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Pete Fornatale 0:00
Are you nervous? Are you nervous at this time?
David Crosby 0:04
Yeah, we have an idiot in the White House. We have a group of people who are oil men who are convinced that there will always be more and that there can't be anything wrong with it because it's how I make my money. And they can't wrap themselves around the idea that we can't keep burning fossil fuel because we will initiate global warming warming we already have. They are short sighted, greedy beyond all believe it's a matter of policy for them to lie. They don't even it doesn't even occur to them to try to tell the truth. So all spin, which is lying. And and they're, they do not have our best interests at heart. There's a thing called Crosby's axiom, which is, the bigger a company gets, the less it gives a damn about you. And they represent the biggest companies in the world. That's who they are. They're oil guys. And they're getting us into trouble for the wrong reasons they put us into Afghanistan, because they want a pipeline across Afghanistan. They didn't say that at the time. But now everybody, everybody knows that New York Times printed it. It's it's the truth. That's what it was about. You know, the guy that is President of Afghanistan right now. You know, his last job was Unocal. Mohamed Karzai, used to work what a coincidence What an odd thing. And the same for going into Iraq. These are students about oil, and he wants his daddy to give him a lolly for finishing up, but his father was too dumb to finish. And then once you, David, I have nothing to do with Saddam Hussein. If it was about Saddam Hussein, we could take 1/10 of the money, it's going to cost us to do this give it to the Mossad. And so Saddam Hussein would be dead.
Pete Fornatale 1:52
You know, we've been doing this now for 25 years, I've always had difficulty with you and your inability to express your true feelings
David Crosby 1:59
I know, I'm so shy. That's the problem. So reticent.
Pete Fornatale 2:04
Let's talk a little bit about another major thing that happened since we spoke last, which was what turned out to be sort of a double reunion with Neil Young, the Millennium tour, and then the tour last year.
David Crosby 2:20
Such fun man, such a blast. Neil is like having an elemental force in your band. It's like having the wind in your band. He's he's just fantastic to play music with because he's so totally committed to doing it. And it's all he really cares about is his family and his music. That's he doesn't really give a damn about anything else. And he's wholehearted about it. And when you play music with him, you can take it to the max. He that's where he wants to go anyway.
Pete Fornatale 2:54
So can you feel the difference between audiences reacting to CSN and audiences reacting to CSN why? And notice the difference, what does he
David Crosby 3:04
bring two totally different chemistry brings like nitroglycerin to the mix. It's they're two completely different bands. And, and both of them are very effective and very powerful. But they're completely different. And I love working with Neil, you know, I delight to me to work with.
Pete Fornatale 3:23
Is it your guests that there will be more?
David Crosby 3:27
Yeah I mean, we did a good job. The only real criteria needle has about is was the music any good. And it was. So it follows naturally that he would probably want to do it again. He'll cycle through two or three other things first, because Neil's not about it doesn't do it just to have his way he he makes these decisions, because he wants to keep the music being exciting to him. That's what keeps him alive afloat, as it were, and he can't do it any other way. So I'm sure he'll do you know, at least one or two other things first, and then I think we'll come back to it because he knows it was good.
Pete Fornatale 4:07
Your personal favorite moment on looking forward?
David Crosby 4:29
That's a tough one. I don't know. You know, it's kind of like saying which one is your favorite child? I'll think about I tried to give me an answer some time.
Pete Fornatale 4:39
Was that not one of the songs? It was? Yeah. That brings us to our next subject we're talking about.
David Crosby 4:46
Yeah, I did love what we do with Stand and Be Counted. that was largely Niels Niels arrangement of it, and it was very strong, was very powerful.
Pete Fornatale 4:54
The whole project was very strong and very powerful and we haven't had a chance to talk about where it came from. How you got so involved in it? And what your thoughts were about the finished product?
David Crosby 5:05
Well, the idea was was twofold minute one, I wanted to tell the story we're talking about Stand and be Counted for anybody out there that doesn't know, oh, my sent me kind of was a book and a documentary. And the idea was to explain to people how we got from a group of southern black people in the basement of a church singing ain't nobody can turn me round, or we shall overcome in order to keep their spirits up while they were trying to get ready to go out and risk their lives to get the ability to vote in their own country. Okay. Right, which was promised to them in the Constitution. How we got from there to Live Aid, farm aid amnesty tour, how did that happen? How did how did music become a force in activism? Well, who did that? What happened? Well, we you and I know, Pete Seeger happened, and taught all the rest of us how to do it. You know? But that's a worthy story to tell. And it was a fascinating story to tell. And I got great interviews with a ton of fascinating people who spoke to me in a way that they would not speak to a normal talking head because they knew me. And, and I asked good questions. I asked him strong questions about real stuff. Not you know, do you like shoes and what's your favorite color? And um,
PETE FORNATALE SITS DOWN WITH DAVID CROSBY. CU OF CROSBY SITTING IN A LIVING ROOM ON AN UPHUSTERED CHAIR. CASUAL SETTING.
