A documentary by A.J. Eaton. Rated PG
The David Crosby LP referenced in the title here was his 1971 solo debut, If I Could Only Remember My Name. This shouldn't be confused with It's All Coming Back to Me Now..., from 1995, nor his next one, Seriously. What Did I Come in Here For?
At 77, this founding member of the Byrds, as well as Crosby, Stills & Nash, later augmented by Neil Young, is plagued by numerous ailments. Forgetfulness is not among them.
The film begins with his recollection of a shattering moment, at a nightclub in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1964, when a beyond-stoned Crosby bumped into John Coltrane, practising his horn in the bathroom. This encounter led to the composition of "Eight Miles High" and other jazz-inflected tunes for the newly formed SoCal group.
Oddly, though, the song is omitted, and the doc spends remarkably little time on the Byrds, briefly considered America's answer to the Beatles. We do witness their relationship with Bob Dylan, whose "Mr. Tambourine Man" became their ticket to ride, in turn (turn turn) bolstering the famed folkie's decision to pick up an electric guitar.
Fellow founders Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman are the only colleagues addressing the camera in a film nominally directed by newcomer A. J. Eaton, while the shots are seemingly called by superfan producer-interviewer Cameron Crowe.
Crosby's memories of lost loves are fascinating, especially regarding Joni Mitchell, whom he introduced to the Laurel Canyon crowd. But viewers may weary of the self-pitying tone attending the saga of CSN (& Y).
Remarkably, Crosby has maintained his angelic voice and wicked sense of humour. But his apparent self-knowledge comes into question when you realize that the trio broke up in anger again in 2015.
Their farewell performance of "Silent Night", before then President Obama, constituted its very own War on Christmas.