By Brian Ives
Whether the subject is music, politics or fatherhood, David Crosby always has a lot to say.
He recently stopped by the Radio.com offices to promote his new solo album, Croz, a labor of love that he worked on with James Raymond, his biological son who he gave up for adoption at birth, but whom he reunited with nearly two decades ago. Raymond played with Crosby in the now-defunct CPR (which stood for Crosby, Pevar–as in guitarist, Jeff Pevar–and Raymond) and is also in Crosby Stills and Nash‘s touring band.
“Croz” is very happy with his latest collection, but was even happier to discuss a number of topics that he tackles on his album including his mistakes, China’s treatment of Tibet and musical collaborators that range from Neil Young, Roger McGuinn, Phil Collins and Rick Rubin.
Radio.com: How long has this record been in the works for?
David Crosby: We’ve been working on it for two years, maybe three, because we didn’t have any money. The only way we could do it was in the studio James built in his garage. I’d go down and sleep on his couch and we would work on it. A couple of times we did tracking at Jackson [Browne]‘s Groovemasters, that’s my favorite studio. We didn’t have the money to do all the work in that studio. I’m really happy about how it turned out, obviously. We sat down to write songs that would make you feel something. I know I’m bragging and I know it sounds immodest.
Well, everyone likes to brag about their kids.
My other son, Django, he’s the one who took [the album’s] cover photo. He made me look fifteen years younger. Thank you! Raising Django was one of the great joys of my life. I didn’t raise any of the other kids, I couldn’t have raised a Kleenex box [back then], but I did raise Django, and it was a truly great gift to be able to do that.
It must be great being able to work on music with James.
It’s a gift that I can’t even measure. This record would not have happened without James. He wrote, sang, produced, played on, engineered, arranged, he did everything, he made this record possible. He elicited from me the very best I had , and he made it better. I owe him a debt I will never repay. We have a great relationship. He’s not afraid of me at all. He respects me, but he’s not intimidated by me, not in the slightest bit. He’s incredibly talented. He’s a much better musician than I am.