Graham Nash Mourns Former Bandmate David Crosby While Acknowledging Their Issues

Following the death of David Crosby, Stephen Stills paid tribute to his 'fearless' friend and former bandmate while acknowledging that their friendship had its 'volatile' moments.

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Image Credit: Charles Sykes/Shutterstock

“It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,” Graham Nash posted to Instagram on Jan. 19, shortly after word broke that his Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate had died at age 81 following a battle with an undisclosed illness. Though Nash, 80, and Crosby found fame alongside Stephen Stills and Neil Young in the 1960s/70s, a generation known for “peace and love” and understanding, CSNY had a reputation for in-fighting and egos clashing, something Stills acknowledged in his tribute to David.

David Crosby and Graham Nash (Charles Sykes/Shutterstock)

“I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times,” wrote Stills, “but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years.” He remarked how Crosby was “fearless in life and in music. He leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world.”

David Crosby “spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy,” added Stills. “These are the things that matter most. My heart is truly with his wife, Jan, his son, Django, and all of the people he has touched in this world.”

Stills also posted photos of David Crosby to his Instagram Story, including one shared by Stephen Stills. “I read a quote in this morning’s paper attributed to composer Gustav Mahler that stopped me for a moment: ‘Death has, on placid cat’s paws, entered the room.’ I shoulda known something was up.

Crosby Stills, Nash & Young…when none of them were that young anymore (E J Flynn/AP/Shutterstock)

Like Nash, Stills acknowledged how he and David “butted heads a lot over time, but they were mostly glancing blows, yet still left us numb skulls.” Stills added he was “happy to be at peace with him. He was, without question, a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius. The glue that held us together as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun. I am deeply saddened at his passing and shall miss him beyond measure.”

David Crosby died “after a long illness,” read the statement issued by his wife of 36 years, Jan Dance. “He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us.” David is also survived by five other children, including the two he sired with Melissa Etheridge and her former partner Julie Cypher.

Stephen Stills, Neil Young, David Crosby, and Graham Nash (front) in 1999. (Jim Cooper/AP/Shutterstock)

“I am grieving the loss of my friend Beckett and Bailey’s biological father, David,” Melissa wrote in her post honoring Crosby. ” “He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan. His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure.”