RIP, David Crosby. In light of the legendary rock star’s passing, I thought I’d repost this blog entry that was originally published on Sep. 17, 2014. I love that the original comments are still here. A couple of you might recognize yourselves!
Last night, we saw Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Keller Auditorium in Portland. Some of our Facebook friends were surprised to learn that David Crosby is not dead. Truth is, he’s alive and well. And for one blissfully ignorant half-hour, we thought we had met this rock ‘n roll legend.
We had time to kill before the concert, so we were strolling around the auditorium. A couple of tour buses were parked in back and standing next to them, just minding his own business and leaning against a railing, was a very distinct looking man who was bald on top with a shaggy mane of white hair cascading down the sides and a big, bushy mustache.
“Holy shit!” we said. “It’s David Crosby!”
We don’t generally like to bother famous people, but he was introducing himself to his fans, posing for pictures, and chatting away. So we approached and shook his hand.
“I’m a big fan!” I announced.
Tara was wearing a t-shirt from our Tom Petty concert last month. “Tom Petty,” David Crosby snorted. “He sings through his nose!”
“We’re much more excited to see your show,” Tara said, stretching the truth a little but more than happy to butter the guy up. After all, it was David freakin’ Crosby. He played Woodstock, man.
“We hate to bother you, but could we pose for a picture?” we asked.
David Crosby was happy to oblige. He put his arm around me (OMG!), smiled, and joked about how “we go way back.” It was one of the most surreal moments of my life.
We thanked him for his time and walked away, immediately posting this picture to Facebook and Instagram. For the next thirty minutes, we could not believe our good fortune. It’s not every day you shake hands with a rock ‘n roll pioneer.
And then, Tara had to go and pull out her phone.
She clicked on a hashtag I had posted – #csny – and pulled up a whole bunch of photos of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Recent ones.
“Umm, that was not David Crosby,” she said.
“What are you talking about?!” I replied. “That was totally David Crosby.”
Only, she was right. The man we met was most definitely not David Crosby. THIS is David Crosby:
Well, shit. In seconds I had gone from shooting the breeze with a rock ‘n roll legend to shaking hands with a weird, fat, sweaty Portland guy who put his arm around me.
Yeah, he fooled us. The resemblance was pretty remarkable (though in looking at recent photos, not quite so much as we initially believed). At least we weren’t the only ones bamboozled by this weirdo. People were chatting him up left and right and taking pictures with the guy. One poor schmuck had him sign a CSNY record album he was toting around. Now, that would piss me off.
In retrospect, it did seem odd that David Crosby was just hanging around outside the auditorium 45 minutes before a show without a care in the world, taking the time to chat up everybody who happened to wander by.
That guy’s a real jackass, whoever he is. I’d almost rather have remained in the dark because boy, were my friends awed and impressed by this picture. For a few brief moments, I felt like a hero to them. But then Tara posted that he was in fact not the real deal, and the Crosby was out of the bag.
Oh, well. We did get to see the real David Crosby, at least. From the third row of the second balcony, but whatever. CSN put on a great show. The vocal harmonies may have diminished some from their heyday in the late 60s and 70s, but when they gelled, they were on. “Cathedral” was downright rockin’, “Guinnevere” gave me shivers, and the combination of “Helplessly Hoping” and “Our House” was executed flawlessly. Three hours had passed by the time they came out for a final encore, “Teach Your Children.” We got home really late for a work night, but it was totally worth it.
Unbelievably, the story didn’t end here. One week later, my daughter ran into the fake David Crosby at another event. You can read about that here.