An unforgettable doc about an unforgettable rocker.
David Crosby: Remember My Name
Director: A.J. Eaton
Cast: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jan Crosby
Runtime: 1 hr 35 min
By: John DeSando
"We don't take show business or the spotlight seriously." David Crosby
David Crosby: Remember My Name is a formidable doc about an unforgettable rocker, he of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young from the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s fame right up to a current tour of six concerts, through which A.J. Eaton directs our attention to his life.
It doesn’t hurt one bit to have Cameron Crowe produce, he of music- criticism and Crosby-expert fame. Be careful, do not expect the buffet of songs such as in the recent Rocketman, Yesterday, or Blinded by the Light. Although snippets of glories like Teach the Children Well appear, this is Crosby’s story as he reacts to the past and the present, not playing a concert for us.
Thankfully so, for he is honest about this musical success and the failures in equal number from responsibility for splitting the band up to drug-dependency that leads him to incarceration. That he recovers to the point of playing this tour and displaying an ardent love for wife, Jan, as well as being clean, is testimony to why this is such an absorbing doc, with all the failures illuminating his strength of will and enduring talent.
Eaton makes the story fluid, even with many flash backs, no doubt having learned from Crowe how to jockey headstrong rock stars into approachable cinema stars. The dominance of Crosby’s narration in this doc makes the story believable, indeed almost uncontested truth. When Crosby confesses his responsibility for causing turmoil in the band’s history, he is believable and dramatically compelling. When he tosses off the possibility of his making up some of the narrative, such fiction doesn’t seem believable while it also rings true. Cinema verité marries fiction.
Nevertheless, no one can forget the confessions of this great rocker after seeing one of the best docs in recent times.
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts NPR's It’s Movie Time and Cinema Classics out of WCBE 90.5 FM. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com