Some of the biggest rock stars who’ve ever lived have taken a seat on Howard Stern’s couch. But on his SiriusXM show this week Stern took time out to remember one who he said had a seriously profound effect on him throughout his youth and 40-plus year radio career: David Crosby.
Calling the landmark 1970 CSN& Y album Déjà Vu one of his favorite records of all time (“every f—ing song is great”), Stern gushed about Crosby’s peerless vocal harmonies, as well as the notoriously prickly singer’s feuds with his equally famous bandmates Neil Young and Graham Nash while playing a series of clips from Crosby’s appearances on his show over the years.
“I did love that guy… let’s see if I can articulate why I loved him so much,” Stern said on Monday’s (Jan. 23) show. “David was just so great, and what a voice!,” he added while recalling the singer’s final spot on the Stern in June of 2021 to promote that year’s For Free album. “He was not afraid to put out new music right up until the end of his life,” added co-host Robin Quivers.
“Jeez, I got a kick out of knowing him… it was really special for me to know David Crosby,” Stern said.
In a clip from that interview, Crosby — who famously struggled with a cocaine and heroin addiction for many years in the 1970s and 80s — described being grateful for the time he had left.
“People get old and die,” Crosby told Stern. “That’s how it works, and I’m gonna [die]. But in the meantime, I’m gonna have myself a bunch of fun… it’s not how much time you got, because we really don’t know. I could have two weeks, I could have 10 years. It’s what you do with the time that you do have.”
Two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Crosby died on Thursday of unknown causes. Crosby was a seminal, pioneering figure in the folk-rock scene for more than six decades as a member of The Byrds; Crosby, Stills & Nash and then Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He also had a prolific solo career, especially in recent years, releasing new music at an almost frenetic pace as he battled a series of health issues.
The Stern lovefest continued on Tuesday morning’s (Jan. 24) show, when Howard recalled his impossible dream of reuniting CSN& Y on his show while running down all the surprising gigs Crosby had over the years, including singing backup on songs including Hootie and the Blowfish’s massive 1994 hit “Hold My Hand” and Phil Collins’ 1989 No. 1 “Another Day in Paradise.”
On Monday’s show, Stern also read a portion of Young’s loving tribute to his old friend, calling the sweet tribute “classy” and alluding to the abiding love they had for each other despite the acrimony over the years. He also noted the time he went to see Cameron Crowe’s warts-and-all documentary about Crosby, 2019’s Remember My Name, and being gobsmacked at sitting in the theater only to discover that the singer was in front of him at the screening.
“It was a great movie and it was weird to be sitting right behind him during it because it was a very raw kind of documentary, nothing held back,” Stern said. “[I thought] ‘Jesus Christ, there’s my boyhood hero, Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young… I never would imagine I’d be sitting right behind him in a movie theater watching the story of his life with him.’ I just felt such compassion for him and love for him. I really did, I just loved the guy.”
Watch Stern tribute and Crosby’s last appearance on the Howard Stern Show below.