David Crosby Talks Copyrights, Covid, & CSNY Vaults


David Crosby has been keeping busy during Covid, mainly prepping his next solo set, tentatively titled, For Free, after the Joni Mitchell classic covered on the set. "Croz" spoke with the Island Zone Update and shed light on his most recent sessions, which have been spearheaded by his son and keyboardist, James Raymond: "I’ve been friends with Steely Dan's Donald Fagen for a while and I finally convinced him to give me a set of words, so we took that set of words and James and I 'Steely-Dan'd' it into the middle distance, that’s one of the songs. We wrote another one with Michael McDonald called 'River Rise'. . . Michael McDonald sang on it with us and helped write it, actually. It’s always a cooperative effort with me and James. James is maturing as a writer to where he’s as good as I am if not better."

Crosby, who's always been a road dog at heart, was asked point blank when he feels live music will be back to normal, and responded by saying, "The answer to that is gonna depend on vaccination. When you say, look, to buy a ticket, you’ve got to show us a vaccination sticker. If you can show us that you’ve been vaccinated, you can buy a ticket. Okay, when they do that, if they do that, then they will have audiences that are safe and then we will have audiences. . . not until."

Crosby also explained the how's and why's behind him selling of his music catalogue to music mogul Irving Azoff's Iconic Music Group: "I had a financial wizard friend of mine explain it. If you’re going into the world with $100 million to invest in the stock market, you take $50 million of it and put it in T-bills, because you know exactly what they’re gonna pay, and they’re safe. Then you take the other $50 million and go adventuring to try and make money. Well, then you think about publishing, you have 20 years of records. You know exactly what it’s gonna pay. It has that same security. The only thing is it pays a lot better than T-bills. A lot better. They used to buy publishing by a multiple. For most of my life, 10 years of your publishing’s yearly earnings was what your publishing was worth. When it got to 19, faced with the situation I was faced with, it was definitely the right thing to do, to sell it."

He spoke about being marooned at home, unable to earn a living on tour: "For me, the silver lining was spending time with my family. I love my family a whole lot, and being there when I normally would be gone, trudging around playing, has been good for my family; it’s been good for me with them. The more time you put into it, the better it gets. Frankly, it’s been very good that way, and I’m grateful for it."

When discussing Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young's upcoming deluxe version of Déjà Vu coming on May 14th. Crosby went on to reveal the amount of their collective unreleased work seems endless: "There’s tons! There are rooms full of live tapes. Crosby tapes, Crosby/Nash tapes, Crosby, Stills & Nash tapes, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young tapes. There’s enough CSNY tapes to fill a truck!"

Not too long ago, David Crosby spoke about the jazzier direction of his recent music: ["I've listened to way too much Steely Dan, I think's part of the problem. I listen to a lot of jazz and I listen to a lot of Steely Dan, so I'm tilted towards that direction anyway. Jazz music is really different, but if you let that tilt your 'singer-songwriter' music, it just makes it more interesting, to me."] SOUNDCUE (:14 OC: . . . interesting to me)

David Crosby On Being Influenced By Steely Dan And Jazz :