If you’re not a fan of rocker David Crosby, director A.J. Eaton’s comprehensive documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name” might make you one — or at least give you an appreciation of this rock ’n’ roll survivor.
As Crosby tells the story, that survival was not a sure thing. Crosby was witness to and participant in much of the rebellion and hedonism of the ‘60s and ‘70s. as a member of two Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bands, The Byrds and Crosby Stills & Nash. (He says Crosby Stills Nash & Young should also be inducted, “just to make Clapton jealous.”)
Crosby took on political issues, consumed copious amounts of drugs, went through rehab and a prison stint, and a slew of health issues. He tells Eaton that, at 72, he has eight stents in his heart — the most a heart can handle. He knows he’s not got a lot of time left, so he wants to make music while he still can. This is complicated by recent arguments with former bandmates Graham Nash and Stephen Stills that seem, as the movie shows, beyond reconciliation.
Eaton neatly weaves together archival images and performance video to capture Crosby in his musical prime, but it’s the interview today, conducted with the help of producer Cameron Crowe, that delivers the real juice. (One great moment has Crosby listening to a cassette Crowe saved of a 1979 interview they did for Rolling Stone — which is instantly nostalgic, and a reminder of how much of “Almost Famous” was based on reality.) In his interviews, Crosby is honest and self-effacing about the mistakes he’s made in his life, and how he maintains optimism in the face of long-standing regrets.
‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’
Opened July 19 in select cities; opens Friday, August 23, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas (Salt Lake City). Rated R for language, drug material and brief nudity. Running time: 95 minutes.
This review first was posted on this site on January 26, 2019, when the movie premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.