Photo by Jorma Kaukonen
Indeed, it is that time of life when I find my contemporaries shuffling off the mortal coil at an alarming rate. I don’t like it a bit, but to be completely selfish, it beats the alternatives.
David and I had been friends since the early 60’s when we were just a bunch of young folkies. Kantner met him when he moved from San Jose to Venice Beach with David Friberg. When the boys came back from Venice David came up and played the Offstage which is where I met him. This was pre-Byrds by a couple of years but David had already played the Ash Grove and the Troubadour in LA and the Ice House in Pasadena to name a few of the biggies. He was already a seasoned pro getting ready for the Big Dance which come along with the Byrds shortly.
I saw the Byrds open for the Rolling Stones at the San Jose Civic on May 21, 1965. McGuinn was playing his Rickenbacker 12 String, of course. David and the boys killed it, of course!
I remember when If Only I Could Remember My Name was being recorded, the Airplane, members of the Dead, Santana and who knows who else were all hanging out at Wally Heiders working on projects and as a result when David invited us to play on that project it was an easy ‘yes.’ Fast forward to the final mix which David brought by my house on Yerba Buena in St. Francis Wood.
I heard a car drive up and yes, it was David in a Dino Ferrari with an electric window stuck half open. . Anyway, I had a MacIntosh stereo I had gotten from Owsley and we put the test pressing on the turntable. David always had The Weed Of The Gods and he broke a joint that made the average fattie look anorexic. I listened to IOICRMN through the lens of a wall bending total ego loss THC fantasy… and it was awesome!
David broke out another torpedo. ‘Let’s listen to it again.’ Seemed like a good idea plus I was in no condition to say ‘No’ to David Crosby.
The process was repeated two more times.
David was getting ready to go for round five as I was coming in for a landing. I reeled him in and we had a good laugh. That said, it was a beautiful project and it was an honor for me to be a small part of it. It was worth listening to four times and would have been just as good without the pot but hey… it was the 70’s.
That was David then and if he were still with us, it would be David now. There was never any gainsaying him.
He was an amazing human. His artistry never abandoned him and he continued to gift us with magnificent projects. He could be acerbic and self-centered… he could also be embracing in his own Crosby-like way. He’s going to give G_d a run for his money.
We were friends for over half a century and even though our paths would rarely cross, when they did it was as if no time had elapsed.
I shall selfishly miss his occasional presence in my life. As always, fair winds and following seas brother… fair winds and following seas. Wooden ships were always your friend!