David Crosby Recalls Writing A Song For George Harrison To Reveal His True Feelings
David Crosby was friends with all four Beatles members, but he was closest to George Harrison. Although a friend must be cruel to be kind, Crosby once had to write a song to express his sincere thoughts about something Harrison was enthusiastic about. Speaking to Songfacts, the CSNY icon revealed details about ‘Laughing’ and its story.
“I was very taken with George Harrison,” said David Crosby. “I liked him a lot. He was very friendly to me. He invited me to his house; we had dinner and talked. Paul was very friendly to me, John was very friendly to me, and Ringo was very friendly to me, but the one with whom I had a relationship was George.”
He then recalled the late Beatle’s first impression of Buddhism. Crosby remembered, “So, George gets a hold of me one day, and he says, ‘I met this fellow in India. A teacher, a guru that I like a lot.’ And I said, ‘Really? No sh*t?’ And he said, ‘Yeah. I think he’s got something.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s wonderful.’”
“And what I wanted to say – the exact words I wanted to say – were, ‘Take it with a grain of salt,’” Crosby admitted. “Because I am a skeptical person about religious teaching. I don’t believe in God, and I’m not really a big fan of religion… any of them. Buddhism isn’t exactly a religion, it’s a philosophy, and I did not want to come off like a snot to my new friend, who I respected hugely, so I didn’t say anything.”
The CSNY icon then continued, revealing why he wrote ‘Laughing’ by saying, “But I had it in my head: ‘Take it with a grain of salt. Don’t just accept it at face value.’ So, I wrote that song to tell him that. That the person I thought was the wisest I had met was a child laughing at the sun, and I thought I could learn more from that child laughing at the sun than anybody teaching.”
As David Crosby was skeptical about religions, he worried about George Harrison’s enthusiasm for Hinduism, gurus, and Indian Culture. Especially when Harrison cited him as the one who introduced him to these things, Crosby wanted to step in and warn him. However, he couldn’t say what was on his mind and chose to express his thoughts by writing the song ‘Laughing.’