David Crosby: Remember My Name (Review)

Update:  It was announced January 19th, 2023 that David Crosby passed away at the age of 81.

David Crosby knew he was living on borrowed time.  When he was younger, he had drug problems that led to health problems, and most of his friends expected him to die over 30 years ago.

The documentary, David Crosby: Remember My Name, is not exactly a biography.  It’s more of a portrait of the man and the artist as seen through his memories.  The title is a take-off of Crosby’s 1971 solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name.

In the film, we see David being interviewed recently, and quickly find out he alienated almost all of his longtime friends.  Crosby had a very unhealthy Rock Star drug-addicted lifestyle that nearly killed him many times.  He was still performing, but said when he went out on the road, both he and his wife, Jan, thought he might not make it home.

The film takes us back to David Crosby’s breakthrough time with The Byrds.  There are some great photos and film clips from that time, but he was eventually fired from the group because of his erratic behavior.  David admitted it was his fault.

The interview and the film are not chronological, but we all know Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young came next.  It was a true “Super Group” made up of singer-songwriters from several excellent bands.  We see how extremely popular they became, but that after 45 years of harmony (and disharmony), David Crosby was no longer on speaking terms with any of them.  Stephen Stills later said he had made peace with David.

Although Crosby had a musically successful career, we see how drugs and his own bad choices robbed him of what should have been a much better life.  He said he had multiple heart attacks, and 25 years ago a liver transplant saved him.

The documentary is filled with fascinating stories, many interviews with other artists, and even some good humor.  If you’re a fan of The Byrds, CSN, and other musicians from that era, the film is definitely worth seeing.  Incredibly, David Crosby’s voice still sounded like it always had, and he put out several new albums of original songs in recent years.

Near the end of the film, Crosby talked about maybe being able to somehow rekindle some of his old friendships, but he was very aware his time was running out.

Update July 2021:  David Crosby released an excellent album, For Free.  There’s a review on this site:  https://ontherecords.net/2021/07/david-crosbyfor-free-album-review/

2 Replies to “David Crosby: Remember My Name (Review)”

  1. Beautiful singing voice and gift for melody and harmony. Really amazing he’s still around given the sheer number of terrible choices he made. He seems to have learned a lot. His candor about his life is also remarkable.

  2. I’ve been waiting to find a reasonably priced bluray copy of this movie. Have you found anyplace where it is being streamed for free while I continue to wait for my purchased copy?

    Editor: Not finding it streaming for free…$3.99 rental. The Blu-ray is $22.99 on Amazon.

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