David Crosby Says He Could Lose His Home Due to Coronavirus
David Crosby said he faced “severe financial trouble” if the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of his summer tour dates.
It’s likely that postponements will continue as part of efforts to contain the disease, which poses a serious threat to the elderly and those with underlying health issues. A severe case could take between three and six weeks to recover from, the World Health Organization reported, while most victims can expect to fully recover in two weeks or less.
“I'm sitting here waiting for them to cancel all my tours this summer and put me in deep financial trouble,” Crosby told GQ in a new interview. “You know they don't pay us for records anymore, right? So touring is all we got. That's really the only thing that we can do to make any money. And to lose it is just awful.” He added: “I may – honest to God – I may lose my home. I don't know what to do about it, except just try to roll with the punches and keep going. Truthfully, if I lose the tours, I probably will lose my home.”
He noted that most cancellations or postponements involved dates up until April. “They haven't talked about May yet, which is when I'm slated to go. But once I start in May, I'm working almost constantly until about six days before Christmas. And if I lose it all, I'm going to be in deep shit,” he said.
As the coronavirus continues forcing concert cancellations, fans all over the globe will likely turn to streaming services to get their music fix. Unfortunately, an increase in streams would only equate to a minimal uptick in revenue for artists -- not nearly enough to cover the losses accrued from cancelled tours.
Crosby has been an outspoken critic of streaming services for years, which he likens to “theft” due to the minuscule rates they pay per stream. “The streaming companies are making billions of dollars. The numbers are right out there, in the public,” Crosby explained in a 2019 interview with Collider. “The three main record companies are making, I was told, $19 million a day, off of streaming, and the artists are getting shafted. It’s as if you did your gig for month, and they paid you a nickel. They’re paying you, but not enough to live. It isn’t right.”
While the rocker is critical of the streaming services themselves, he also blames the record labels for agreeing to deals which he insists are unfair to artists. “They snuck it past us. What happened is that the streaming companies, when they developed their technology, went to the big record companies, they said, ‘Hey, we need a different rate. What we’ll give you is no physical object. You don’t have to produce a physical object, so there’s less cost. You’re gonna like that. What we need is a better rate. We need a way where we can make the billions of dollars, instead of the artists making the billions of dollars. Okay?’ And the record companies said, ‘Sure, no problem. All you have to do is give us a piece of your company.’ And they did that. That’s how it went right around us. When we thought the music up.”