David Crosby

This particular rant has been sitting in my rant box for years and years, mostly because slagging David Crosby seems so much like shooting fish in a barrel. He is, after all, the archetypal self-indulgent, bloviating, undertalented rock star, to all intents and purposes the poster boy for a certain kind of apocalyptic left-wing California pomposity. Nobody needs to hear me add my voice to a chorus that grows louder and more indignant every time he opens his mouth, which he's been doing since middle '60s, through the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash and whatever else. But still. The Wikipedia page for the Byrds has evidently been edited by one of his partisans, or by Crosby himself, to include the anecdote he tells in TV interviews, about his being fired from the Byrds in 1967. "They said they could do better without me," he says with a wry face and a sardonic shake of his head. After all, he went on to Crosby, Stills, and Nash and they made all kinds of money, right? Well, ya know what, Dave? (May I call you Dave?) They did do better. The Byrds got rid of a (granted) very good harmony singer who was also the most pretentious, self-congratulatory songwriter of that pretentious, self-congratulatory era and they got Clarence White, a brilliantly innovative guitarist, who with Roger McGuinn crafted a two-guitar interplay people use to make great records to this day. In the meantime, who in folk, rock, or country tries to sound like CS&N? Nobody, that's who, because the records Crosby, Stills, and Nash were making when McGuinn and White were reinventing the guitar are today embarrassingly dated. They did do better without you, Dave, a lot better. They became one of the most influential groups of all time while you became a nostalgia act. So, to summarize: David Crosby is a pompous ass.

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