Book review No 3. First published 1988, this edition 2007. Lent to me by Les, who saw CSN the other year at The Sage, and reckoned it was one of the best gigs he has ever seen.
Almost 500 pages long, 3 x the length of either of Bruce Thomas’s or Deke Leonard’s books.
Lots of early detail about his growing up, his parents, his siblings, so I was losing interest quite early. And it set the scene for one of the most tedious (auto)biographies I have ever read. I found myself flicking through huge wedges of stuff about sailing and drug-taking. Hardly anything about what a lot of people may have wanted, eg the making of the first CSN lp, ‘Deja Vu’, concerts. We got a brief mention about how ordinary the CSN ‘Daylight Again’ was, mainly because HE wasn’t on it. They did dig out some solo tracks from Mr Crosby which he had just about finished.
The sad thing is that Mr Crosby comes across as being just boorish. A bully ( listen to him berating Michael Clarke’s drumming on one of the Byrds ‘extended’ cds.). He basically pushed himself to the front in the Byrds, he couldn’t handle being in the shadow of a better singer and songwriter (Gene Clark) and focal point (McGuinn with his sunglasses and 12-string). He moans that his songs weren’t accepted by the Byrds (eg ‘Triad’ about his sordid obsession with having two women).
His time in CSN and CSNY? He writes about 2 songs a year, whereas Mr Young writes about 2 a week. He is still living off them 45 years later. The blurb on the back? Laughable, sycophantic crap.
I almost feel guilty that I am saying this, as it makes me appear ungrateful to Les for lending me it. But if it stops anybody buying it (and swelling Mr C’s bank balance), I feel justified.