"It’s All About the Music"
What You Need To Know:
DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME is a fascinating, engaging documentary. It’s surprisingly free of the leftwing politics known to animate David Crosby. Happily, he expresses regret concerning his past promiscuous treatment of women in the 1960s and 70s. The saddest moment comes when he mentions the tragic accidental death of his longtime girlfriend, Christine Hinton. Her death led him to become increasingly addicted to heroin and cocaine. REMEMBER MY NAME is an informative treatment of Crosby’s life, with some great music, but extreme caution is advised for strong foul language, brief nudity and frank conversations.
DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME is a documentary where the famous rock singer and composer behind the influential super-groups CROSBY, STILLS, NASH, & YOUNG and THE BYRDS recalls his life, the good and the bad, and discusses what’s most important to him now that he’s facing death. DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME shows David regretting the substance abuse that nearly killed him and regretting his poor treatment of other people, while waxing eloquently about his love of music. The movie is an informative treatment of Crosby’s life, with some great music, but extreme caution is advised for strong foul language and frank discussion of past bad behaviors.
He discusses his time with THE BYRDS in the 1960s and the beginning and success of CROSBY, STILLS & NASH, the folk/rock supergroup he founded with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. Crosby says the other members of THE BYRDS fired him because he became too political, and they wanted to sing more pop tunes. However, he said that he thinks the group’s electronic version of Bob Dylan’s “Tambourine Man” led to Dylan’s controversial decision to use electric guitars on his songs (many folk snobs rejected Dylan’s decision, but it actually made Dylan even more popular). Eventually, Crosby had a falling out with Graham Nash and Stephen Stills (a recent interview with Nash in the movie indicates that at one point Nash just became fed up with Crosby’s bad behavior, but Crosby doesn’t go into details about the final break up).
One of the most interesting sections of the documentary is Crosby recollections on what led him and many other popstars to settle in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. The Laurel Canyon area became a section that attracted many in the arts community, not just pop stars and rock stars. At the time, Crosby was having an affair with Joni Mitchell, who was perhaps of the most acclaimed female singers of her generation. Crosby admits he treated most of the women he dated very badly, Mitchell included. He recalls how Mitchell informed him she was breaking up with him by playing a song to him and their other friends about what a jerk he was. She was so angry that she played the song twice for them.
The saddest part of the documentary is Crosby’s recollections about his girlfriend, Christine Hinton, who suddenly died in a car accident in 1969. Crosby was clearly very close to her at the time and had to go identify her body. Her death marked the beginning of his longtime addiction to hard drugs, an addiction that eventually led to a prison sentence and a liver transplant but also led to a changed life.
The movie briefly mentions the leftist politics that led to Crosby being kicked out of THE BYRDS. It also has a brief section dealing with the deaths of four students at Kent State University May 4, 1970 during protests over President Nixon’s decision to bomb Cambodia during the Vietnam War. At the time, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young released two popular protest songs about the tragedy, “Ohio” and “Find the Cost of Freedom.” Other than that, however, the documentary doesn’t discuss Crosby’s past or current political activism, which apparently includes some public criticism of President Donald Trump as well as Crosby’s support for Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Instead, Crosby says that the most important thing to him right now, besides being with his wife, Jan, is music. His music is the thing he’d people to remember, he says, the only thing he really has to contribute to the world.
DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME is a fascinating, engaging documentary with some positive elements. However, it has some strong foul language, brief nudity, discussion of past affairs, and some promotion of marijuana use despite its message against drug abuse. Extreme caution is advised.