The song Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen gifted David Crosby

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As a member of The Byrds in the 1960s, folk icon David Crosby first gained notoriety with their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which immediately reached number one in the United States and the United Kingdom. Due in large part to the song’s success, the folk-rock subgenre came to rule the decade.

The musician started Crosby, Stills, and Nash in 1968, and Neil Young joined the group in 1970. Meanwhile, Crosby began a lucrative solo career in 1971 with the publication of his debut album, If I Could Only Remember My Name. Crosby was completely committed to whatever he was doing, despite the fact that his vocal beliefs frequently led to conflicts with his bandmates on a personal level.

David Crosby showed a deep love for making music and performing over the years, and he did doing until his death in January 2023 at the age of 81. He believed he didn’t have long left, but according to his pals, he was still preparing new music and tours at the time of his death. The musician’s final album, For Free, which bears the same name as the Joni Mitchell song and includes a version of the tune, was published in 2021.

Because of two collaborations with members of his all-time favorite band, Steely Dan, the record has great significance for Crosby. In 2020, Crosby tweeted to confirm the information: “Steely Dan is my favourite band in the world period.” Michael McDonald, who has occasionally performed with Steely Dan throughout the years, is featured on the album’s opening tune, “River Rise.”

But the CD also includes the song “Rodriguez for a Night,” with lyrics by Steely Dan’s lead singer Donald Fagen. Fagen was one of Crosby’s musical heroes, and he had long held him in high regard. Even though they frequently performed together, he was unable to record anything formal with Fagen until 2021.

However, the two were able to become friends thanks to their live performances. At a Steely Dan concert in Santa Barbara in 2019, Crosby and the band performed their first-ever live duet of “Home At Last.” Fagen quickly invited Crosby to join them in New York as they sang “Wooden Ships” there.

A few years later, Crosby expressed his happiness that Fagen had written lyrics for him to perform in an interview with Rolling Stone. “It’s really fucking good, man,” he said. “I’m so honored he gave us a set of words. I’ve been asking him for a couple of years. He started to trust us, I think. It took a long time, but he gave us a set of words that are really wonderful and we just wrote the shit out of them.”

In a different interview with Rolling Stone, Crosby professed his love for Fagen, saying: “He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but he’s a brilliant guy. I admire him beyond belief.”

Crosby truly liked Fagen, so it’s appropriate that a song from one of his inspirations was included on his farewell album.



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