Pete Fornatale 6:31
Segars on that list name three or four more David
David Crosby 6:35
Joan Biaz. Harry Belafonte, Harry Belafonte, my God, six bullets story. Oh, yikes. But a ton of people. And there's these, you know, Bonnie, Melissa, the Indigos. Jackson, buffet, you know, people. I don't think that these interviews, I will wish you could see the whole interview of these people, all of them. Because nobody else asked these people this stuff. Nobody else got this kind of stuff out of all these people on the side of these people that you would really love to see if you were asking them, you know, what do you really believe in? And and it's, we got to answer if you that are wonderful
Pete Fornatale 7:15
maybe we will someday? Well, you know, I've
David Crosby 7:19
thought about that I have 80 hours of these interviews, probably 40 people that you would love to know what they really thought and among find the right venue for it, nothing would please me more than to put it out.
Pete Fornatale 7:31
Well, we are in the in the new welcoming area for our kind of music and musicians of public radio on public television, which has turned out to be a pretty impressive venue for for this type of material.
David Crosby 7:48
I'll speak to them about it Pete because I would love to do it. It's just a matter of being in the right place and being treated right. In any case, the documentary got made was on TLC, the book got printed and was out and is pretty good book. And the documentary is now coming out on DVD.
Pete Fornatale 8:09
Stand and be counted David Crosby and David Bender published by Harper San Francisco.
David Crosby 8:16
My pal bando, what I bring here is
Pete Fornatale 8:21
David when we spoke last you had met your biological son, but I don't think a musical partnership had been formed at that time.
David Crosby 8:30
What it struck of lightning that was
Pete Fornatale 8:32
we're talking about James Raymond and he is the are in CPR. First question is, how did that musical partnership with your son evolve? And what does CPR fill in David Crosby's life
David Crosby 8:48
Well you know when I met him, I knew he was an incredibly special human being because he just radiates off him. But when I realized how good he was, what a great musician this kid is, He's way better than I am. Way better than I am. And when I realized how good he was, that was the level one shock the level two shock was what happened when when we tried writing together. And that was a serious upheaval that one and now. I used to write two maybe three songs a year. Now I write 10. And that's James. The other thing is that most guys my age are just pulling the lever trying to get the same numbers to come up. They are not really moving forward at all. CPR is brand new music, done a brand new way with brand new guys. And it is forward motion. And I absolutely love it for that. It's keeping me alive.
Pete Fornatale 9:58
Wow. A few we're going to pick a CPR song to introduce the group to someone. Which what's the shortlist?
David Crosby 10:10
I think at the edge would be a good one. That's one of my main favorites. I love that one. I love eyes too blue. I love everything. I love. I love everything we've done. I think you know, it's a fantastic pan. Have you heard the just like gravity CD? Most recently?
Pete Fornatale 10:26
David Crosby 10:27
Bunch of wonderful stuff on there. Map to buried treasure and coyote King and all this great stuff we are was that on the first one. We just had a ton of good material in there. Angel dream. Wow. That's some of my best words ever.
Pete Fornatale 10:43
What? Literally a dream. Where did it come from?
David Crosby 10:47
I don't know where the songs come from Pete. I wish I did. I wish I could control it. I wish I could focus it more. So I could have more of them. But it just comes they just come to me. And I don't know how you
Pete Fornatale 10:58
mean you haven't bottled it made the formula yet and just go back and pull it.
David Crosby 11:02
Isn't that funny that I haven't done that yet.
Pete Fornatale 11:05
David David. God,
David Crosby 11:08
wouldn't I be glad to.
Pete Fornatale 11:10
You know how there has always been a lighthearted element to our time together. I was writing these questions up last night. And here's what came into my head. The question was going to be David, can we talk about your sperm for a minute? It's been splattered on all the tabloids and then
David Crosby 11:26
oh, nice choice of words.
Pete Fornatale 11:28
Maybe we maybe I should rephrase.
David Crosby 11:32
Do you think that was an accidental choice of words guys? I don't think so.
Pete Fornatale 11:34
That became such a big media story. I mean, first it was a mystery. But then it was a real story. You were the guy in the center of it all. What was it like to be in the eye of that hurricane?
