David Crosby On New Music, Old Music, And The Grateful Dead

first_imgThis piece originally ran in the Midlife Rocker blog. Writer Steve Houk had the unique opportunity to sit down with legendary rock icon David Crosby recently, to discuss his storied career, his ongoing solo tour, and his relationship with the Grateful Dead. Here’s what Crosby had to say: When you ask David Crosby what he thinks separates the music that he’s done solo, or with those three other guys named S, N & Y, from the rest of the pack, it’s a no-brainer.“It’s the songs, man. Everything is the songs,” an animated and engaging Crosby told me from his home in California as he prepares for his summer solo tour. “That’s what really separates the men from the boys. You can take a mediocre song and do all the production you want on it, and you’re still just polishing an ‘excrescence.’ There’s a polite word. But look, I think that we’re good writers. In whichever combination, either three good writers or four good writers, it gives us a very wide pallet of colors to work from. And I think that’s why the couch album and ‘Deja Vu’ were so strong. There’s a very wide scope of material there that one person couldn’t have written. I think that gave us a huge advantage.”As Crosby, 73, traverses through his 52nd year of creating music — still immersed in a career that has seen him enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, for his work with The Byrds and CSN — right now, his gift is in full bloom. Coming off his critically acclaimed solo release Croz in 2014, his senses are sharp, and his seasoned instincts appear keen. His songwriting spark is in the now, not just the then, the songs are coming fast and furious, and a lesser man might not know what to do with such a rush. But David Crosby does. If anyone knows how to handle a rush, it’s Croz. Take it and go with it.“I’ve always written in kind of bursts of activity over the years,” Crosby said with a twinkle in his voice. “I’ll write two, three things in a row and then a couple of months will pass by before I write another thing. I don’t know why that is, but I’ve been in now the longest most sustained burst of writing that I can remember in probably thirty years. I’m just amazed it’s going this long. I wrote two things this week. So I don’t know what to think. I feel very grateful, I don’t really understand it, but I guess I don’t have to understand it, I just have to work with it. I was stunned by the amount of material that’s coming my way and very grateful. And I’m smart enough to pay attention to it so that’s what I’ve been doing. I pick up the guitar every day several times, and try to work at it and it’s been working.”(L-R) Jerry Garcia, David Crosby, Phil Lesh and Neil Young during recording of Crosby’s 1971 album If I Could Only Remember My Name (photo courtesy Jim Marshall)Although Crosby has been prolific in his songwriting, he has only released four true solo records, beginning with the stellar, star-studded If I Could Only Remember My Name in 1971. That record came at a devastating period in his life, when writing songs was the only thing that kept him going when nothing else could.“That was a life saver, that record man, absolutely a life saver,” Crosby said with a clear remembrance. “I was going through a really rough period in my life there, my girlfriend had just gotten killed in a car wreck. I had no way to deal with it at all. I was in pretty bad emotional shape when we finished ‘Deja Vu’ and the only place I really felt comfortable was in the studio. So I just stayed in there. And that’s the record that happened. Jerry Garcia was a good friend of mine and came almost every night, some of the other guys, Phil Lesh, and Paul Kantner and Grace Slick and people from Santana and the Dead and the Airplane and other bands up there would come by. And sometimes Nash and Joni Mitchell. It was a rough time but that’s how I stayed alive, making that record.”Forty-four years after that album was released, and as the Dead celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, Crosby recalls his relationship with the Grateful Dead band members with much fondness, relationships that continue even today.“I was friends with all of them, and I’m still friends with Phil, we are buddies and have been for a long time and I’m sure we will be for a long time. I love ’em, they are a bunch of great guys, we would jam alot and spend time at Bob Weir’s place in Mill Valley which is right near my place and I would go over there when they were rehearsing, and just interfere and get in the way and pester them. Start jams right when they were trying to learn new tunes and stuff.”David Crosby soars live (photo courtesy David Crosby)Crosby will be back out there with his longtime mates this fall for a CSN European swing — “Why do we do it? I guess we love it, that’s the answer” — but for now, it’s just him and his guitar, naked out there. And that’s just how he wants it to be right now.“It’s more challenging, it’s how I started out,” Crosby said. “One guy, one guitar. But it’s also a way that I can do one of the things I love the most, which is tell you the story of the song. The words really count, and if it’s just you and the guitar, you get to really actually make the words count. And they’re a big deal for me, poetry’s a big deal for me. A BIG deal to me. I love doing it this way, it’s much more challenging, and at this point in my life, challenging myself is a very healthy thing to do.”And as always, when it comes right down to it, it’s all about…the songs.“To carry it yourself, it has alot more to do with the song. If you got a whole band there, you can play something that’s only moderately good and get away with it. If it’s just you and the guitar, it has to be a really good song. That for me is crucial stuff. I really like that. I do have some good songs. It’s a different ball game than playing with the band, completely. Not everybody wants to do it and not everybody can do it. I do really love doing it.”And will Crosby be pulling out any buried treasures from his legendary canon, any big surprises, on this short solo soiree?“Oh definitely, but I’m not gonna tell ya,” he says, laughing. “You have to come to the show, man. I hope you do come, I think you’ll like it. If you like songs, you’ll love it.”last_img read more

