David Crosby on the two most legendary women in rock
David Crosby - one of the most charming people in music. He has had so many ups and downs in his life and career that he is begging to be made into a biographical film! As a musician, he did iconic work with The Byrds as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and CPR. Oh, yes: he's also famous as a solo artist. He also produced the first record. Joni Mitchell, "Song To A Seagull" from 1968, and he is also an avid sailor!
As far as artistic production goes, Crosby is one of the major figures of the counterculture movement. Playing in one original band is impressive, and playing in two bands sounds terrific! His songwriting ability is also relatively unparalleled except for his CSNY bandmates, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. He's done and seen it all, and experienced a fair share of personal tragedyto make the listener feel...
"Why people won't talk to me anymore."
The strangest thing about Crosby is that he seems to have burned bridges with many of his old band mates and buddies. He and Neil YoungFor example, they didn't speak for quite some time after David called Young's wife, actress Daryl Hannah, "a purely venomous predator."
"Crosby should write an introspective book, Why People Won't Talk to Me Anymore," Young once said.
Crosby seems to be a man full of opinions who has pissed off quite a few people over the years. Nevertheless, he's a "hardened" man. titan of rock and roll, and so some of his convictions and fervent views on certain things are golden. He was at the heart of music and counterculture in the 1960s and early '70s, and that makes his views on his contemporaries invaluable, even if, again, you have to take them with a grain of skepticism.
Over the years, Crosby has shared with the world his bold thoughts on everyone from former colleagues to some of the most legendary idols of the past century. And so, in 2003, he offered his version of the two the loudest female names in rock music.
Two major queens in rock - according to Crosby
In a conversation with a biographer Jefferson Airplane by Jeff Tamarkin for the book "Got a Revolution! Crosby told how incredible their former frontwoman was Grace Slick. He said:
"At the time, Slick reigned with Janis Joplin. They were the real queens of rock! As for Grace, the strength of her voice and her personality made her a stunning counterculture icon and role model. When they got Grace in the band, it was just unbelievable... She was amazing. She had power in her veins and power on stage that Stevie Nicks could only dream of.
Potential "third queen"
After Crosby was kicked out of The Byrds, he ran into a young Joni MitchellCrosby, who performed at the Coconut Grove Club in Florida, was immediately smitten. Then a brief and volatile romance erupted between them, which Crosby described as "falling into a concrete mixer.
"She's a troubled woman and very, very crazy!"
The year they spent together was a dysfunctional one, to say the least. Not surprisingly, their relationship did not last long, but they remain good friends even today. Still, Crosby led Joni to the bright lights of Los Angeles and helped her launch her career. But she, in turn, taught him something, too. In the same interview, Crosby called Mitchell "the best songwriter alive, as good as Bob Dylan and ten times a better musician than himself." Looking back on that relationship, David emphasizes:
"I wouldn't say it was fun, but it was educational as hell. I loved all the complicated chord conversions you can hear in jazz, but I wasn't good enough to play them, and then Joni showed me how to readjust the guitar..."
Despite the fact that he spoke admiringly of Grace Slick and Janis Joplin, and at the same time managed to disparage Stevie Nicks, Crosby's understanding seems entirely accurate.
Slick's voice and personality were really only comparable to Joplin, and it was together that they showed that women can peak in the male-dominated music industry.