Having interviewed the folk rock legend David Crosby a couple times, I could tell the documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name was going to be entertaining. You just have to hit record on the camera pointed in his direction and the former member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash is bound to tell some entertaining yarns. On my phone interview Crosby had me in stitches talking about his time in Coconut Grove stealing boats, playing in coffee shops and discovering Joni Mitchell. I could only imagine what dirt a far more accomplished music journalist in Cameron Crowe could get Crosby to spill.
If you’re a rock and roll history buff or dig gossip about the hippie generation, David Crosby: Remember My Name won’t disappoint. It shows David Crosby as a kind of Forest Gump of the hippies. There’s vintage film of him hanging out with The Beatles, restructuring songs by Bob Dylan, and of course performing at Woodstock. The documentary also doesn’t cut any corners dealing with Crosby’s tumultuous personal life. Crosby doesn’t censor his feelings about his feuds with bandmates, the drugs that got him sent to the hospital and prison, nor most heartbreaking about the young wife who died in a car crash.
While much of the movie is a series of modern day interviews with Crosby and the people that know him, it also has plenty of fascinating footage from yesteryear. It shows aerial film Crosby’s cinematographer father captured in World War 2 of a bomb dropping. While the ninety minute movie doesn’t mention much about Crosby’s time in South Florida, there are old home movies of Crosby’s time captaining a sailboat, and an animated portrayal of Crosby turning himself in to the FBI’s West Palm Beach office after realizing his sailboat docked in Fort Lauderdale was as much of a mess as the rest of his life.
While those familiar with Crosby’s life will be amazed at the stories that weren’t told in the doc from his becoming a surrogate father for Melissa Etheridge, to reuniting with a long lost son that he’s been making music with over the past decade, the movie doesn’t skimp on what brought Crosby to our attention, his music. There are plenty of the harmonies that made him famous, but what’s more amazing is that while pushing 80 his voice is still a special instrument worthy of celebration.