Q: You once said of the sixties, “We were right about a lot of things . . . , but we were wrong about the drugs.” But wasn’t the most enduring art from the sixties a direct product of drugs?
A: They coexistedit was not a direct result. The only drugs with any possible link to creativity were pot and psychedelics, but we had no ideawe thought they were all the same. The minute you get into hard drugs, you’re destroying creativity and you’re killing yourself, fast. Pot is a wonderful intoxicantit really doesn’t do a lot of harm and is much better for you than booze. It’s a problem that rehab programs never seem to make that distinction.
Q: So it’s safe to say, then, that you still get high.
A: Well, that would be a silly thing for me to say, since it’s illegal.
Q: You’ve been an exponent of the mustache for decades. Any grooming tips?
A: The biggest thing to know about mustaches is you’re gonna have to start wearing a napkin. If you keep it clean, girls love ’em.
Q: And you would knowyour 1967 song “Triad” is a touching ode to threesomes. Do you think people today are too prudish?
A: No, just too scared. I wrote that song during this little patch of history in between the invention of birth control and the onslaught of aids, when you could be as free as the breeze, make love to just about anybody you wanted to. It was pretty good timing.
Q: The hotel we’re in right now, the Carlyle, is where Melissa Etheridge’s ex-girlfriend Julie Cypher was inseminated with your sperm for the second time. Can you just order specimen cups and basters from room service?
A: No. Sorry.
Q: What do people not understand about prison?
A: Everything. It’s incredibly violent and you have to thread your way through it extremely carefully. My notoriety both helped and hurt mesome people liked me because I made good music, others thought I would be a real cool guy to kill.
Q: Crosby, Stills & Nash. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Crosby & Nash. CPR. How’d you always wind up with top billing?
A: Say the names any other way, it just doesn’t work. Stills wanted to be first, but it doesn’t sound right. I figured that out very early on.
Q: What’s wrong with the kids today?
A: Nothin’. They’re inheriting a pretty grossly out-of-shape world, and I hope they’re gonna be able to deal with it. All things considered, they’re being handed the fuzzy end of the stick, and I’m surprised they’re not more angry than they already are.
Q: Why do you think this generation’s opposition to the Iraq war is so feeble compared with how yours opposed Vietnam?
A: It’s very simple. Neil Young pointed it out: There’s no draft. In Vietnam, college students were staring death in the face, and that will get your attention very quicklyand bring your idealism to the fore. If they put in a draft people will react. And I’ll have to think about where I’m going to live because I have an 11-year-old son and they’ll be getting him over my dead goddamn body.