Austin Dillon making good on his bracket-busting promise

first_imgAustin Dillon is delivering on his NASCAR Playoffs Media Day promise to “mess up a lot of brackets.”The Richard Childress Racing driver wasted no time backing up his runner-up finish at Darlington Raceway to open the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. A fourth-place finish in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway — his first-ever run of back-to-back top-five finishes at the Cup level —  have catapulted Dillon into a strong spot heading into the Round of 16 finale at Bristol Motor Speedway.Dillon now sits at a +36 position on the cutline and a sixth-place spot in the standings — knocking on the door of playoff advancement with one race to go in the Round of 16. He is also only one of two drivers — Joey Logano is the other — with back-to-back top fives to open the playoffs.RELATED: Quick analysis of Richmond race | Keselowski scores win at Richmond“I felt that our team has turned the corner the last couple weeks and I felt like RCR as a whole has had speed all year,” Dillon said. “Between myself, Justin (Alexander, crew chief), my engineer Billy Scott, spotter Brandon (Benesch) and everybody at the shop — our mechanics — we got a really good team. We’ve shown a lot of speed this year and didn’t get some of the finishes that we deserved.”Dillon noted he had circled Richmond coming into the playoffs as a track where his crew could win, given his two top-six finishes in the previous three races there. He also noted driving up through the field “four times” into the top five at Martinsville Speedway in June before the car overheated.Dillon parlayed two second-place stage finishes into 18 stage points to grow his cushion to the cutline, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked on the points sheet. The 30-year-old had to overcome a speeding penalty after Stage 1 but rallied to get his track position back. The speeding penalty was the sixth of the season on pit road for Dillon, according to the NBCSN telecast. He later missed getting to pit road on Lap 336 while running sixth in a strategy play to bring everyone with him for fresh Goodyear tires.“I wish I wouldn’t have had the speeding penalty but we overcame that,” Dillon said. “I should have been a little more patient trying to get to pit road there to drag everybody down and it cost us a little bit of time. Either way, what a night for our team. I’ve been pretty confident in this team all year and now it’s starting to show more and more because we are getting finishes.”The race marked a career-best laps led in one race by Dillon — 55 — who first passed polesitter Kevin Harvick for the lead on Lap 21 and led late in Stage 2 before passed by eventual race winner Brad Keselowski with 18 to go in the stage.Those finishes are catching the attention of his competitors. Martin Truex Jr., the runner-up at Richmond, noted the No. 3 car has “taken a big step forward, so that’s cool to see.”This is a big moment for Dillon, a seven-year veteran of the Cup Series. While he has three Cup wins and has qualified for the playoffs four times (counting this season), he has only advanced out of the Round of 16 once.“I feel like I’ve matured as a driver,” Dillon said. “I’m in that age zone where things start clicking a little bit. You notice these guys when they get a little older in age that stuff starts coming to them really well and some people do it faster than others, but it’s a good time right now for me and the 3 team and everybody at RCR.“We want to keep seizing the moment. We get these opportunities to start up front, collect as much as we can. I’m not disappointed. Unbelievable top fives back to back, but that car was pretty impressive. Definitely could have finished second and had a shot at Brad (Keselowski) I feel like. We weren’t that great on a short run, but long-run speed I don’t think anybody had much for us.”last_img read more

