David Crosby died yesterday at age 81. I just heard Mika Brzezinski describe the music he made as “the soundtrack of our lives” and for those of us of a certain generation it certainly was. He was a founding member of The Byrds which popularized the genre of folk-rock and then was part of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and its various permutations.
I write “various permutations” because the relationship between these four musicians was always somewhat turbulent. The group was originally “Crosby, Stills, and Nash” and then they were joined by Neil Young. Sometimes they recorded or toured as CSNY, sometimes as CSN, and they all had solo careers as well -- although in that regard, Neil Young was far more popular than the other three.
In 1975 and 76, CSNY split (temporarily) like an amoeba into “Crosby and Nash” and “The Stills-Young Band.” One of the first rock concerts I attended was Crosby and Nash at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ in 1976, the summer before my senior year of high school. I grew up a few miles away and one of my friends from school had a summer job as a ticket taker. Like Wolf Trap or Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Arts Center has unassigned lawn seating behind the seats. At the time, there was no monitoring of how many people actually passed through the turnstiles and it was fairly common for ticket takers to simply let their friends in. (I hope that I may be forgiven this youthful indiscretion and I know that the statute of limitations has long lapsed.)
The Crosby and Nash concert was so good that I went back again the next night. I can still hear such songs as “Immigration Man”, “Military Madness,” and “To the Last Whale” in my head as I write this.
As I was walking around at intermission on one of the nights a funny thing happened. I overheard an older gentleman on a pay phone (although I am probably the same age or older now as he was then) complaining to someone that he didn’t like the show at all. He thought the Crosby of “Crosby and Nash” was Bing Crosby and was very disappointed to find out that he was wrong.
May David Crosby rest in peace and may his family and friends get comfort from their memories of him and the beautiful music that he made.
We are once again having a sponsored Kiddush after services tomorrow. If you are planning to attend, it is really helpful for you to register at https://forms.gle/a86HdxWHpCn4kXJVA . If you have not registered and decide at the last minute to attend, you will of course still be joyfully welcomed. However, advance registration helps us to determine how much food to prepare for Kiddush without being wasteful. Your assistance is appreciated -- from weekly experience I can tell you that filling out the registration form literally takes less than 30 seconds.
As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 at the shul. You do not need to make an appointment -- that would negate the whole point of drop-in hours -- but I’d urge you to check and make sure I am there regardless as sometimes there are unavoidable pastoral or other emergencies which might take me away from the building.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at email@example.com or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment. I have been spending more time in the synagogue recently but if you want to speak with me it’s best to make an appointment rather than assuming I will be there when you stop by.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian