Telling the Story Behind David Crosby: Remember My Name
By Kayli Corbin
Photography by Emma Thomson
Our intimate connectedness with nature is the fulcrum of what it means to be human. When we immerse ourselves in the natural world, we’re challenged to stop and admire the sheer synchronicity and glory of life itself. In these moments, we understand our place and our impact on the world around us. Idaho houses a plethora of wild spaces, one of which was home to A.J. Eaton.
Eaton, from Pocatello, spent his youth exploring the wilderness surrounding his home. His family’s remote location offered only one TV channel which pushed him and his brother, Marcus, to discover the intricacies of the world off the screen. As they grew, Marcus picked up a passion for music and A.J. found a love for filmmaking.Marcus has been making waves as a solo singer/songwriter and has become especially known for his superior guitar playing, which led to an introduction to David Crosby and the two of them hit it off musically, which turned into Marcus collaborating on what was David’s first solo recording in 20 years, ‘Croz.’ At one point Marcus invited A.J. to stop their recording session, and what A.J. saw, exceeded all of his expectations.
“Being the son of a songwriter, having grown up around musicians my entire life, I could understand and appreciate the sensitivities of what I consider Crosby’s current third-act renaissance,” says A.J.
A.J. and the legendary musician quickly bonded. “I visited with Croz about their jazz-inspired chord changes and realized this was the exact type of conversation he was yearning to have— not the typical ‘what was it like at Woodstock’ he’s used to hearing,” A.J. said. “I suggested that we should shoot footage, if only just for posterity, and he agreed. The moment I arrived with my crew and focused the camera on Crosby, I became aware of how captivating a raconteur he is… and my hunch was right.”
David Crosby: Remember My Name is a brutally honest portrait of a music icon who, while still touring and making music at the age of seventy-eight years old, is looking back at moments from his legendary past with both hope and regret. For this documentary, A.J. collaborated with Cameron Crowe who served as producer. Crowe first interviewed Crosby at the age of 16, part of experiences that inspired his semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous that won Crowe an Academy Award for best screenplay. This collaboration between Eaton and Crowe’s allowed for an eclectic blend of cross-generational ideas and perspectives.
In A.J.’s opinion, publicity is a platform laced in responsibility. The historical impact of Crosby’s music aligns perfectly with A.J.’s interest in crusading for good. The film has earned a positive rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calling it “one of the best rock docs of all time.” It premiered in competition at Sundance and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. Since its widespread theatrical release this summer, it received four critics’ choice award nominations, including Eaton for best first-time feature, and has been nominated for a Grammy for best music film (awards ceremony January 26th).
A.J. is excited about what his future holds. As Crosby sings in Long Time Gone, “Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness, you got to speak your mind, if you dare.” A world where we dare to challenge current conventions and crusade for a wild, wonderful, whirlwind life starts with a love for nature and continues on the backs of everyone who chooses to speak up.
Keep up with @ajeaton on twitter and @ajefilm on instagram and Check out David Crosby: Remember My Name available now on AppleTV, Amazon Prime Video, Blu-Ray and DVD