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Politics: David Crosby

Initially you were all about singing, sailboats and sex. When did you get politicised?

Well, that was a lot of fun. But the person who politicised me was Stephen Stills. I saw him play with Neil Young and I thought, yeah, you’re pretty good [laughs]. He was fiery and really switched on. For some people it’s about showbusiness. For me it’s about serving the song, and Stephen had incredible songs with meaning.

When you started to be successful did you feel you could have an effect on politics?

At one point we were probably the most political band in the world. We certainly drew attention to civil rights. But could music change the world? We tried. We stirred things up, got the conversation going.

After all your polemic CSN visited the White House in 1977. Would you go back?

We thought we should meet the boss. [Then US President] Jimmy Carter was a good man, really. Now people feel there’s no one on their side in Washington, and we’ve started the Crusades again in the Middle East.

Who is the most political musician you worked with?

Pete Seeger. He inspired us, and we were able to pay it back. We covered Turn! Turn! Turn! in The Byrds and he wrote us a letter saying: “They used to do everything but burn crosses on my lawn for being a communist. Now they come around and ask for my autograph. You boys are wonderful!” That was a pleasure for us.

Jo Kendall
Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.