I’m not one to pay much attention to soap operas, but I’ve been observing this one for fifty years…
Growing up back in the 1960s, my five older sisters always had a Beatles LP spinning on the turntable. But I eventually blazed my own trail by becoming a fan of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, which led to exploring David Crosby’s back-catalog with the Byrds. I really loved the Byrds with their signature sound of Roger McGuinn’s jingly-jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar complemented by Crosby’s high vocal harmonies. But I also learned there had been tremendous discord in the camp. Laid-back McGuinn was the de facto leader of the group, however, the free-spirited, outspoken Crosby constantly grated against that. As Crosby developed as a songwriter, the conflicts and tensions escalated to the point that McGuinn and Byrds’ bassist, Chris Hillman, drove to Crosby’s house one afternoon in 1967 and fired him from the band.
Crosby went on to bigger things with CS&N, but the resentment and discord never completely healed. By 1969, McGuinn was the only founding band member remaining, but he kept the ersatz Byrds going until 1973. His subsequent solo career achieved only so-so success and he spiraled into heavy drug use. In 1977, at rock-bottom, former-Roman Catholic, McGuinn, accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior! At the time, I remember thinking, “Oh, no! McGuinn has become one of those born-agains!”
McGuinn and Crosby have kept in touch – barely – over the years and participated together in a few (very) short-term projects, however McGuinn keeps a bit of a distance. He has repeatedly resisted Crosby’s MANY overtures to reunite the remaining Byrds (himself, Crosby, and Hillman) for a concert tour. On the occasion of the band’s 50th anniversary in 2015, the Byrds noticeably did not reunite because of McGuinn’s reluctance. McGuinn has explained in a couple of interviews that he declines to be yoked with unbeliever Crosby in another venture (2 Corinthians 6:14). I’m sure that McGuinn deals with many unbelievers in his ongoing solo career, but the thing about Crosby is he’s still very pushy, spews obscenities in his regular conversation, and constantly tokes marijuana.
Despite their differences, McGuinn has had nothing but kind remarks to say to, and about, his former bandmate, but Crosby’s recent documentary, “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” has reopened old wounds. Crosby, who is well-known for his frequent and blunt chatter on Twitter, recently blocked McGuinn from his account. Well, he’s undoubtedly hurt that McGuinn refuses work with him.
The McGuinn-Crosby friendship/feud has been played out in public for 52 years. Why should we even care about this on-again, off-again soap opera? Because it’s an amazing irony. Crosby still crusades for peace, love, and harmony in his songs and tours, but he’s not going to find it outside of Jesus Christ.
Note how the Tweeter below supports Crosby’s decision to block his old bandmate by scoffing at McGuinn for proclaiming Jesus Christ and the Gospel in a tweet he posted back in March:
David Crosby Does Not Want to Read Roger McGuinn’s Tweets