Musicians and fans from all over the world have paid tribute to the news of David Crosby’s death on Thursday evening. His close friends and bandmates Neil Young, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills, along with Melissa Etheridge, Brian Wilson, Jason Isbell and many others remembered him as an “unbelievable talent.”
As the founding member of two highly influential bands, the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash (later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), Crosby helped set the template for L.A. rock in the ’60s.
On his blog, Young wrote, “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.”
He continued, “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!”
Nash took to Instagram to confirm the news and shared a thoughtful tribute dedicated to his long-time friend and bandmate, 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 wrote in a statement: “I read a quote about composer Gustav Mahler’s 9th symphony by the San Fransisco Orchestra from music critic Mark Swed 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 [with] 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.”
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys reacted to the news on Twitter writing, “David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words.”
Melissa Etheridge, whose children Crosby helped conceive via artificial insemination, said she was “forever” grateful for the singer who “gave me the gift of family…His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come.”
Jason Isbell, whose band (the 400 Unit) opened for Crosby on select 2020 tour dates, said he was grateful for the time they shared.
Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan took to Twitter to share a black and white shot of Crosby, simply writing “RIP.”
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