Howard Remembers Rock Legend David Crosby

“We lost such a great guy, such a great performer, and a very important guy in the history of rock and roll … I got a kick out of knowing him” Howard says of Byrds and CSNY co-founder and repeat Stern Show guest

January 23, 2023

David Crosby, the legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Famer who co-founded the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, has died at the age of 81. On Monday, Howard remembered the repeat Stern Show guest as a personal hero of his dating all the way back to his childhood. “I just thought he was one of the best,” he proclaimed before recalling fondly some of his appearances on the Stern Show. “Whenever he came on, he was just so warm and lovely and talking openly about his life.”

Co-founding the Byrds in 1964 with Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark, the group, with the success of their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” were often credited with birthing folk rock. When Crosby was fired for wanting to focus on writing their own songs as opposed to following the proven method covering others, he joined forced with the Hollies’ Graham Nash and Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills in Crosby, Stills & Nash. The group was successful, but it was when Springfield bandmate Neil Young joined that things went to the next level. “The album ‘Déjà Vu’ was one of my favorite albums growing up … I’m putting it right in the top five,” Howard said of their 1970 album. “I loved Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young so much … David was just so great, I mean, and what a voice.”

When Howard saw Crosby at a screening of Cameron Crowe’s 2019 documentary on the singer, “Remember My Name,” he was blown away by the experience. “I remember sitting behind him, I go, ‘Jesus Christ, there’s my boyhood hero,’” he noted. “I never would have imagined I’d be sitting behind him in a movie theater watching the story of his life with him … I just felt such compassion for him and love for him.”

During Crosby’s last appearance on the Stern Show in 2021, he was candid about being on the back nine of his life. “People get old and die, and that’s how it works and I’m gonna,” he told Howard at the time. “But in the meantime, it’s not how much time you’ve got … it’s what you do with the time you do have.”

For Howard, Crosby did plenty with that time. “We lost such a great guy, such a great performer, and a very important guy in the history of rock and roll,” Howard marveled. “I got a kick out of knowing him.”

Watch David’s thoughts on life and death (below).