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Graham Nash says David Crosby planned to call and apologize before he died

Two men with gray hair play electric guitars on stage.
Graham Nash, left, opened up about his relationship with former CSNY bandmate David Crosby in a recent interview.
(Henny Ray Abrams / Associated Press)
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After decades of tension, Graham Nash and David Crosby were en route to make amends, until the latter died in January at age 81.

In an interview with AARP published Wednesday, Nash, 81, reflected on his relationship with his former Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young bandmate, and the would-be phone call that could have marked a new chapter in their decades-long friendship.

“The fact is that we were getting a little closer at the end. He had sent me a voicemail saying that he wanted to talk to apologize, and could we set up a time to talk,” Nash told Rob Tannenbaum. “I emailed him back and said, ‘OK, call me at 11 o’clock tomorrow your time, which is 2 o’clock on the East Coast.’ He never called, and then he was gone.”

David Crosby was a lifelong hippie whose music with the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young defined an era.

Jan. 19, 2023

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Crosby and Nash, who comprised two-thirds of the original trio with Stephen Stills in 1968, shared a contentious relationship over the years and rarely communicated after their falling-out.

In 2021, Crosby told the Guardian, “I don’t want to talk to [Nash], I’m not happy with him at all.” And in 2022, Nash said, “My patience, my love for [Crosby], it all just stopped.”

Nash told AARP that now he’d rather focus on the good times he and Crosby shared as friends and bandmates.

Three men with long hair on a stage. The two men on the right are sitting and holding guitars
From left, Neil Young, David Crosby and Graham Nash perform at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in 1977.
(Ed Perlstein / Redferns)

“Our reaction to his comments about Neil’s wife and the other things that separated David from us — but if he was willing to call me and apologize for what he had done and how he had hurt me, it made his death a little easier for me to accept,” he said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Graham praised Crosby as the “heartbeat” of CSNY but noted that his death was expected.

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Crosby had multiple serious ailments, including diabetes and arterial disease; he’d dealt with drug and alcohol addiction, blackouts and seizures.

“He was a very intelligent man. I wouldn’t put it past him to know that he was actually at the very end,” he said. “The truth is, Rob, we’ve been expecting David to pass for 20 years.”

Graham Nash and Stephen Stills were among those in the music world paying tribute to David Crosby after news of the singer’s death.

Jan. 19, 2023

Now, weeks after the singer-songwriter’s death, Nash said the loss was “like an earthquake.”

“You know that you’re in an earthquake, but subsequently, other smaller earthquakes happen afterwards,” he said. “It was only two or three days after he passed that I realized that he was actually gone.”

He concluded the interview: “I wish to God that David would have had a better ending. But him being happy at the end made it much better for me to be able to accept.”

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