David Crosby: Remember My Name transcends the genre

David Crosby appears in David Crosby: Remember My Name. Photo by Edd Lukas and Ian Coad. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

David Crosby: Remember My Name profiles the legendary singer of The Byrds; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

By all accounts, David Crosby should have died years ago.  This was a musician who was addicted to the likes of heroin and cocaine.  In fact, he had to be revived more than once.  This is a man with eight stents in his heart.  Yet when given the option to trade music for family, Crosby wouldn’t trade music for the world.  That’s dedication.  Though to be fair, Crosby has been clean since going to jail in the 1980s.

Make no mistake.  This film profiles his life’s work.  Whenever he goes on the road to tour, there’s no telling if he’ll see wife Jan Dance again.  This is less because of her but more because the health scares over the years.  When he does go on the road, it’s to make money for groceries and repay the mortgage.  You can’t help but feel for the man with everything he’s been through.  All the friends lost to drug use.  The relationships destroyed because of his behavior.  A car accident that saw the death of then-girlfriend Christine Hinton.  Crosby opens up on the pain that he endured following Christine’s death and you can’t help but feel for the pain.

It’s because of all this that David Crosby: Remember My Name is more than the basic music documentary.  Hell, it even transcends the rock documentary genre.  Maybe it’s because Crosby is more well-known that I was able to connect with this film more so than with the recent documentary of The Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman.  Simply put, Crosby was the source of more drama.  They talk about it in the film but it’s honestly a wonder that both Crosby and Keith Richards are still alive.

CSN as we know them is unlikely to perform together again.  The band is one of the greatest American super-groups and this is a shame.  Their last performance together came a few years ago when the trio sang “Silent Night.”  In watching the film, you can certainly understand why.  One can only hope that this trio can get over their differences because when these guys come together, they can really sing!

Throughout the film, Crosby shares memories of life with The Byrds, CSN, and CSNY.  While CSN is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, CSNY is not.  When you really think about it, they’re a completely different band when you factor Neil Young into account.  Crosby believes they should be in the Hall of Fame if only to make Eric Clapton jealous.

We see Crosby visiting the sites where The Byrds fired him, the kitchen light where CSN first formed, and the house that would become the basis for “Our House.”  As Crosby tours the Kent State University visitor’s center, he shares his memories of what inspired “Ohio.”  Neil Young quickly wrote the song and just like that, the band would rush into production in the studio.  Everyone certainly knew that they had an important song on their hands.  The rest as they say is history.

As with anyone who lived through one of the greatest periods for rock music, there are plenty of anecdotes to go around.  In many ways, this film perfectly complements Echo in the Canyon.  I regret missing out on seeing this one during Sundance.  There’s a lot of heart and soul put into the film.  With A.J. Eaton behind the camera and producer Cameron Crowe also at the helm, they are the perfect people to get answers out of Crosby.

FEATURING:  David Crosby, Jan Dance, Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Henry Diltz

Sony Pictures Classics opens David Crosby Remember My Name in theaters on July 19, 2019. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.