When it came to music and life, the late David Crosby never wavered. Being a living, talking controversy, he frequently made statements that divided opinion throughout his career, gaining supporters and alienating potential supporters. Along with his music in The Byrds, CSNY, and as a solo artist, David Crosby’s unwavering personality also contributed to his indisputable reputation, which even his critics are forced to admit.
At the age of 81, Crosby passed away on January 18. He has twice been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the Byrds and CSN. He rose to prominence as an icon of the 1960s counterculture movement.
His dismissal from The Byrds in 1967 by Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman is one of the best markers of his attitude. The band was already under a lot of stress, but things reached a breaking point at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June. In between songs, Crosby delivered a number of political rants and endorsed hypotheses surrounding the killing of John F. Kennedy. His comrades were understandably incensed by this, with McGuinn experiencing this hatred the most.
Then, later in the summer, during the initial recording sessions for The Notorious Byrd Brothers, things reached a boiling point. Interband disputes over song choices resulted in Crosby enraging his comrades once more. Despite the previous failure of the song “Lady Friend,” a Crosby original that peaked at number 82 on the American charts, he was anxious that they record solely original material. The breaking point came when he refused to record a cover of “Goin’ Back” by Goffin and King. Then, McGuinn and Hillman fired him.
It’s obvious that Crosby had no qualms about expressing his opinions, and this trait persisted throughout his career. David Crosby discovered the ideal outlet for his thoughts in the late 2000s, when the internet era began and the social media platform Twitter first appeared. This would lead to him delivering some of his best-ever moments, from the cutting to the humorous. He was able to articulate them succinctly in 280 characters.
Whether mocking the whole hip-hop subculture or calling ex-Beach Boy Mike Love a “shithead,” Crosby’s fire on Twitter never lost its fervor. He gave one of his most insightful perspectives on the punk subculture in 2017. Naturally, he detested the shape.
When asked about the genre, he only said, “No.” The Clash, The Stooges, Buzzcocks, Ramones, and Descendants were among the outstanding punk bands mentioned by another user, but Crosby wasn’t having any of them. Punk, in his opinion, is “pretty much all dumb stuff,” with “mostly childish lyrics and no musical value at all.”
Crosby wasn’t persuaded when a user pointed out that The Ramones’ crude lyrics were their real selling point. Yes, he wrote, “but dumb.” In other places, not even the “punk poet laureate,” Patti Smith, could convince Crosby to change his mind. When asked what he thought of her, he said, “Not my thing.
Pretty much all dumb stuff…no musical value at all and mostly childish lyrics https://t.co/SF6vDL2vlQ
— David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) July 26, 2017