Neil Young Shares David Crosby Tribute: “David is Gone, But His Music Lives On”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

After the recent passing of legendary songwriter David Crosby, the late singer’s former bandmate Neil Young has shared a tribute to his friend.

Crosby, who died on Thursday (January 19) at 81 years old, and Young were bandmates in the folk group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Young joined the group, comprised of Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, in 1969.

“David is gone, but his music lives on,” Wrote Young on his Neil Young Archives website. 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’ and ‘Deja Vu,’ and so many other great songs he wrote were wonderful to jam on, and [Stephen] Stills and I had a blast as he kept going on and on. His singing with Graham [Nash] was memorable, their duo spot a highlight of so many of our shows.

Young added, “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!”

CSNY, which performed at the original Woodstock, released the 1970 acclaimed album Déjà Vu. The group broke up not long after and got back together several times, including a final reunion in 2013.

For a time, young and Crosby didn’t speak. In 2022, Cosby said they “didn’t have a relationship” and hadn’t communicated “in two years.” The argument reportedly was over comments Crosby said about Young’s wife, Daryl Hannah.

However, there seemed to be some reconciliation given that Crosby, Stills & Nash removed their music from Spotify, following in Young’s footsteps after he now-famously claimed they were spreading misinformation. In a statement, the trio said “we support Neil.” Crosby also said he didn’t want to be on Spotify with controversial podcaster Joe Rogan, saying, “I’d rather I wasn’t in the same marketplace.”

In separate statements, Nash and Stills penned their own tributes.

“It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,” wrote Nash. “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.”

And Stills said that Crosby “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.”

Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns

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