David Crosby Says He Had To Sell His Catalog So He Wouldn’t Live On The Street
David Crosby revealed that he has sold his music catalog so that he would not end up on the streets one day, and opened up about the struggles that musicians all around the world have been going through for the past years during an interview with The Grammys.
After his seventh solo album ‘Here If You Listen,’ released in 2018, David Crosby is still eager to make new music. Just before his 80th birthday, Crosby finished working on ‘For Free,’ and the much-awaited record was released on July 23, 2021. As a hardworking musician who cares a lot about his fans, David released the single ‘Rodriguez For A Night’ before the due date of the record for his excited fans.
As it is known, David Crosby has sold his recorded music and publishing rights to the Iconic Artists Group, the latest venture of music industry mogul Irving Azoff. The musician made a deal with Azoff that included Crosby’s solo material alongside his work with his previous bands, CSNY and The Byrds, and he received an undisclosed sum.
Some months ago, it was reported that Crosby described the deal as a blessing for him and his family when considering the current difficulties within the music industry following the outbreak of Covid-19. He also revealed in a tweet that he cannot work and that the streaming stole his record money, so this was his only option as he has a family to take care of and a mortgage to pay.
Speaking to The Grammys, David Crosby talked about his decision to sell all of the rights for his recorded music. He said that he did this because he had to. Explaining further, Crosby then said that the two ways of making money are touring and making records, but now with the streaming industry, he doesn’t get the money he deserves.
Considering the Covid-19 pandemic and the following restrictions, he added that they cannot play live and this is one of the reasons why he cannot make money enough. Saying he has a family and a home, Crosby then stated that he does not want to lose his house and be thrown out in the street. After his remarks, Crosby claimed that selling his publishing rights was the only thing he could do.
Speaking about the deal he made to sell his catalog, Crosby said in the interview that:
“It doesn’t enrich my catalog or my legacy. I didn’t want to do it. I did it because I had to. Here’s what happened: We had two ways of making money: Touring, records. Streaming came along; streaming doesn’t pay us. It’s like you did your job for a month and they paid you a nickel. You’d be pissed. We’re pissed. It’s a wrong thing.
They threw half of our income away. Half. Gone. So then, we’re trying to keep our heads up and we say, ‘OK, we’ll be grateful we can still play live because we’re paying the rent and taking care of our families. It’s all good.’ And then, here comes COVID-19, and we can’t play live!
What the hell was I supposed to do? I’ve got a family. I’ve got a home. I didn’t want to lose my house. I don’t want them to throw me out in the street. Are you kidding? I take this responsibility seriously. I love these people. I’m trying to do my job. So I did the one thing I could do: I sold my publishing.”
Due to the pandemic, most of the musicians have suffered a loss of income. So in recent years, selling catalogs has become increasingly popular among musicians as they prefer taking a large sum of cash more than betting on a future income. One of the musicians who did the same is Bob Dylan who sold his publishing rights to Universal Music Publishing Group last year for an estimated amount of $400 million.