City Quartet Attend Trust’s Holiday Camp

first_imgCommunity Trust’s head of operations Dan White expressed his gratitude to the players for attending, saying: “I am extremely grateful to the four players for taking the time to come and visit our holiday camps. “For the children to get the opportunity to play alongside their heroes is something special. All the children and the players left with beaming smiles on their faces. “Community engagement is vital for the club and these camps demonstrate the club really is based at the heart of the community. “”This is the second time we have delivered our camps at South Bristol Sports Centre and once again it has been hugely successful, both in terms of numbers and the standard of delivery.  “Our relationship with the venue is continually strengthening, and we now deliver several sessions at South Bristol Sports Centre each week, for males and females of all ages and abilities.” The Trust will be hosting a football-fun holiday camp over the Easter holidays. The dates will be released shortly, so keep an eye on the Trust’s website. Packed with skill sessions, speed guns, target cages and small-sided matches, Lee Tomlin, Josh Brownhill, Hordur Magnusson and Scott Golbourne surprised the participants on Friday as they took time out to visit to the camp. The coaching sessions took place at South Bristol Sports Centre for just the second time, following on from its recently launched partnership with the club. “The facilities are unbelievable and to have 150 kids every day just shows how big Bristol is,” said Tomlin. “I’ve really enjoyed it. You can see how much fun the kids have had and they all want to learn. It’s good for the future of Bristol.”last_img read more

Even before big upset, Virginia has history of NCAA flops

first_imgComelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart UC Irvine dubs assistant as its own ‘Sister Jean’ in NCAA Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Virginia guard Ty Jerome (11) celebrates a score against Gardner-Webb during a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. Virginia defeated Gardner-Webb 71-56. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)COLUMBIA, S.C. — Last year Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed. But the Cavaliers’ recent history, even when they make it past the first round of the NCAA Tournament, isn’t all that good.Coach Tony Bennett has made the tournament six straight years while averaging six losses a season. He has been a top seed four times and a No. 2 seed once. He has not made a Final Four.ADVERTISEMENT Michigan State also eliminated the top-seeded Cavaliers the year before. The No. 4 seed Spartans got a 3-pointer and a dunk on back-to-back possessions in a game that was tied at 51 in the final 91 seconds to win it, 61-59.“That will always be part of our story. I understand that,” Bennett said.Junior guard Kyle Guy said the players know the pressure of their tournament struggles and are trying to keep from putting more pressure on themselves.“Just trying to focus on what’s important,” Guy said. “We got out of the first round my freshman year. Last year we weren’t as fortunate. This year we got the job done.”Virginia hasn’t been to the Final Four since 1984, when a plucky seven seed in what was then a tournament with just 12 teams in a region made it to the national semifinals the year after Ralph Sampson headed to the NBA.Bennett said he doesn’t measure his own success by how far his team gets or whether he ever makes a Final Four. Instead, as he reminded his players often after the huge upset last year, defeats don’t define who you are; instead, it is how you respond to adversity and how hard you try.“It’s a worthy goal to go after,” Bennett said of the national championship, “but only one gets it.” Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far View comments Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart The Cavaliers have been bounced out of the tournament in just about every way possible, outside of a buzzer-beater.UMBC dominated Virginia last year, turning a game tied at halftime into a 20-point win.The No. 5 seed Cavaliers went scoreless for nearly eight minutes in a second-round game against No. 4 Florida in 2017, losing 65-39 in their most lopsided loss in the past five seasons.The No. 1 Cavaliers led No. 10 seed Syracuse 54-39 and were 9:30 from the Final Four in 2016 when the Orange scored 25 of the next 29 points.In 2015, the No. 2 seed Cavaliers led just once, 2-0, in the second round against No. 7 seed Michigan State. The Spartans could never pull away but also were never really challenged in the 60-54 upset.ADVERTISEMENT But perhaps it was a turning point when the top-seeded Cavaliers found themselves trailing by 14 points in the first half against No. 16 Gardner-Webb on Saturday, with the crowd turning on them and the memories of last year’s upset by the University of Maryland-Baltimore County stirring, before they rallied back to win.“You can come unraveled in that, and we have at times, and we fought through some of that stuff and came out on the positive end,” Bennett said. “So I think that was important for sure.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsOr maybe it was just another sign that a Virginia squad that rolled through the regular season would hit some kind of stumbling block, often against a lower seed, at the end of March.The next test comes Sunday against No. 9 seed Oklahoma, which had one of the most impressive victories in the first round, beating Mississippi 95-72 . Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READlast_img read more