The Tangential Interview: David Crosby

The Tangential Interview: David Crosby

Thank you for taking a few minutes to talk with us, Mr. Crosby. Preparing to tour with Graham Nash, you told Rolling Stone that “Singing with Graham is kind of like two fighter pilots that have been flying together for years. We know where the other guy’s going, and we can fly extremely close to each other.”

I said that?

It’s right here on page 24 of the March 17 issue.

Okay. Sure. So what’s your question?

Well, I’d just like to ask you to expand on that metaphor. So would you say that Nash is your “wingman”?

Yes, definitely. He’s my best wingman.

A better wingman than Stephen Stills?

Well, Steve’s a great wingman too. It’s just that, you know, Graham’s got my wing for this tour.

He’s flying tight in with you.

Tight. We’re sharing a stage.

And you’ll be in there tight together.

All we need is enough room to swing a couple of guitars.

But he’s got your back.


Like, say, if you forget the lyrics to “Guinnevere.” That would be like a MiG-29 coming in hot.

Well, I don’t think that would happen. I’ve sung that song about a million times.

Okay, so that would be like a really unlikely threat. Like an asteroid collision or something.


I’m just running with this metaphor here. So a more typical sort of emergency situation would be that a fan would be shouting requests for a song you don’t want to play. That would be like an enemy fighter coming in, and Graham would have your back. He’d blast them with a heat-seeking glare, so you could sing some obscure song from one of your solo albums.

He might do that, sure.

That’s what I’m saying! He’s your wingman! Now, where’s Neil Young in all of this?

Oh, he’s working on other projects.

So we’ve got Crosby and Nash—you guys are like Goose and Maverick, out on the attack, carpet-bombing America with golden oldies. Then we have Stills, he’s back at the base, but he’s ready to scramble if you run into some unexpected heat. But Young is grounded. He’s on a secret mission.

I think you’re taking this a little far.

No, no, I’ve got this. But here’s my question: who’s the enemy? I mean, you’re out there, you’re flying in close together, on the wing, fighting as one…but against who?

Against no one. Listen, we’re hippies! We’re all about peace and love.

Bullshit! I know what you said, and I think I know what this is about. This is about Buffalo Springfield, isn’t it?


This is about Buffalo Springfield’s upcoming gig at Bonnaroo, isn’t it? You’re jealous. You’re mad that Stills and Young are going off and playing big sexy festival gigs with their other band. They’re the Russians in this scenario, aren’t they? You want to shoot those smug motherfuckers right out of the sky!

I think this interview is over.

Wait, wait, wait! I’m sorry. May I ask just one more question, if I promise not to mention fighter planes?

Okay. One more.

So, say that instead, you and Nash were in a biker gang together. Would the kids you fathered by donating sperm to Melissa Etheridge’s ex-partner get to ride in sidecars?

You’re making a mockery of the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done.

I’m telling your wife that you said that.

Please do.

Jay Gabler

Photo by Scott Fisher (Creative Commons)