10 COMMANDMENTS: DAVID CROSBY
The ex-Byrds and CSN man has a whole load of hard-won wisdom to impart.
1 NEVER TRUST A POLITICIAN
We have a truly horrible President right now. And a Congress that’s as bad as our President. Our government is in the toilet. They’re just the worst that’s ever been. Trump is a fool and a child. I think the institutions of the country and the government are sort of resisting his thrashing around, but he’s very dangerous. I found Obama inspiring. I met him three times – a respectable, decent, very intelligent guy with a really good sense of humour.
2 SET AN EXAMPLE RATHER THAN PREACH
It’s a very bad trap for an entertainer to get into. Yeah, it’s part of our job – historically we come from troubadours who carried the news from town to town – but it’s only part. Our main job is to make you boogie, or take you on emotional voyages. People take up the cause of the week, because it’s fashionable, or because it makes ’em look good. The ones you wanna admire are the ones who’ve been in there doing it the whole time and just plugging away at it: human rights and women’s rights and civil rights. Trying to make things better. Have I ever been guilty of preaching myself ? Sure. I’ve made every mistake in the book laughs]. At one time or another I’ve made every mistake there was.
3 DON’T DO HARD DRUGS
Absolutely the goddamn truth. Don’t fucking do it. Don’t do any of ’em, at all. They’re a waste of time. The time I wasted… I could’ve been making music. Cocaine and heroin and speed. That’s the stuff. Terrible. If you don’t do it, you didn’t miss a damn thing. I do know whereof I speak.
4 TREASURE LOVE
I’ve learned it better as I’ve gone along. I’ve always been tilted that way, but you have to learn how to do it. You have to work at love. It doesn’t come for free. I’ve been together with my wife for 41 years now. Do we still argue? Yeah, sure, but we love each other.
5 PAY FOR MUSIC
It’s a tough thing for us, man. We don’t sell records. We lost it. Done. They’re taking our music and they’re not paying. It’s theft. They’re stealing it. There’s a lot of people trying to figure out a solution. Some new kind of technology might make it right, but in the meantime, it’s down to live performance. That’s the only way we make any money now. We lost all the money from the records. It’s a bad deal.
6 DON’T BUY ANY OF THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS
I don’t think anybody’s got the answer and I seriously mistrust anybody who tells me that they do have the answer. Religions have a record of creating problems and screwing it up. That said, I like the current Pope a great deal. He walks the walk, he doesn’t just talk.
7 LET MUSIC BE A LIFTING FORCE
It brings out the best in you. It sure makes you feel good. I write and play every day. There’s people that I listen to all the time that make me feel uplifted. Joni, Steely Dan, The Beatles…
8 GIVE UP SUGAR
I’m diabetic, but sugar is really bad for everybody. It’s not a good food for anybody, let alone diabetics. I eat sugar-free stuff. A sugary treat for me is an apple.
9 THINK ABOUT HOW YOU JUDGE PEOPLE
I judge people by what have they contributed, what have they created? Who they have helped, what they’ve made better. Not what they own or how famous they are. I have a lot of heroes in that respect – Pete Seeger, Gandhi, Martin Luther King. Muhammad Ali was a huge hero of mine. People who are courageous. Good human beings.
10 REMEMBER: WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER
I feel very strongly about it. Not just because I don’t like seeing soldiers get killed. A soldier kinda knew what he was getting into. The soldier joins an army and he knows what he’s up against. But for every soldier who gets hurt, there are a hundred civilians who never did anything to anybody. Children, for God’s sake, getting slaughtered. That is truly evil and what humanity needs to outgrow. My dream for humanity is for us to outgrow war, grow up and go out into the universe and meet whoever’s out there. And they are out there, for sure.
Muhammad Ali: “a huge hero of mine.”