I’m very sorry about the death of David Crosby, 81, but he enjoyed one of the most amazing, up-and-down-and-back-up-again runs of any legendary rock star-slash-troubadour-slash-crazy man. I loved his truth-telling with all my heart. Sail on, brother.

Posted on 1.27.19: After catching yesterday afternoon’s screening of A.J. Eaton and Cameron Crowe‘s David Crosby: Remember My Name, I sent the following email to Crowe:

Triple grade-A doc…the antithesis of a kiss-ass, ‘what a great artist’ tribute, but at the same time a profoundly moving warts-and-all reflection piece…hugely emotional, meditative, BALDLY PAINFULLY NAKEDLY HONEST…God! There’s a special spiritual current that seeps out when an old guy admits to each and every failing of his life without the slightest attempt to rationalize or minimize…’I was a shit, I was an asshole, how is it that I’m still alive?,’ etc. Straight, no chaser.

“And this isn’t because I’m partial to boomer nostalgia flicks or because so many are being shown here, or because I grew up with the Byrds (12-string twangly-jangly), Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash and that whole long lyricalfrazzled history. It’s about the tough stuff and the hard rain…about addiction and rage and all but destroying your life, and then coming back semi-clean and semi-restored, but without any sentimentality or gooey bullshit.

“For me David Crosby: Remember My Name has EASILY been the most emotional experience of the festival thus far. Not to mention [Crowe’s] best creative effort since Almost Famous.”

Crowe: “SO HAPPY you were there, thrilled at your reaction. How amazing that Crosby got up there [after the screening] and shared his total shock at what we’d put into the movie. Such a real moment. He was emotionally devastated up there for a good three minutes — I don’t know if you could see that. Felt like the audience wrapped their arms around him at that point, and then he was okay. Amazing.”

From Steve Pond’s Wrap review: “As much as the film celebrates Crosby’s creativity and gazes unflinchingly at his failings, it also functions as a valedictory, almost a requiem of sorts. Think of it as the film version of the final albums made by Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, who made wrenching final statements that they likely knew would be their last.”

Posted on 2.3.19: Earlier today SBIFF devotees got a chance to see David Crosby: Remember My Name, the scaldingly honest doc from director A. J. Eaton and producer Cameron Crowe. It played at a 2pm show at Santa Barbara’s Lobero theatre, and was followed by remarks from Crosby (who lives near Santa Barbara) and producer Greg Mariotti.

Three or four days ago I asked Crowe if I could do a quick chat with Crosby after the show. He was down with this, but then I was told that Sony Pictures Classics, which acquired the doc two or three days ago, doesn’t want interviews until the film is about to open. Check, no worries. But I was introduced anyway.

The fun part came when Mariotti asked if I wanted a photo with Crosby, and I said “agghh, I’m not much for having my photo taken.” Mariotti said that Crowe himself wanted to commemorate the occasion, so I said “sure, if Cameron wants a shot…why not?” Crosby sensed my discomfort and said with a slight twinkle in his eye, “I get it…you don’t look that good any more and neither do I.”

Crosby was being 100% truthful. I love it when world-famous folks say stuff like this! 99% of the celebrities out there would never dream of telling…well, a somewhat long-of-tooth journalist that his peak attractiveness days are over, but this is what Type A impressionists do from time to time. The 77 year-old Crosby said it like water off a duck’s ass. Guys who share such words without blinking are worth their weight in diamonds. Candid, X-factor, let the chips fall.

Here’s my 1.27.19 Sundance rave of David Crosby: Remember My Name.

Snapped in Lobero Theatre green room — Sunday, 2.3, 4:15 pm.

Posted on 10.31.19: A few days ago the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced its Best Documentary nominations. The awards will be presented on Sunday, 11.10, at BRIC in Brooklyn, per longstanding tradition.

The org’s top nominees are The Biggest Little Farm, Apollo 11 (an HE fave) and Peter Jackson‘s They Shall Not Grow Old (ditto). I’m a loyal and respectful BFCA member, but ignoring A.J. Eaton and Cameron Crowe‘s David Crosby: Remember My Name is, no offense, deranged. The film is mystical, mythical, uplifting and brazenly honest — it restoreth your soul. And it doesn’t matter if Crosby didn’t get along with Scott Feinberg two or three months ago. Please…a non-issue.

HE’s list of the finest and most award-deserving 2019 documentaries, 14 in all and in this order:

(1) David Crosby Remember My Name, (2) Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Review (except for the fantasy fake-out interviews), (3) Madds Bruger‘s Cold Case Hammarskjold, (4) Asif Kapadia’s Diego Maradona, (5) Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, (6) Untouchable, (7) Mike Wallace Is Here, (8) Alexandre O. Philippe‘s Memory: The Origins of Alien, (9) Apollo 11, (10) Dan Reed‘s Leaving Neverland, (11) Peter Jackson‘s They Shall Not Grow Old, (12) Matt Tyrnauer‘s Where’s My Roy Cohn?, (13) Ken BurnsCountry Music and (14) The Edge of Democracy.

Posted on 7.20.19: From the “Crosby vs. Feinberg” comment thread, penned by yours truly a few hours ago:

(1) David Crosby being asked by Scott Feinberg to recall certain deeper feelings and recollections about Joni Mitchell clearly irritated him.

Perhaps because Crosby feels very badly about the greatest singer-poet troubador of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s being in a somewhat diminished state today. (Memory lapses, or so I’ve been told.). Due to her stroke of 2015. Which Crosby has observed the aftermath of first-hand.

At one point Scott was asking about (or certainly alluding to) the hanky-panky history between Le Croz and Joni and Graham Nash, and on some gut level Crosby reacted with some kind of angry primal revolt. Something to do with (a) the aroma of inane questions about who was diddling who at what juncture and (b) rage, rage against the dying of the light.

(2) Scott is very exacting, highly focused, hard working, ultra disciplined, knows his stuff, cares a great deal, etc.

All that said, I think his first misstep may have been when he asked Crosby to explain what the term “harmony” means. Which, for any kind of seasoned musician, isn’t too far from an interviewer asking an average human being to define what “breathing”, “eating”, “talking” and “walking upright” mean.

And then Scott doubles down by asking Croz to explain how standard “harmony” differs from sophisticated harmonies a la CSNY, Beach Boys, Beatles, etc. Which, at first brush, isn’t too far from that scene in George Pal’s The Time Machine (‘60) in which a blonde-haired Eloi asks Rod Taylor what “laws” are. Or what a “book” is.

Scott didn’t ask these forehead-slappers to be perverse. He asked them because he sincerely believes that a significant percentage of 20something and even 30something listeners might not have a clear idea what these terms mean. Which may in fact be the case, but C’MON, MAN!!! Club me to death with a croquet mallet or, you know, a putting iron.

Question: Have you ever had a dream in which you’re a mouse scampering around and maybe eating bits of cheese, and suddenly a Siamese cat with the head of Scott Feinberg walks into the kitchen and spots you, but instead of chasing you down and eating you the cat corners you and asks, “Can you explain to me what harmony is? A lot of people in their 20s and 30s don’t know what it is and I thought I’d ask you that.”

Crosby vs. Feinberg,” posted on 7.20.19.