David Crosby passed away on Jan. 18 at the age of 81, and from what musician Steve Postell told Variety, it sounds like his death came at a time when the Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young founder was planning his next your – and his next album. “David didn’t think he was gonna last for years, which he joked about all the time. But there was no sense that we weren’t gonna be able to do this show and these tours,” said Postell. “We were talking tour buses and what kind of venues, and the whole team was all back together again — the road manager and tour manager and sound guys — on top of this band we’d put together.”
Crosby’s family announced that David died following “a long illness,” which Postell told Variety was a “very confusing thing” since “We were rehearsing. We were going out to dinner.’ Postell said that there “was not even a remote sense that we weren’t about ready to hit the world. And it’s a shame people didn’t get to hear it. This was something else. This was as close to the original thing [Crosby, Stills, and Nash] as we were gonna get. It was very powerful.”
“I never got to actually be in the studio with him when I was recording those vocals,” Sarah Jarosz, one of the musicians who worked with Crosby on the album, told Variety, “but he and James [Raymond, Crosby’s son and fellow member of the band] had reached out to me about a month ago saying they were working on this new album, and he really wanted me to sing on a new song, ‘Talk Till Dawn.’ It had just been a few days since I sent the vocal off [before Crosby died], but the way James made it seem to me is that he did get to hear it before he passed, which is obviously extremely emotional for me.”
Jarosz recorded vocal and mandolin parts for Crosby’s next album. “He just wanted to create until the very end, and that was always my impression of him in our conversations,” she told Variety. “He was so full of music, and it always struck me because, as a young musician myself, I think it’s easy to sometimes look at someone who’s had a long life and incredible career and think: How can they still just have that drive and that fire within them?”
Similarly, Jarosz was confused about the “long illness” part of Crosby’s death announcement. But, she shared how David seemed to know his time was coming to an end. “I mean, every time we talked, he would call, and I’d be like, ‘How are you doing?’ And he’d be like, ‘Well, I’m dying’ — but jokingly, with a laugh,” she told Variety. “I wasn’t aware if there was a long illness. It was more just like the hard years of living and being 81. It certainly came as a shock.”
In May 2022, David told students at Golden High School in Golden, Colorado, that his touring days were over. “I’m too old to do it anymore. I’m too old to do it anymore. I don’t have the stamina; I don’t have the strength,” he said, per Variety. “Being on a bus tour is a daunting task. It’s very hard. It takes it out of you.”
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