By Rich Henrich
Every so often the opportunity to interview a legend comes along but none as great as the godfather of music and activism as the one and only David Crosby!
CVW: I consider you one of the founding fathers of modern music. What does it mean to you to be touring and playing music at 75?
DAVID CROSBY: I’m very grateful. I’m very grateful because, normally, careers fade before you get to this age. So, I’m incredibly lucky to be doing this, particularly at the intensity level that I’m doing it right now, which is amazing.
CVW: What excites you most about the music you are performing on this tour?
DC: Well, it’s one of the two bands that I’m in. This is the electric band that’s based around my older son, James Raymond who produced the record and did a great job. And, he and I and our friend Jeff Pevar are playing guitar. Our friend, Michelle Willis, is the other keyboard player and harmony singer. Our friend Steve DiStanislao is playing drums again, which we love. And, a new person, Mai Agan, is playing bass. She’s an amazing bass player.
CVW: How important is music for our soul?
DC: Music is a lifting force. Just the same way that war drags the human race down, music lifts it up. So, I think it’s as important for your soul as, wings. It’s one of the best things for your soul that there is on the planet.
CVW: Many young bands claim you as a major influence. Are there any young bands or musicians that you are listening to?
DC: Yes! I look for them all the time. I would start with the people that I’ve been working with. Michelle Willis, singer/songwriter out of Toronto. Excellent singer, excellent writer, excellent player. Becca Stevens, the other girl with Michelle in Lighthouse – incredible singer/songwriter. Not like anyone else in the world. Who else… I ran across a band from England, I think they are sisters: The Staves. I like them a lot! Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, who go under the name I’m With Her. They all have solo careers but they’re amazing. I like a guy named Marcus Eaton; he’s a singer/songwriter/guitar player. Amazing nobody’s ever heard of him, he’s terrific. I look for these people on the net a lot and I occasionally run across one. And I’m gonna keep looking.
CVW: What role do musicians play in politics- culturally or socially?
DC: Well, it’s not our main gig. Our main gig is to make you boogie, or, take you on little emotional voyages. We only really talk to you about social or political stuff every once in awhile. It should be a thing where you see something, and you’re so moved by it, you simply can’t help talking about it. When you see the United States shooting it’s own children at the college in Kent State, you have to write Ohio.
CVW: What are you learning about music at this stage of your creative life?
DC: That it is the most fun thing you can do with your clothes on. That it’s a joy, which I do it because I absolutely love it and I will continue to do it til I die.
CVW: Is it a challenge to balance your musical curiosity with the desires of the audience?
DC: Yes. The audience wants to hear songs that they have a relationship with and that they have memories that are entwined with, and, of course the musician always wants to play the new song that they just wrote. There is a balance to be struck there, and we try very hard to strike that balance.
CVW: Where does your inspiration come from for your lyrics on the songs of this tour?
DC: Well, I write mostly love songs. But, I write about everything, Human beings absolutely fascinate me.
CVW: What music are you listening to that influences this album?
DC: The stuff that influences me is other singer/songwriters- good ones. The Paul Simons, the Joni Mitchells, the Bob Dylan’s, the Randy Newman’s, The Jackson Browns, the people out there that I think are doing a good job of being singer/songwriters. That’s who influences me strongly.
CVW: What wisdom have you gained over the course of your career that you can share with fans and/or makers of music?
DC: None. I have gained no wisdom whatsoever. I’m completely not wise. I wish that I were wise. But, unfortunately (laughing) the evidence confronting us says otherwise.
Thank you for your time. It is an honor to hear your music!
Tickets for the 8pm David Crosby & Friends performance on Friday, April 21, 2017 are on sale for $59, $49, and $39 at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, via telephone (800) 827-2946 or online at www.FantasySpringsResort.com.