David Crosby on Trump, New Songs and a Possible CSNY Reunion
"Music helps things; it makes things better. Just like war drags down everything and brings out the worst in human beings, music brings out the best," says the legendary musician.
Music icon David Crosby's latest album, Sky Trails, includes a track the artist wrote for independent film Little Pink House, which Dada Films opens in April. The movie, starring Jeanne Tripplehorn and Catherine Keener, centers on the Susette Kelo Supreme Court decision concerning eminent domain, a political issue the rock legend says is significant in the era of President Donald Trump.
The musician caught up with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss his new music, what inspires him in the age of Trump and the possibility of reuniting with his old bandmates, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and Neil Young.
Why did you write a song for this particular film?
My son, James Raymond, and I wrote it after we saw the film, and the guy who wrote the book, Jeff Benedict, is a friend of mine. We were moved by the film.
What moved you so much that you wanted to write a song?
With eminent domain, where they take away your property, there’s usually people being paid under the table. They took this woman’s home away from her. It was brutal, underhanded and completely wrong, and everybody knew it. She fought it all the way to the Supreme Court. It was a tough tale to look at. It was a moving thing.
So the movie is about the Kelo Decision. Not surprisingly, it puts you at odds with President Trump, who has said he supports eminent domain.
He has used it. What a wretched person. The worst kind of landlord; and a racist. He's done a lot of really bad stuff.
And his election might cause a reunion of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young? How's that?
Yes, it might, but we don’t get along, and we haven’t gotten along for a while. They’re all mad at me. But they all dislike Donald Trump very much, the same way I do. We dislike him intensely because he’s a spoiled child who can’t do his job. So a reunion is possible. We don’t like each other, but we like Trump a whole lot less.
Would a reuniting of the band include Neil Young?
Well, that’s the only way you could reunite the band, isn’t it?
I guess so. Why don’t the other members of the band like you?
There’s a whole variety of reasons. You’ll have to ask them.
I hear you don’t even want Trump supporters to attend David Crosby concerts.
Why would you want to alienate some of your customers?
Because I don’t need them.
Are you bashing the president at your concerts?
Yes, but I don’t just bash him; I take him apart and hang him up by his thumbs. I really, really, dislike the guy. But at my concerts I come down pretty hard on most politicians. I have a very low opinion of politicians.
Including liberal politicians?
Some of them.
Who did you support in the presidential election?
Who do you want to see as our next president?
Back to the movie. Why should people see it?
Because it shows how much power is abused.
Is it entertaining enough to find a wide audience?
Oh, they did a very good job. The women who made this movie are all very skilled.
Why do you single out the women involved?
It’s about a woman, so that’s the lead role, plus most of the leading characters are women and it was directed by a woman.
What do you want fans to know about David Crosby in the year 2018?
I’m really very happy right now. There’s only a couple of things that really matter to me: my music and my family. I’ve made three records in the last three years and I’m working on a fourth now. They’re good records. That’s what I should be doing. Whatever time I have left on this planet should be dedicated to making the best music I can. It’s the one contribution I can make. Music helps things; it makes things better. Just like war drags down everything and brings out the worst in human beings, music brings out the best.
"Southern Cross" certainly makes me happy. It's my favorite CSN song, followed by "I Give You Give Blind." What's your favorite?
Truth. Strength. Effect on the country.
Are there any politically themed songs on your upcoming album?
I don’t know. I’m writing them right now.
Conservatives like to bash liberal entertainers who inject politics into their acts, as you do. Any response?
The real reason they do that is because they’re frustrated that their side doesn’t have any entertainers — at all. They’ve got that one right-wing guy who is so terrible, but I can’t think of his name. All of us think that they’re idiots, and that frustrates the hell out of them.
So you don’t have much respect for Ted Nugent, for example?
That’s the guy! How embarrassing is it to have that be your guy?