Thoughts on David Crosby

Sunset smells of dinner
Women are calling at me to end my tales
But perhaps I’ll see you the next quiet place
I furl my sails

— Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Lee Shore

David Crosby grew on me over time. He was always the troublemaker in the two famous bands he was an integral part of, always pushing beyond the limits of what others felt appropriate. And he destroyed his body and some friendships along the way. Indicators that he was pushing too far. With this as context, his body finally failing him at 81 is no great surprise, but it was nonetheless surprising. We forget sometimes that everything must pass, especially rock stars.

This isn’t a blog about loss, it’s about discovery. Crosby was the odd character who popped up now and then, for fights with his bandmates, for his decades owning the beautiful 1947 Alden Schooner MAYAN, and for famously donating sperm to Melissa Etheridge and her partner to have children. If he’d passed when I was 25, I’d have noticed his passing, but it wouldn’t have resonated for me as I was then. Now it’s like losing an uncle in a way, someone who’s voice you’ve grown accustomed to, grown to trust. But you don’t mourn shooting stars, you celebrate them.

The thing about rock stars, is that they never really die. The songs live on well beyond their bodies, and so do the stories. And what of the rest of us? We may not be rock stars, but we may each contribute our own verse, and set it free to harmonize forever after we’re gone. If there’s one thing we can take away from the fragile dance of a man like David Crosby, it’s that we may still contribute to the very end, and leave our work to sing for us.

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