David Crosby died earlier this week, and, now, Neil Young has paid tribute to the musician. Young published the statement on his Neil Young Archives website, mourning the loss of his friend and Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young bandmate, whom he called “the soul of CSNY.”
“David is gone, but his music lives on,” Young wrote. “The soul of CSNY, David’s voice and energy were at the heart of our band. His great songs stood for what we believed in and it was always fun and exciting when we got to play together.” Find the full statement below.
Crosby joined Stephen Stills and Graham Nash to form Crosby, Stills, & Nash in 1969. They released their self-titled debut album later that year and were joined by Young for their 1970 album, Déjà Vu. The album was followed by a series of releases under both the CSN and CSNY namesakes, including 1999’s Looking Forward, the final album from the full quartet.
Young and Crosby had a complicated relationship over the years. Crosby’s issues with substance use contributed to an ongoing climate of hostility and competition in which the bandmates would refuse to speak to one another. And, in 2014, Crosby made headlines when he called Daryl Hannah, Young’s girlfriend at the time and now his wife, “a purely poisonous predator.”
In response, Young refused to address Crosby by name during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, but he did say, “I wish [Crosby] the best with his life. There’s love there. There’s just nothing else there.”
Crosby, also speaking with Howard Stern, eventually apologized, saying that he “screwed up massively.” Years later, in an interview with The Guardian, reflected on the incident, saying, “I did say something bad about his girlfriend [the actor Daryl Hannah, now Young’s wife]. I said I thought she was a predator. OK, he can be mad at me. That’s all right.”
Stephen Stills and Graham Nash also honored Crosby with statements of their own, with Stills calling him “a giant of a musician” and “the glue that held us together as our vocals soared.” Nash took to Instagram to commemorate the “pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years.”