David Crosby, sweet-voiced handlebar mustached, Buffalo Bill fringed jacket wearing writer, singer, guitar player with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, died the other day, aged 81.
The group’s instantly recognizable melodic songs and harmonies have been popular for decades.
Crosby had a long and fascinating career. He also had a massive cocaine addiction, was convicted of drug possession and weapons charges and incarcerated in a Texas prison for nearly a year. To his credit, he spent the rest of his life warning people away from hard drugs and specifically thanked the judge who sentenced him, saying that he saved his life.
Journey on, David Crosby.
Your life is deserving of praise.
One of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s first public appearances was at the Woodstock, Music and Art Fair in Bethel, NY that took place August. 15-18, 1969.
I had been in Miami Beach, FL with my family the winter before and attended a rock concert at Gulfstream Park Race Track, Hallandale, 20 miles north. Together with tens of thousands of other people, I went from stage to stage to see a number of famous groups.
It was electric, both literally and figuratively. It was liberating. It was my generation.
Somehow, I got back to our hotel and went to sleep dreaming of my next rock concert.
When Woodstock was announced, I immediately bought a ticket and began to plan.
I applied for a job as a counselor in a summer camp a few miles from the festival site.
When I appeared for the interview, I told the camp owner that I had a family wedding in New York City on August 17 and it was necessary that I have that weekend off (ouch). She agreed.
Once in the camp, I convinced another counselor to drive me to the festival.
And I waited.
The day before we were supposed to leave, news of record-breaking crowds was broadcast on the radio. It was rumored that the governor was threatening to send in the National Guard.
I still wanted to go.
Suddenly, my driver (whose name I remember but out of kindness will not mention) told me that he wasn’t going to risk his car.
He had had a tough guy persona. You could imagine him jumping out of planes. But when it came to his shiny, silver sports car, he caved.
I spent the rest of the weekend sulking.
I still have my Woodstock ticket somewhere.
Maybe I can sell it on eBay.