David Crosby has lived a charmed life. Born with singing talent and a baby face (which he disguised with abundant facial hair), he was part of two legendary rock groups and has enjoyed success as a solo performer.
The new documentary film David Crosby: Remember My Name examines his career and his life and reveals flaws and shortcomings along with fame and fortune.
Crosby was a member of the Byrds, the band for whom the term “folk/rock” was coined in the 60s. He later joined Stephen Stills and Graham Nash to form Crosby, Stills and Nash. (They soon added Neil Young to the group.)
Unlike much of the media coverage of Crosby in the last decade or two, the film does not overemphasize his health challenges. Yes, it does mention them and he and his wife Jan both acknowledge that he’s getting on in years, but the film reveals Crosby to be alive and feisty as ever.
With fewer talking head shots than are often seen in similar films, DC:RMN presents the expected archival images of Crosby’s milestones along with recent performance footage that demonstrates he can still sing.
Crosby himself has a good deal of on-camera face time, sharing memories. And opinions. Praise for Joni Mitchell. Dislike for Jim Morrison. Awareness of reasons why his former bandmates don’t speak to him.
Roger McGuinn tells why David Crosby was kicked out of the Byrds. Graham Nash gives his take on his recent sour relationship with Crosby. Photographer Henry Diltz talks about his recollections and takes some new pics of Crosby.
A memorable segment shows Crosby examining a large photo of the 1970 Kent State shootings and suggesting that he provided key impetus for Neil Young and the band to write and record the song Ohio.
David Crosby: Remember My Name will entertain and inform baby boomers. But will younger viewers care? I think yes, based on the success of recent rock-oriented films (dramatic and documentary).
Current media reminiscences of the Woodstock festival may also generate some interest in Crosby and others who enjoyed their greatest acclaim in the 60s and 70s. No, it’s not a coincidence that the film is being released on the 50th anniversary of that iconic event of modern pop culture.