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Jeff Moehlis: Crosby, Crosby & Crosby Coming to The Granada

David Crosby will perform at The Granada Theatre Tuesday, March 22. Click to view larger
David Crosby will perform at The Granada Theatre Tuesday, March 22. ((Django Crosby photo))

David Crosby, who has been an important part of the musical and counter-cultural landscape for over 50 years, will be playing a solo concert at The Granada Theatre Tuesday, March 22. Tickets are available here.

Crosby was a founding member of The Byrds and contributed to hits including “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and “Eight Miles High,” which he co-wrote.  

He then co-founded Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young), writing or co-writing “Guinnevere,” “Almost Cut My Hair,” “Long Time Gone” and “Wooded Ships” and contributing vocals on such beloved songs as “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Teach Your Children,” “Our House” and “Woodstock.”

While he is best known for his work as a member of a group, Crosby also released the acclaimed 1971 solo album If I Could Only Remember My Name and several other solo albums, most recently 2014’s well-received Croz, not to mention two more solo albums that are currently in the works.

Crosby told Noozhawk a bit about the upcoming show and his life in music.

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Jeff Moehlis: What can people look forward to at the upcoming concert at The Granada Theatre?

David Crosby: Solo acoustic is good for taking people on a little voyage. The words count — that's really the biggest advantage. The words really get through because there’s no lead guitars, there’s no drums, there’s nothing to get in the way.

That part I really love. I love being in a band, too, but I really like making the songs speak out and being able to communicate with people.

Then there's the fact that I get to sing a whole lot more songs than I do in a band setting, and I get to sing more obscure ones. I really love it.  

I get to talk to the audience, I get to communicate with them. I get to take take them on a trip. I have a whole long history to work with, from The Byrds on up — Crosby, Stills & Nash; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; CPR; Crosby Nash; solo stuff. I’ve got a whole lot of material to work with.

JM: I notice that you’ve been posting an email address, [email protected], where people at the concert can send you questions. Is that something you’ll do here in Santa Barbara also?

DC: Yeah. There’s no guarantee I’ll answer them at the show you’re at, but there’s a chance I might. I do get some pretty interesting ones, I’ll say that.

JM: So here’s a follow-up. What are some of the weirder questions that people have asked?

DC: There’s one guy that sent me probably 20 messages on there, and no question [laughs]. He just ranted on and on and on and on and on and on and on. But he never did manage to get to a question.

Some of them are just simple and funny: “How did you get that beautiful moustache?” Well, it just appeared on my lip [laughs]. You wake up and it’s there.

Some of them are people that are actually asking you something serious, and then I try to answer them.

JM: You have a strong Santa Barbara connections.

DC: [laughs] Oh yeah.

JM: Could you tell us a bit about your Santa Barbara memories, from when you were younger?

DC: I moved here in about 5th grade, and I lived first in Carpinteria, I think. I went to school at Crane School in Montecito, and then I went to Cate School down in Carpinteria, then I went to Santa Barbara High.  

I graduated from Santa Barbara High, and I did one year at Santa Barbara City College, which was a joy, so I lived there for a really long time, and pretty much grew up there, and I love it there.

Now I live up in Santa Ynez, right over the hill.

JM: You might find it hard to believe but your first solo album is now 45 years old. What are your reflections on that particular album?

DC: You know, it was a joy, that record. It was a very tough time in my life, and that record kept me alive.  

My girlfriend [Christine Hinton] had been killed in a car wreck, and I was pretty depressed. I had just finished Déjà Vu with the four of us, and I was having a hard time, and I didn’t know where to go or what to do, other than stay in the studio, which was the only place where I knew what I was doing.  

It kept me alive. It gave me something to do. I knew what I was doing, and that made it good for me, and the record came out pretty great.

JM: How is your approach to songwriting different now from back then, say when you were doing your first solo album or the early albums with CSN?

DC: I think mostly just that I pay more attention to it — I take it more seriously.  

Back then I would just accept the fact that a song would come and would be really grateful for it and enjoy working on it, but now I make a real effort to work everyday on trying to get it to work.

JM: Youre one of the few artists that performed at three of the watershed concerts of the ’60s: the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, Altamont. Why do you think those events are still holding so much fascination for us all almost 50 years later?

DC: Well, they were big and adventuresome concerts.

You know, they get larger with age. Things kind of aggrandize themselves as you move away from them in time — they get larger. They assume legendary proportions.  

At least Woodstock was a lot of fun.

I have trouble remembering everything. I can’t imagine why.

The full interview with David Crosby is available here.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.

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