PBS host Tavis Smiley desperately wants 1960's era and hippie folk band Crosby, Stills & Nash to reunite so they can speak out in the “era of Trump.”
On Wednesday, Smiley invited folk singer David Crosby onto his PBS show and urged him to end his feud with former band member Graham Nash. And while Crosby was reluctant he acknowledged the need to tell America “You guys elected an imbecile to run the country.”
On the September 13 edition of his PBS show, Smiley played a clip of Nash discussing his frayed friendship with Crosby. Smiley then turned to Crosby and dangled the carrot of writing songs against Trump as a motivation to get the old band back together:
SMILEY: If there were a chance that you all might reunite now, there couldn’t be a more propitious time than now given what is happening in the country, given what’s happening in the world, in the era of Trump.
CROSBY: It would be us doing our job. Part of our job has always been to be the – the one who carries the news from town to town. The, the – you know – the troubadours. That’s where we come from. The town crier. It’s 12:30am and you guys elected an imbecile to run the country. That’s our job.
Later on in the interview, Crosby claimed all the “different kinds of art” being produced in protest of Trump was the “only good thing that’s happening from having the orange nightmare in Washington.”
The following is a transcript of the relevant exchange as it was aired on the September 13 edition of PBS’s Tavis Smiley:
HOST TAVIS SMILEY: It sounds to me like for all that’s been said, you and Graham [Nash] end up at the same place, which is that there is still hope that it might happen again.
SINGER DAVID CROSBY: Yeah, sure.
SMILEY: Yeah? To your point now, David it would seem to me as you keep hearing from your fans that if there were a chance that you all might reunite now, there couldn’t be a more propitious time than now given what is happening in the country, given what’s happening in the world, in the era of Trump. And you guys have had all your own way, own ways of speaking out about it individually. But how beautiful would it be, in this moment, when the country and the world needs to hear that kind of –
CROSBY: It would be a timely and good thing.
CROSBY: It would be us doing our job. Part of our job has always been to be the — the one who carries the news from town to town. The, the – you know– the troubadours. That’s where we come from. The town crier. It’s 12:30am and you guys elected an imbecile to run the country. That’s our job. Part of our job. Most of our job is to make you boogie and make you have fun and tell emotional stories.
SMILEY: And you do both. You do both, yeah.
CROSBY: But every once in a while that’s part of our job. And now would be a good time. Our country is in dire trouble. You saw those faces. Charlottesville. You saw those guys with torches.
SMILEY: Oh yeah, absolutely.
CROSBY: Well, for a long time in this country we haven’t been willing to admit that they were there.
CROSBY: And there they were. And they were not hiding behind a sheet. They were sneering directly at you and looking you right in the eye and saying “I hate you.” These are desperate times for this country, for democracy – which is a great idea.
CROSBY: Thank God there is all this different kinds of art out there, man. That’s one of the things, one of the only good things that’s happening from having the orange nightmare in Washington is –
SMILEY: You call him the “orange nightmare?”
SMILEY: I want to make sure I heard you correctly.
CROSBY: It’s that it’s generating some good art. There are people – Oh! Have you heard the Todd Rundgren, Donald Fagen song “Man in the Tinfoil Hat” Oh, joy! It’s going to make you laugh like a fool. You’re going to love it. It’s a brilliant piece of art. And it’s about Trump. There’s -- one of the only good things about this disaster is that it will generate good art.
SMILEY: It always happens that way, though.
CROSBY: It does. It’s happened before and I’m praying it will happen again this time.