Remembering David Crosby’s Kauai Legacy

David Crosby was a part of the web of Kauai culture for some sixty years. The island was near and dear to his heart and a place he returned to yearly.

Hanalei Bay is one of my favorite places on the planet. I love getting up in the morning, drinking a cup of coffee, eating breakfast, and laying in the sun until I get too hot. — David Crosby

The above photo was taken at the Hanalei Farmers Market when he and his wife, Jan, were here in 2016.

The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer first visited Kauai in the 1960s. He returned here again and again. David was also now to anchor his sailboat at Lahaina’s Mala Wharf on Maui.

Farewell From Kauai David Crosby

David performed what was to be his final show on Kauai in 2016. It was part of a concert series entitled “An Evening with the Legendary David Crosby,” with shows on three other islands in addition to Kauai. He performed with only his voice and guitar. David featured songs spanning his entire musical career, from the 1971 solo If I Could Only Remember My Name to cuts from his 2014 solo album Croz. Selections included songs made famous by The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Hailing from California, David was hugely influential in generations of music to follow. And so, too, did Kauai have a big impact on David Crosby. He said simply, “It’s a beautiful, stunning place.”

David’s music was a part of your editor’s lives for as long as either can remember. Even much younger BOH editor Collin fondly remembered David as we talked about him today following news of his death. Jeff recounted when David won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1969 and remembered his activism that included anti-war, as well as Civil, Human, and Women’s Rights.

David was the author of three books in addition to his prolific music. He once said about the world, “There are so many people out there who try to make it worse, and you’re trying to make it better.” And so he did.

Before his final Hawaii tour in 2016, he’d visited and performed at a sold-out show here on Kauai during the summer of 2013. It was a benefit performance for Kauai non-profits that was a virtual who’s who of musical talent. It featured David, together with Graham Nash, Jackson Brown, and many others. He also performed benefit concerts on Maui, the Big Island, and on Oahu.

Also on Kauai, David Crosby & Graham Nash created the double album Crosby & Graham, in 2004. It came almost 30 years after the two iconic musicians’ prior studio album, Whistling Down the Wire. Crosby & Nash was recorded in early 2004, at Kazoo Studios on Kauai and in Burbank.

David Crosby’s close collaborator, Graham Nash, now 80, lived for decades on Kauai. About five years ago, however, he went through a big shift in his life. He divorced his wife of nearly 40 years, severed ties with David Crosby, and relocated to New York.

Even though in recent years Crosby and Nash were estranged, Nash said today, “It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed. I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years. David was fearless in life and in music. He leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world. He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most. My heart is truly with his wife, Jan, his son, Django, and all of the people he has touched in this world.”

In 2022 Crosby said that he was done performing, although it had already been five years since he was last in concert here on his beloved Kauai. He said, “I’m too old to do it anymore. I don’t have the stamina; I don’t have the strength.” He added, “Now I’m 80 years old, so I’m gonna die fairly soon.”

Your memory will be a blessing, David.

Lead photo credit Heather Shadur.


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14 thoughts on “Remembering David Crosby’s Kauai Legacy”

  1. Aloha, thank you for including my photo in your story; if you’d like to give me a photo credit that would be nice. I visited with David and Jan that day and took the photo.

    1. Apologies, my comment posted before I was finished. I was blessed to visit with David and Jan at the Hanalei Farmers Market that day, and take their photo. David was so kind and filled with love — and happy to be there, visiting with all of our artisans and farmers. A special soul whose memory will be a blessing for so many people. 💗

  2. David’s other gift to Kaua’i was after Iniki. Spearheaded by CSN and including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown, Jimmy Buffett and more amazing musicians… They all came together for 2 sold out concerts in Honolulu with all the proceeds going to hurricane relief.

    Many of us from Kaua’i received back stage passes to the Honolulu concerts. Then they all came to Kaua’i for a free concert at Vidina Stadium. Electricity was still not completely restored so they used generators. The date was November 11th. 2 months after Iniki. It was the island gathering/party we all needed after what we had been going through.

    Blessings Way David… Mahalo’s for it all…

  3. Aloha,
    It was with great sadness to learn of David Crosby’s passing, however I thought back to an approximately 20 year old memory. My dear friend and I were vacationing on Kauai and walking on the shore of Hanalei Bay at dusk. Walking towards us was a man with a very young child running back and forth in the shallow water. When we passed them we smiled and then whispered to each other, “that was David Crosby!!” Mahalo, David for another wonderful Kauai memory.

  4. RIP David. Thanks for all you did and all the wonderful music you made. May you now be higher than 8 Miles High.Rest well my friend .

  5. Goodbye dear David. I was a teen when I first listened to your music in the 60s. When so many performers are a flash in the pan, your music, along with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young will live on in our hearts. Bon voyage.

    1. As I sit in my living room here in Ballincollig a town near Cork City in Ireland, it’s a wet Sunday afternoon, I’m listening to David’s last studio album, I’ve been listening to David Crosby since I was about 12, that day my older brother handed me CSN, the first album, I’m now 64 and I feel so privileged to have heard David’s music.

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