Film Review: “David Crosby: Remember My Name”

  • DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME
  • Starring:  David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, Graham Nash
  • Directed by: A.J. Eaton
  • Rated:  R
  • Running time:  1 hr 35 mins
  • SONY Picture Classics

I met David Crosby in 1987.  He was backstage getting ready to perform on a Vietnam Veteran’s concert being taped for HBO.  I accidentally walked into what I thought was the bathroom only to find out it was his dressing room.  He was very nice and we talked for a few minutes.  Later that afternoon he, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash performed in (as always) perfect harmony.

Today, at age 72, Crosby is still on the road.  He has to be.  Though he was very successful during his time with The Byrds, Crosby, Stills and Nash (CSN) and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY), he is quick to point out that he is the only member of those bands who never had a solo hit record.  The new film, “David Crosby: Remember My Name” finds Crosby about to head out for a six week tour.  This saddens him, as he would rather stay home with his wife, Jan.  This saddens Jan, as she is aware of Crosby’s health problems and always fears that when he leaves for a show he will never return home.  But if there is one thing Crosby loves as much as his family, it is to sing.  So out on the road he goes.

An excellent combination of archive footage and interviews, “David Crosby: Remember My Names” is an outstanding film which reminds me, in style, of another documentary, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.”  This could be because the director of the Campbell doc, James Keach, is an executive producer here.  The film covers almost every aspect of Crosby’s life, both the highs (no pun intended) and the lows.

The son of an Academy Award winning cinematographer (Crosby’s father, Floyd, won the award for his work on the film “Tabu”), Crosby listened to his mother’s records and soon began playing the guitar.  When he got older, he became a co-founder of The Byrds, a very successful group.  However, due to some of his antics – including telling a concert audience that President Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy – he was booted from the band.  He then teamed up with Stills and Nash to form one of the biggest super groups in music history.   We are shown a

Montage of drug fueled images from the period, including one with my friend Carl Gottlieb expounding on them.  (NOTE:  Carl helped David Crosby write his two volume autobiography, “Long Time Gone” and “Since Then”)  We also learn that Dennis Hopper based his character in the film “Easy Rider” on Crosby.  However, things begin going bad when Crosby’s 21 year old girlfriend, Christine Hinton, is killed when a bus hits her van head-on.  Heartbroken, Crosby finds solace in sailing – and drugs.   Later in his life, his addiction will send him to prison.

One of the best music autobiographies ever written.

The film also allows Crosby to take the audience to Kent State University, where 4 students were killed on May 4, 1970 when members of the Ohio National Guard fired their weapons into a group of students who were protesting the war in Vietnam.  There is a cultural center on campus now, a museum dedicated to the images of that tragic day.  The emotion still wells up in Crosby’s voice as he describes how one leader in the National Guard swore he’d never fired his weapon, when a photo on the wall captures him doing just that.  Within a month of the shootings, CSNY release their song “OHIO,” which Neil Young wrote after seeing a LIFE magazine cover story on the shootings.  Neil Young has said that the event was so emotional that David Crosby wept while recording the song.  That emotion, almost 50 years later, is still obvious. 

The film also includes footage of Crosby on tour, and his voice is just as sweet as it was in the 1960s.  He also shares some personal stories about such fellow musical icons as Cass Elliott, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan.  If you’re a fan of Crosby, or just the music of the period, this film is a must see!

Denise Crosby reflects about her work on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

Denise Crosby is best known for playing the roles of Security Chief Tasha Yar and Commander Sela in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. She was also the granddaughter of entertainer Bing Crosby. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Denise reflecting on the show and the fans support over the years.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect on being a part of the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” universe and it still being relevant today?
Denise Crosby: I feel like “Star Trek” is a much larger entity and we are all little pieces of it. It continues to reinvent itself generation by generation. You have a younger generation now discovering it for the first time, whether it is through their parents who watched it. It also continues to play endlessly on syndication and cable. It is ever present and never goes away. There are always fresh eyes seeing it for the first time. I think that is what keeps it new and exciting. I am always touched by the stories that I hear from people all over the world and how much the show means to the and how they were inspired by the characters. I am always fascinated by how many far reaching corners it has touched. All of that continues to keep it relevant.

MG: That describes me, I got a young daughter and I am started her young with the show [laughs]
DC: That’s what happens. You bring your kids into it. The beauty of it is that has become much more in the open and embraced by people. You are not hiding your Spock ears anymore and pulling them out on special occasions. People are able to be out of the “Trek-closet”, so to speak.

MG: You get to play two different roles in Security Chief Tasha Yar and also Yar’s own daughter, the half-Romulan Commander Sela; how was that aspect for you?
DC: It was really cool. I don’t know that anyone else has been able to do that. I mean, how many people can get to play their own daughter? Only in sci-fi, can you pull this off. It was great for me as well since I was actually very involved in creating that story line  It is wonderful to get a chance to continue being a part of this show. Fans were really delighted with that as well.

MG: What was it like working with such a legend as Gene Roddenberry?
DC: We were the lucky ones that were able to work with Gene and be a part of his vision. That was very thankful for all of us. He was a big cuddly teddy bear of a man. He was very protective of this franchise and all that it meant. He got how popular and how much it meant to the fans and he really embraced that. He also was very open with us. He wanted to know what our thoughts were and what our questions were. He wanted us to really define these characters and to help us do that in any way that he could.

MG: What made you getting involved with the “Trekkies” films?
DC: My thoughts always were that there is no “Star Trek” without the fans. It is the most symbiotic relationship with a television show that I have ever seen. There is something very unique and specific about being on one of the “Star Trek” shows. You enter into a world that is very exclusive. You can’t be talking about “Star Trek” without talking about the fans. I felt that the fans needed a voice. When set out to make the first “Trekkies” movie, the timing was perfect. It during the prime of sci-fi and comic books and it was suddenly cool to be a geek. The nerds were taking over. Everybody was a “Star Trek” fan and I felt the “Trek” fans needed a voice. I couldn’t believe that nobody had done this before. I just jumped on it, had no idea what I was doing, took a camera wherever I went and before I knew it…I had a movie.

MG: Any chance you would be making a new “Trekkies” film in the future?
DC: My partner, Roger Nygard, and I talked and we have some ideas. We really would like to do one more and make it a trilogy. It would be great to pass it on to the next generation with the JJ Abrams films and new fans. So we are hoping that we can do that in the near future.

 

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