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According to musicians working with the folk-rock pioneer in his last days, David Crosby was working on a new album and was planning to tour again until the day he died.
A founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash died last week at the age of 81. But other artists working with Crosby on new music told Variety that Crosby’s death was a shock, as he was rehearsing. “it seemed almost dizzying” about a new tour and new songs he was working on.
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“David didn’t think it would last for years, as he always joked. But there was no point in us not being able to do this show and these tours,” guitarist Steve Postell told Variety. “We were talking about tour buses and what kind of venues, and the whole team got together again – the road manager, tour manager and sound guys – on top of this group we brought together. There wasn’t even a distant feeling that we weren’t ready to hit the world. And it’s a shame that people don’t hear about it.”
Postell said he spoke to Crosby on the phone the day he died and they had rehearsed together the week before. Postell said Crosby “seemed almost dizzy with all this.”
He was showing us new songs, ‘What do you think of these lyrics?’ He had not lost his fire. I want people to know that he is on it,” Postell said. “He was writing, playing, singing out of his ass and putting on a great show. That’s what he did. Other than that, he didn’t sleep in a bed for two years. There was no such thing.”
Postell and Sarah Jarosz, another musician working on Crosby’s untitled new album, said his death was sudden, even though his widow, Jan Dance, made a statement stating that Crosby died “after a long illness.”
Postell said: “He was a man weakened by many different pre-existing conditions, and everybody knew it… but he wasn’t dying. We were rehearsing. We were going out to dinner.”
Jarosz, who recorded vocals and mandolin parts for Crosby’s next eponymous album, said he was also unaware of a long illness. “I mean, whenever we talked, he’d call and I was like, ‘How are you?’ And he’d say, ‘I’m dying’ – but jokingly, laughing… It was more like the hard years of living and being 81. It was definitely a shock,” he told Variety.
Jarosz said their unreleased song, Talk Till Dawn, was “absolutely stunningly beautiful”.
“I almost feel like your voice is getting better and better. As time went on, there was just a richness, and even the vocal performance in that song has a lot of youth, spirit, and honesty,” he added.
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Crosby has released five studio albums in the last ten years of his life, with the last one released for Free in July 2021. ”.
“I’m 80, so I’m going to die pretty soon. This is how it works. And so I work really hard to bring out as much music as possible, as long as it’s really good… There’s another one waiting in the box.”
Crosby announced his retirement from touring last year, citing his age, but He tweeted in December He said he changed his mind. Postell told Variety that he was convinced after Crosby let Postell play the guitar for him, allowing him to focus on singing.
“His hands got arthritic and hard, just like people do,” Postell said. “It got harder and harder for him… but [not playing guitar] There would be no hindrance in doing these shows. In fact, it really liberated him because he didn’t have to think about it. He could only sing. I don’t know how you can do this. he was coming wonderful”