David Crosby Understood the Sharpness of Despair

Amanda Petrusich at The New Yorker:

However cantankerous or stubborn Crosby was offstage, when performing, he was seized by a kind of silent joy. You could see it spreading across his face, loosening his features. Music softened him. In his later years, he wore a white mustache, long frizzy hair, and an omnipresent red beanie (knitted by his wife, Jan). He looked like someone who might sell you some garden compost. He looked salty. Performing was the one thing that seemed to reliably animate and excite him.

One of my favorite of Crosby’s vocal performances is a demo of “Everybody’s Been Burned,” a Byrds song from 1967. The tone is somewhere between Nick Drake in his Warwickshire bedroom and Frank Sinatra on a barstool, sloshing a gin Martini. It’s a generous, humane song, about how terrifying it is to go on after loss:

Everybody has been burned before
Everybody knows the pain
Anyone in this place
Can tell you to your face
Why you shouldn’t fall in love again

more here.