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Great Moustaches in Rock: David Crosby

A site of Panini football stickers has highlighted some miscalculated experiments in hairgrowth among British football players in the mid-’80s. Check out drawn-on-with-cokey-tache boy Paul, Pablo Escobar, New Romantic Hitler, Old Surfer Hitler and REO Speedwagon Hitler.


These lads might have exhibited regrettable lines in moustaches, but they have also inspired a new series on this blog on the Great Moustaches in Rock. A series on the famous, iconic, noteworthy, amusing and weird moustaches in rock ought to kick off with David Crosby. Actually, it should start with Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer; the Spinal Tap bassist who gives a voice to — hi-diddly-ho — Ned Flanders, Mr Burns, Smithers, Principal Skinner and more). But I have no Spinal Tap music with which to demonstrate the special sound effects created by the rustlings of a rock ‘n’ roll snotstopper. But, hey, a pic will do:


Easy girls, easy! Please do wait for the main event: Mr David Crosby, whose follicular upper lip adventure has yet to end, possibly because all the drugs killed off that part of the brain responsible for good grooming judgment.

Not only that, but Crosby’s comedy ‘tache antics have finally got the better of his erstwhile sidekicks, who once exercised such admirable restraint in the facial growth department. Even Stephen Stills, once follicularly unadventurous and rocking the best sideburns in folk-rock (much better than Neil Young’s whiney-voiced, future Republican-voting matted bush of earhair) is pissing about with a supposedly age-defying grunge beard, while Graham Nash once whispy caterpillar growth has turned into a colonial Tory asshole centipede.


We may stare in contemplative wonderment at Crosby’s magnificent ‘tache, and perhaps derive amusement from imagining how David’s facial tanline would look if he were to shave it off. But let’s give our man credit for being party to some great music. He was a member of the Byrds, CS&N/CSN&Y, and released a solo album self-deprecatingly titled If I Could Only Remember My Name (it’s Von Cortland, buddy).

It is actually mean to poke fun at Crosby’s history of drug abuse: if we need an inspiring story of somebody who has climbed out of a big hole, David’s is not a terrible place to start. And you have to dig a dude who whacks off into a cup to make it possible that his lesbian friends can become parents.

But back to the music. In Crosby, Stills & Nash, David’s portfolio was the hippie stuff (Stills was the minister of love songs, Nash took care of the silly stuff, Young did the whiney stuff), such as Long Time Gone, Almost Cut My Hair (imagine Hendrix doing that song!), Deja Vu, and Guinevere.

Before that, David Crosby co-wrote the Byrd’s 1966 classic Eight Mile High (which gets a name check in American Pie), but fell out with his bandmates within a couple of years while recording The Notorious Byrd Brothers. His song Triad (about a love triangle, with the optimistic proposal of a threesome arrangement) was rejected for inclusion by the other Byrds, signalling Crosby’s departure. Triad appeared on a couple of live albums, and then, in its original form, as a bonus track on the remastered version of the Notorious Byrd Brothers album released a few years ago.

The Byrds – Eight Miles High.mp3
The Byrds – Triad.mp3
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Long Time Gone.mp3
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Almost Cut My Hair.mp3

More great moustaches

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  1. Anonymous
    May 2nd, 2008 at 22:43 | #1

    Great post! Actually, “Triad” originally appeared on CSNY’s “Four Way Street” live album. Also, I once heard a comedian say of Crosby that he deserved no respect, because: “how can you trusy a guy who’s a drug addict AND overweight”? That’s a great line. Thanks for all your blogwork.

  2. Anonymous
    May 3rd, 2008 at 00:25 | #2

    Great site–One minor correction: Gene Clark of the Byrds wrote “Eight Miles High” Crosby contributed one line.

  3. Any major dude with half a heart
    May 3rd, 2008 at 01:22 | #3

    Thank you, anonymouses, for the kind words and gentle corrections. I’ve amended the text to incorporate them. Gene Clark only claimed that Crosby contributed only that one line, but Barry McGuinn also claims some influence. I think it’s safe to say that it was a co-written effort.

  4. Darren
    May 3rd, 2008 at 04:44 | #4

    How could you have missed Hugh Sproat?OK, you missed him ‘cos he was hiding behind his tash. Carry on.

  5. Any major dude with half a heart
    May 3rd, 2008 at 11:52 | #5

    Wow, Sproat does look like a Spinal Tap roadie, doesn’t he? There is no excuse for teammate Joe Carson’s stab at lip fur though.

  6. trank grappa
    November 26th, 2008 at 09:48 | #6

    funny collection -one of the greatest moustaches if not “the moustache” is missing here – and that is Frank Zappa’s :-)

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