David Crosby 11:46
You know, it was silly. But we talked about it and Melissa and I and Julie talked about it and jan. It was Jan's idea. And and I support it. It totally was totally for it. And I'm still totally for it. It was the proof is in the pudding. The kids are wonderful.
Pete Fornatale 12:05
Do you have a role in their lives?
David Crosby 12:07
Distant But yeah, we're, they know who I am. And we see each other frequently. And they love me. But I'm not supposed to be their parent. And I'm not right. I do love them. And they are stunners. You should see Bailey she's the prettiest little girl on Earth. But the media thing we knew it would be a feeding frenzy. You know? There there just is that element to you know, the mass media and we thought about it all. And Julie Melissa made a very good choice. They said, you know, sooner or later, it's got to come out because they will not stop pressing us about it. They were pressing. Melissa every time she couldn't do anything without saw anything. Okay, now who's really the father? It's not Brad Pitt is it? And we realized that the best way to deal with it for the kids was to get it out and over with, you know how the media is they devour a story, they eat it. And when it's done, you know, it's like they're on to the next next. Yeah. So we figured we would do that. And have it be old news and a dead issue. By the time the kids got in school.
Pete Fornatale 13:28
Uh, you're able to sort of to observe in an interesting way, whether the musical genetics translate here as well, any sign of it yet, or is that something for down the road?
David Crosby 13:40
Yeah. Yeah, it's very strong. You know, my, my little boy, Django sings constantly. sings really well. So and I know that Bailey does, and I'm, I'm betting that Beckett well. What can I tell you, you know, James became a musician without even knowing that I was his father, right. And these kids do. So I have no idea how it's all gonna pan out. And I'm just happy that they feel loved. You know, that's the main deal with kids. Anyway,
Pete Fornatale 14:09
a wonderful thing. Just a couple of more things, David, and we will let you go. You participated in an event that was very dear to my heart. And we didn't get to cross paths that night, which I was sorry about. That was the tribute to Brian Wilson at Radio City Music Hall about a year ago. It seemed to me like you had very personal reasons for wanting to do that. And then once again, the music that came out of it, particularly your segments, with the possible exception of having to redo sloop john b
David Crosby 14:44
Well, they didn't use it anyway.
Pete Fornatale 14:46
But but the musical segments were extraordinary.
David Crosby 14:49
Yeah, that the doing Surf's up with with
Pete Fornatale 14:53
David Crosby 14:54
Pete Fornatale 14:55
what a revelation
David Crosby 14:56
Pete Fornatale 15:03
David Crosby 15:03
Jimmy Webb, that was just astounding, because I mean, it's a crazy good piece of music. And, and. And Vince is, you know, one of the best singers in the world.
Pete Fornatale 15:19
I didn't really appreciate that until that night.
David Crosby 15:23
Oh, man. He's fantastic. I mean, he should either be able to sing like that or played lead guitar the way he does, or play golf that well, one of the three. That's not fair. But yeah, that was a very good experience. I think. Because, you know, most tributes are people taking advantage of a chance to get in front of the cameras. This one, everybody there really loved Brian. He had affected their lives. And that's why they came. Yeah. You know, it wasn't a it wasn't a bowl thing. It was a real thing.
Pete Fornatale 15:54
How did he affect us, David?
David Crosby 15:57
Well come on. When we formed the birds, there was only one group in America besides us. So them that was the only other group. I mean, it meant anything. Right. You know? And you could not be affected by him. I mean, Christ. Can you remember? You sit down on the floor and cry. Did you like bang your head against the wall? Did you just say, Okay, that's it. Now I've had it what? You know, the guy affected everybody. You know, it's like asking, you know, how to, you know, Lennon and McCartney affect me.
Pete Fornatale 16:39
Brian is a casualty to some extent. Yes. And, and I feel badly about that. But that he gets out there, and does it that he has survived and Dennis and Carl haven't. It's an amazing tribute to something in him.
David Crosby 17:00
It's what he does. It's what he was put here to do. And he knows it. And even if he is slightly crippled, he still knows what he was put here to do. Yeah, and he's trying to do it.
Pete Fornatale 17:14
The other one you did was in my room with Carly.
David Crosby 17:23
Wow, I love that song. I asked. I begged to be allowed segments. It's just, it's just beautiful. You know, it's a beautiful song. I loved doing that. And, and, you know, it helped reinvigorate his career. And I think that's entirely fair. I think he's a wonderful guy.
