R.I.P. David Crosby, Rock Musician and Warren Commission Critic
The singer challenged the official story to the end
David Crosby, the mustachioed and angel-voiced musician who became an iconic rock star as a member of both The Byrds and the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, died in California on January 19, at age 81.
Crosby was known to be outspoken on any number of issues, and in recent years could be found excoriating Donald Trump in the same breath as defending gun rights. However, it was while performing at the Monterrey Pop festival in 1967 that Crosby famously denounced the official story of the assassination of President John Kennedy, which laid sole blame for the murder on Lee Harvey Oswald.
Noting that the July 26, 1967, concert was being filmed, Crosby declared on stage:
“I’m sure that’ll they’ll edit this out. I wanna say it anyway even though they will edit it out. When President Kennedy was killed he was not killed by one man. He was shot from a number of different directions — by different guns. The story has been suppressed, witnesses have been killed, and this is your country, ladies and gentlemen."
Crosby made his remarks as an introduction to the tune, “He Was a Friend of Mine,” a traditional folk song that bandmate Roger McGuinn had reworked in the immediate aftermath of JFK’s death:
His killing had no purpose/No reason, or rhyme/Oh he was a friend of mine …
He was in Dallas town/From a sixth-floor window/A gunman shot him down/Oh, he died in Dallas town…”
McGuinn and his fellow Byrds were not enthused about Crosby’s outburst as it jeopardized their chances of getting on TV. McGuinn was quoted as saying, “Come on, give me a break. He didn't know anything more than anybody else. He was just trying to be Mr. Cool up there. I resented it, frankly."
But Crosby stuck to his proverbial guns through the decades. In July 2022, Rolling Stone Magazine published an advice column called “Ask Croz,” where readers asked Crosby for advice.
One questioner asked if the singer had changed his mind about the JFK assassination. Crosby replied.
“Absolutely not. Kennedy was shot by more than one person from two different directions. You can tell if you watch the Zapruder film. I’ve been to [Dealey Plaza in Dallas]. If you look at the range from the little knoll and the wooden fence to where the car was, I could have hit him with a pistol from there, let alone a rifle.”
Now, the guy in the switchyard that goes over the freeway, who was near the freeway, he said he saw a guy with a rifle come from behind that fence. He also got killed. A number of people got killed afterwards.
[Editor’s Note: These claims have been hotly debated, to say the least.]
The movie Executive Action tried very hard to portray what actually happened. I think it is probably very close to the truth. They did try very hard to keep it from coming out. I think it is very close to what actually happened. There’s no question in my mind.
Kennedy pissed off a lot of people. There were racists who felt he was giving the country away to Black people. There were people who felt he was fucking with the oil depletion allowance, which is a freebie the oil companies get because they’re eventually going to run out of oil. I don’t know how they got that through. The must have bought some senators and got that one. But he was messing with it. He was unpopular with the power structure, and that’s why he got killed.
I mean, Oswald shot at him. That’s not what killed him. I’m firmly convinced that I’m right. I’ve seen nothing to contradict that opinion.”
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