OPETH's Mikael Åkerfeldt has paid tribute to David Crosby, a founding member of THE BYRDS and CROSBY, STILLS & NASH (later CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG),who died earlier this week at the age of 81.
On Friday (January 20),Mikael took to OPETH's social media to write: "It must have been in 2010 or thereabouts when I first heard David Crosby's 'If I Could Only Remember My Name' LP. I was at Steve's (Wilson) house working on either 'Heritage' or perhaps the STORM CORROSION album as the idea for the project was hatched around the same time. It's a bit of a blur. Between work, myself and Steve went for walks, drank wine (or I did),shopped for records, watched movies and listened to vast amounts of music. One evening he brought out the above album. I was familiar with Crosby and THE BYRDS, whom I liked and owned a few records. And I had the 'Déjà Vu' LP by CSN&Y. But it hadn't had many hours of rotations on my deck. Yet. I suppose you're more receptive to music at certain times. You can dismiss a record as 'nothing special' one day and have it click with you completely the next. 'If I Could Only Remember My Name' clicked with me instantly and it has been a life-companion since.
"In my opinion David Crosby was somewhat of a genius. Together with Nash and Stills (and 'Mr. Young, ole Neil') he crafted so much fantastic music it's incredible. He was the master of the vocal harmony. And together with Nash (THE HOLLIES knew their shit too),he conjured up some of the most time-stopping vocals I have ever heard in my life.
"I'm regrettably speaking in past tense here, which indeed has me grieving. David Crosby is gone. In my mind he seemed to be a proper old-school Californian. A staple of the scene in Laurel Canyon and the 60's. It's safe to say he was, and is still, my idol. On top of everything, he discovered Joni Mitchell. Produced her first LP. So there. He's got a musical track record that puts most to shame.
"Our warmest condolences go out to his family, his friends, fans and colleagues over the years. Today is a sad day.
"Thank you, David, for all your music!
"If I may, I urge anyone reading this to listen to 'Orleans' and then 'Traction On The Rain' from his solo record ('If I Could Only Remember My Name') from 1971. It's a few minutes of your time. Perhaps it's 'too slow' for some of you in a time when 'speed-ed up' versions of popular songs are a preference to some (what the actual FUCK!). But take a breath and brace yourselves. After that I suggest a live version of 'Traction In The Rain'. Watching it now I realize he's been a subconscious fashion icon to me. I have a jacket just like that! And the moustache I've been sporting since forever as you know.
"David Crosby, R.I.P."
Crosby's death was announced by his wife, who released a statement, writing: "It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers."
In Crosby's unparalleled six-decade career, the native Californian has created songs that resonate as indelible cultural touchstones for more than three generations, not only as a solo artist, but as a founding member of THE BYRDS in the mid-1960s, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH (recipients of the Grammy for best new artist in 1969),and CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG. He's collaborated with dozens of artists, including Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, PINK FLOYD's David Gilmour, Phil Collins, Elton John and Carole King.
The folk rock pioneer, who was inducted into the prestigious Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2009, has also served as our social conscience, not only eloquently writing about societal issues on such songs as "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Wooden Ships", but continuously donating concert proceeds to likeminded causes. His towering influence and brilliant ability to capture the spirit of our times in his music remains undiminished.
Throughout Crosby's career — from its beginnings in the socially conscious burgeoning California folk scene in the early 1960s, his surprising views on gun control, his recovery from drug abuse and deteriorating health, and his influence on a whole new generation of folk-oriented singer/songwriters — he has remained an icon of counterculture, an advocate for social responsibility, and a thorn in the side of hypocrites of all stripes.
Crosby played at some of rock's most culturally significant concerts, including the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and the Altamont Free Concert.
In 2019, filmmaker Cameron Crowe made a documentary of Crosby's life and music called "David Crosby: Remember My Name".