Good interviews require good questions. In “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” a fine documentary directed by A.J. Eaton, some excellent questions are posed from behind the camera by the producer, the veteran rock journalist and filmmaker Cameron Crowe. The best one is the simplest: “Do you ever wonder why you are still alive?”
What’s for sure is that Mr. Crosby is intensely alive—he was 76 when the interviews were shot, and turns 78 next month—notwithstanding two or three heart attacks (it’s the closest he comes to providing a definitive count), eight stents (the maximum, he says, his heart will accommodate), a well-publicized liver transplant, the ravages of diabetes, and a prognosis that is less than promising.
Playing to the camera cannily, he’s a commanding presence, by turns a white-maned lion in a mild California winter and a troubadour Falstaff recounting great stories of the times he has seen and the music he has played, first with the Byrds, then with Crosby, Stills & Nash followed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and all of the stories salted with references to the songs—“Time is the final currency”—or with such vivid phrases as describing falling for Joni Mitchell as “similar to falling into a cement mixer.” (The latter is offered by way of a compliment. “She’s the best singer-songwriter of all of us,” he adds. “No question. Hands down.”)