16 November 1986
Parker's Restaurant, Aurora, WA
It was either study for a Math exam, or enjoy the show. Honestly, I had some ambivalence about the event--David Crosby, supposedly clean and sober for the first time in 20+ years, and recently released from Huntsville, TX prison for various drug, weapons, and fugitive charges only three months ago, made many curious about what kind of [new] David Crosby we would see.
A few pounds overweight, long, frazzled hair replaced with a do recovering from a Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) special, jeans and flannel replaced with polyester slacks and button-down shirt, Crosby still sported his trademark handlebar mustache. Once the folks in the seats recognized the legendary former member of the Byrds, and of various CSNY iterations, he received a standing ovation, perhaps mostly because he survived.
Opening with "Lee Shore", Cros showed that kicking cocaine and heroin can do wonders for the voicebox--he sounds smoother and stronger than ever. Other tunes offering proof to this improvement were Joni Mitchell's "(He Played Real Good) For Free", "In My Dreams", and the Byrds-rejected song about a menage a trois, "Triad".
David sat down at the piano for "Bittersweet", and a tune he said was the last one he wrote before he totally "went crazy", the beautiful "Delta". Back to his acoustic guitars, Crosby played one of the first songs he wrote after "waking up", a poetic song about finding your way, "Compass", featuring the lyrics, "I have seized death's door handle like a fish out of water."
Crosby then screamed out an unreleased tune he wrote in 1979, "Drive My Car", as well as his 1975 "Carry Me", and the song he said he played at TDC just to "piss off the warden", from 1970, "Almost Cut My Hair".
After "Guinnevere" and "Wooden Ships", Crosby encored with "Long Time Gone".
The opening act was a local Joni-Mitchell-wannabe, Linda Waterfall, who took habit in spending a good couple minutes between songs retuning her guitar. High payed musicians can afford to bring more than just one guitar to a show.....Many of us got tired of hearing her constantly try to push her albums, which supposedly are available at some stores. "Maybe after the show you can head down to the store and purchase some Linda Waterfall tapes," she cheesily stated. Appropriately, a friend of mine, under her breath, remarked, "Or not.....".
Anyway, we hope that this show is just the beginning for David Crosby's return to sobriety. He's off to a very impressive start.
[***] - Steven T.
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