Neil Young has penned a tribute to David Crosby in light of his passing on Thursday at the age of 81. The two performed together as part of the supergroup quartet, Crosby Stills Nash and Young.
“David is gone, but his music lives on,” Young wrote on his website Neil Young Archives. “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. ‘Almost Cut My Hair’ and ‘Deja Vu,’ and so many other great songs he wrote were wonderful to jam on and [Stephen] Stills and I had a blast as he kept going on and on. His singing with Graham [Nash] was memorable, their duo spot a highlight of so many of our shows.
“We had so many great times, especially in the early years,” Young continued. “Crosby was a very supportive friend in my early life, as we bit off big pieces of our experience together. David was the catalyst of many things. My heart goes out to Jan and Django, his wife and son. Lots of love to you. Thanks David for your spirit and songs, Love you man. I remember the best times!
Young joined Crosby’s already successful folk supergroup trio with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash in 1969. The CSNY lineup performed at Woodstock and released the classic 1970 LP Déjà Vu, which went septuple-platinum behind singles like “Helpless,” “Teach Your Children,” and “Our House.” The quartet dissolved later that year, but eventually reformed for a world tour in 1974, and again for 1988’s American Dream and 1999’s Looking Forward.
In the early aughts, CSNY embarked on joint ventures like 2000’s “CSNY2K Tour” and 2006’s “Freedom of Speech Tour,” the latter marking their last extended outing together. The quartet briefly reunited again in 2013 for the annual Bridge School Benefit concert, which now serves as their official final performance.
Young and Crosby had been estranged for the better part of the last decade, with Crosby sharing in November 2022 via Songfacts that he and Young “don’t have a relationship” and hadn’t spoken “in two years.” According to Crosby, the rift stemmed from comments made by the late musician in 2014 about Young’s now-wife, Daryl Hannah. He later apologized, but subsequent updates on the two’s status were not encouraging.
There appeared to be some solidarity between bandmates in early 2022 as CSN followed Young in removing their catalogs from Spotify. In a joint statement, the trio affirmed that “we support Neil.” Meanwhile, Crosby separately agreed with Young’s stance against the streamer’s partnership with Joe Rogan, tweeting, “I’d rather I wasn’t in the same market place.”
Both Crosby and Young maintained for years that the group would not tour again, with Crosby telling Kyle Meredith in 2018 that he wouldn’t revisit CSNY without Young’s involvement.
Along with Young, Crosby’s CSNY members Nash and Stills also penned tributes to their late bandmate.