David Crosby on CSNY Reunion: ‘Neil’s in Charge’

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David Crosby

Depending on which member is talking, a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion ranges from “no chance” to “maybe.” An interview with David Crosby that was published via a podcast on Aug. 1 is firmly in the “maybe” ledger, at least as far as Croz is concerned.

The interview was with Keith Larson, a long-time radio personality, columnist and author, who is now producing regular podcasts at TheLarsonPage.com. In it, Crosby acknowledges the animosity that the others have toward him–“none of those guys like me”–and puts any decision on a reunion squarely on Neil Young’s shoulders. “When he wants to do it, he’ll call us,” he says.

So far in 2018, the concert road for the four musicians is definitely a four-way street, with each performing either with his current band (Crosby), a longtime friend (Stephen Stills’ outing with Judy Collins), playing career-spanning dates with a band (in Graham Nash’s case) or a variety of configurations (this year, Young has reunited with Crazy Horse and played with Promise of the Real, as well as several instant solo concerts).

Related: Stills and Young performed together on April 21

Crosby, who turned 77 on August 14, is as cantankerous as ever. He tweets his wide-ranging opinions with a combination of humor, sarcasm and forthrightness even more frequently–often scores of times each day–than a certain head of the free world.

Larson asked Crosby about the likelihood of a CSNY reunion.

“I think those are dead issues. I don’t think you’re ever going to see those again. None of those guys like me and frankly I don’t see any forward motion there.”

Crosby talked about the satisfaction he’s currently feeling with his own road work.

“I have two bands, an acoustic band and an electric band. My electric band… is my son, James [Raymond], a keyboard player and a better musician than I am; Jeff Pevar, one of the best lead guitar players in the world… used to play lead for Ray Charles; Steve DiStanislao, whose other band [he plays with] is David Gilmour; Michelle Willis, who’s one of the best singers I’ve ever heard; and Mai Leisz, who’s from Estonia and has her own jazz group, on bass. She’s brilliant.”

Larson asked again about his long time gone bandmates. “So why don’t those other guys like you anymore?”

Croz paused before answering. “You know, I think you have to ask them.” He continued: “When you get together and you’re a band, you’re sort of in love with each other and you like each other’s material and you’re very excited about the whole thing. And that’s how we started out and we were very fucking good. We did a good job; we made some great music. Forty years later, when the band has devolved to the point of ‘turn on the smoke machine and play your hits,’ it’s no fun. They don’t like me and I want to play a different kind of music, more complex than they like, and it’s always been a rub and I don’t feel like there’s a place there I can take my music and have it served well to become records. I need better players than that. It just doesn’t work. I can’t wait around for them.

“I can’t wait around for Neil to change his mind. And he’s the one. You have to understand: there’s 20,000 people in a stadium to see CSNY and Neil puts 10,000 of them in there. So he’s in charge. I’m not. When he wants to do it, he’ll call us. If I’m not busy, I’ll do it.”

Related: Our 2016 interview with Graham Nash

“So you would do it?”

“Oh, I would do it with Neil. I wouldn’t do it with CSN. I would do it with CSNY.”

“Why is that?”

“Because Neil brings so much to the party… musically. He’s a very adventurous guy and he likes pushing the envelope. He’s a fascinating musician and I like working with him. I don’t think he wants to work with me so I’m not gonna wait around. I have a certain amount of time left and it’s not much! I’m 76. That’s the median age for people dying. Put it this way: however much time I have, I know how I should spend it.”

“So when you’re out there for the 10,000th time playing ‘Long Time Gone,’ do you still enjoy that?”

“I don’t think about it at all. I’ve made three records you haven’t heard: [2014’s] Croz, [2016’s] Lighthouse and [2017’s] Sky Trails. Listen to those and then you’ll know what I’m talking about. They’re three of the best records I’ve ever made. And I have another one in my computer.”

Listen to Larson’s complete interview with Crosby here.

Crosby returns to the road on Aug. 23 for a European tour.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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4 Comments so far

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  1. Paisleygirl
    #1 Paisleygirl 2 August, 2018, 07:42

    I hope Neil calls and you stay open to the idea because I have lots of friends who would absolutely love the opportunity to hear you all once more.

    Reply this comment
    • Crisp
      Crisp 3 August, 2018, 02:27

      I saw them with Niel years ago at Saratoga springs NY he joined them on stage for a few songs.Then I was one of like half a dozen guys who’s on tape for the live version of this notes for you. I remember thinking how do I sing this line ? And Niel sneaks a just say it don’t sing it, I hope they let bygones be bygones and bless us all. Im available for back up!

      Reply this comment
    • Dude
      Dude 3 August, 2018, 02:31

      Please, please stay open to a CSNY or even a CSY REUNION. You 4 have a huge following and to not play together while you are all alive is just sad.

      Reply this comment
  2. Aladdinsane
    #2 Aladdinsane 2 August, 2018, 13:32

    If it happens then great, but Neil’s best on his own and the CSNY band concept is tired, done and redone over and over again. The only one out of the sour drama between the four is Stills. Peace!

    Reply this comment

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