David Crosby’s Parting Advice: ‘Don’t Lose Your Idealism’
David Crosby, who died in January, was a self-proclaimed "idealist" until the very end.
In his last advice column session for Rolling Stone, conducted in 2021, Crosby answered a question from a frustrated reader who asked about what happened to the "peace, love and understanding" he'd hoped for in his generation.
"Well, I've asked myself the same thing," he answered. "I'm an idealist. I wanted to think that we could do better. I think there is an innate goodness in human beings and that it's natural for them to head that way."
Earlier in the column, Crosby sympathized with a reader who expressed dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden, but, he emphasized, "Biden is trying his best, man."
Crosby also took a question on which group - Crosby, Stills & Nash or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - was better. "I don't think 'better' really applies. They were two completely different bands. This is something most people don't get. Chemistries between human beings are individual as snowflakes — very delicate and very complex," he said. "Both bands made really excellent music. All of the celebrity nonsense, all of the 'Oh, my God, they’re playing to 20,000 people in a baseball stadium,' all of the personality bullshit between us doesn't count at all. It doesn't signify. What counts is the songs, and both bands generated great songs."
Crosby's advice overall was optimistic. "We are trying to evolve as human beings to the point where we don’t have ego and anger and greed and lust running our affairs," he said. "I don’t know if we’re going to make it. I believe that we will, but that's mainly because I need to believe that we will to keep going.
"Whether that helps you or not, I don’t know. My suggestion is don't lose your idealism. Just be patient and keep trying. If we quit trying, it all goes in the shitter."