Pete Fornatale 17:44
projects to look forward to as 2003 2004 unfolds,
David Crosby 17:49
well. There's the DVD audio thing, the 5.1 mixes that we're putting out stony evening being the first one that I'm redoing one of if I can only remember my name right now, which should be a fantastic one. And I fully expect us to do everything that way, if we can possibly get the permissions to do it. The video DVD of stand and be counted. I'm doing a tour with CPR in the northeast, which should be a blast. I'm sure it will be a blast. And then when I get home, I get home for about 15 minutes. And I gotta go out again with CSN. And we're gonna do a lot of work. This time, we're covering a lot of secondary marks that we couldn't hit with C with C, s and y. And we're having a, you know, I mean, if it's anything like it was two nights ago, man, it's gonna rock their world. And then, when we're done with that, Nash and I are writing new songs for a new Crosby Nashville, which we haven't done since the 70s. And I think that will be a delight. You know,
Pete Fornatale 18:57
and best of Crosby Nash just came out to finally the ABC yours. A lot of fine music on there as well, David?
David Crosby 19:07
Well, I think all of those records, you know, the first one to Graham Nash, David Crosby, and then wind underwater in particular, and whistling down where all would make great 5.1 makes us I'd really like to see that happen with those records.
Pete Fornatale 19:22
Is there any sense in which you feel you're racing against the clock? Is there any sense in which
David Crosby 19:29
it's, there's a little bit of that Pete because I think the record business is going to die. And I would like to get to make one more record, at least maybe a couple. I'd love to make another CPR album. I'd love to get in the studio with Neil again. And I don't think you know, and I think it's their own damn fault. I think they deserve everything that's gonna happen to him, but I think it's gonna be tough to get the budget to make a record anymore. And I don't know if I'll get to do it. Get, and you see major artists just saying, Well, if this is the game I'm quitting, you know, yeah, Elton Joni, to the best there is. They're just saying, Nope, that's it. I'm done. And I I fully understand why they why they feel that way. You know, the record companies have been rapaciously greedy and foolishly stupid.
Pete Fornatale 20:29
That's the personal that excuse me. That's the practical business answer to the question. I'm gonna go for the more personal emotional. You turned 60 while ago that puts you closer to the end of your career.
David Crosby 20:47
yeah, there's that you know, there's, I mean, God if anybody's conscious of their own mortality, it's me. I'm nearly died a couple of times. Very close. I was in a week of dying when they finally got me a transplant. And that's way too close.
Pete Fornatale 21:01
Do you prioritize differently as a result of that?
David Crosby 21:03
Yeah, of course you do. You know that? I mean, it the closer you get to death, the more you treasure everyday you got, I wake up in the morning, I go, Oh, boy, I got another one. Yeah, who, how much stuff can I pack into this one. And that's how I'm going to approach it. I love that. I'm trying very much to hang on to it because I only just recently got my shit together enough to be able to do this. Well, to be able to be a parent to be able to be you know, a good husband to my wife and a good father to my kids. And to be a functioning artist, not some kind of you know, guy hiding in a closet.
Pete Fornatale 21:37
You've mastered sobriety if that's not too arrogant to thing to say
David Crosby 21:41
no for a long, long time.
Pete Fornatale 21:43
And your relative health, you feel good
David Crosby 21:46
Pretty good. I found that an interesting thing. You know, I'm diabetic too. And I found out that if I don't eat carbohydrates, if I only eat protein, I'm not diabetic anymore. It's kind of amazing. They don't tell you that at the doctor's but I guess they want to sell you stuff.
Pete Fornatale 22:02
I guess so.
David Crosby 22:03
But if you don't eat carbs, you don't have to be diabetic. You can just stop so that's improved my health a lot.
Pete Fornatale 22:14
David, I think we're completely caught up if this has to go another six years before we do it again.
David Crosby 22:19
No, no way.
Pete Fornatale 22:21
Stay healthy. I will. I'm glad you got up feeling that way this morning and decided to make a mixed bag radio part of the day.
David Crosby 22:28
I'm honored to be on it. Thank you Pete.
Pete Fornatale 22:33
Okay, one last
David Crosby 22:39
I'm supposed to be doing this radio show in two minutes
Pete Fornatale 22:41
10 seconds. I am a nasty guy
David Crosby 22:46
No, you're not you're my friend and I'll do it but I don't want to Okay. Hi, this is David Crosby and you're listening to mixbag radio with Pete Forntatale
DAVID CROSBY GETS UP FROM INTERVIEW CHAIR. RUSHES OFF TO DO ANOTHER RADIO SHOW.
SHOT OF EMPTY INTERVIEW CHAIR. FORNATALE AND CREW HEARD PACKING UP IN THE BACKGROUND.
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