landscape of music as a solo artist and as a member of the Byrds, CSN, and CSNY. His soulful and melodic voice, offset by his brilliantly unique songwriting made its way into every household that loved not only the ‘folk rock’ anomaly of CSN but also, as was unique to the times, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Sly & the Family Stone, Santana, the Grateful Dead—the list goes on and on. Our household was no exception. I really loved the beautiful melodies, the three-part harmony, and the ethereal quality of this music, which somehow also had a heaviness to it. Not in the loud sense of the term but in the gravity and depth of the songs and the performances. Despite the overall acoustic/folky nature of all the different projects that Crosby was part of, this music fit perfectly alongside the heaviest and most psychedelic music of that time period. Not just because it incorporated electric instrumentation as well, but because it was unique and defied categorization. It was as much “rock music” as any of the aforementioned artists. I didn’t know David very well but I cherish the one time we played together, which was at a Hepatitis C Benefit at the Beacon Theater in NYC with the Allman Brothers Band along with David and Graham Nash, Phil Lesh, and Natalie Cole. It was a huge moment for me to duet with David on ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ and to sing Stephen Stills’ part on ‘Find the Cost of Freedom’ along with him and Graham. I’ll never forget it. Thanks David, from millions of us, for your contribution to the world of music. It is a huge one.”

Crosby’s son, James Raymond, also offered a statement via press release. The musical collaborator and firstborn said: “I am deeply saddened at the passing of my birth father David Crosby. He was a monumental talent and force of nature. The musical gifts he gave us all will be cherished for generations. I feel very fortunate that we found each other and that he so graciously invited me to experience that rarified air of creativity that surrounded him. I will miss him immensely.”

See additional artists’ responses to Crosby’s passing below. Read more about Crosby’s passing now.

Back to top