Legendary rocker Neil Young has paid tribute to former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate David Crosby.
“David is gone, but his music lives on. The soul of CSNY, David’s voice and energy were at the heart of our band,” the statement, posted to Young’s websiteread.
Crosby’s family announced Thursday that he died at age 81.
“His great songs stood for what we believed in and it was always fun and exciting when we got to play together,” Young’s tribute continued. “We had so many great times, especially in the early years. 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.”
Young concluded, “Thanks David for your spirit and songs, Love you man. I remember the best times!”
Young and Crosby’s paths crossed in 1970 when Young joined Crosby, Stills & Nash. The supergroup then became known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and went on to release “Déjà Vu,” which contained the hit song “Woodstock.”
The rock pioneers weren’t always on the same page, despite the many stages they shared.
“When you meet, when you start a band, you’re in love with each other,” Crosby told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in 2019. “Forty years later, when you’ve done it for forty years and it’s devolved to just turn on the smoke machine and play your hits, it’s not musically exciting, it’s not fun and we weren’t friends.”
Amanpour posed the question of Crosby possibly repairing his friendship with his former CSNY bandmates, to which Crosby replied: “That I would like to do.”
Stephen Stills and Graham Nash also paid tribute to Crosby.
“It is only the memory of such a unique and full life so well lived that must sustain us through this period of profound grief,” Stills shared in a statement.
Stills added that “David lived a life of deep and enduring gratitude and was an extraordinary, richly sentient being,” continuing to say that “his music will live on through us all.”
Nash reflected on their at-times “volatile” relationship in a tribute posted to Facebook, adding that “what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together.”