David Crosby shouldn’t be here. He’ll admit that freely, as freely as he took the same drugs in the 1960s and ’70s that killed so many of his famous and non-famous friends. Not only should he not be here, but neither his mind nor his singing voice should be intact. However, all those things are true, which helps make the documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name so compelling.
The 77-year-old folk-rock giant is unsparing of himself as he details his bad behavior both on and off drugs, his mistreatment of women, and his current estrangement from every major musical collaborator throughout his career. He also dishes delightfully on rival musicians, sharing a dim opinion of The Doors, wanting Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its own merits “just to piss off [Eric] Clapton,” and calling his affair with Joni Mitchell “similar to falling into a cement mixer.” (He still proclaims her as the greatest musician of the fecund SoCal rock scene that produced him.) His account of how Neil Young dashed off “Ohio” in the wake of the Kent State shootings is gripping stuff, too. His role in music history is the draw for this movie, which plays at the Modern this weekend, but it’s his determination not to varnish his own history that gives the film its power.
David Crosby: Remember My Name plays Fri-Sun at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Admission is $8-10. Call 817-738-9215.