A Brief Recap of the David Crosby v. Phoebe Bridgers Twitter Beef

After he called her "pathetic," Bridgers dubbed Crosby a "little bitch"

david crosby
David Crosby attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

It’s hard to believe we’re already on Day 3 of the Guitar-Smashing Discourse, but people just can’t stop weighing in on the Saturday Night Live performance from last weekend, in which Phoebe Bridgers capped off her song “I Know The End” by smashing her Danelectro 56 into a monitor (which she later admitted was a fake).

Among those horrified by Bridgers busting up her axe? None other than legendary singer-songwriter David Crosby, who took a break from rating photos of joints people sent to him to weigh in on the issue on Twitter.

It started simply enough, with Crosby responding to a fan asking what he thought of Bridgers’s smashing attempt and calling it “pathetic.” Bridgers defended herself by calling him a “little bitch.” (You’ve gotta love a young female artist who’s been subjected to a lot of online sexism turning a gendered insult like that on its head.)

That set Crosby off, and though he didn’t respond directly to Bridgers’s comment, he elaborated on his stance, writing, “Guitars are for playing…making music….not stupidly bashing them on a fake monitor for childish stage drama. I really do NOT give a flying F if others have done it before. It’s still STUPID.”

He also weighed in on her performance as a whole, saying he was “told that wasn’t a very good night for her and she’s really quite good” before adding that “I could not see it or hear it then” and noting that her band’s skeleton costumes were “kind of distracting as well” and calling her out for the fact that her guitar smash was premeditated. That’s a fair criticism — we agree that admitting a guitar smash was staged is kind of lame — and Crosby insists his opinion of Bridgers’s performance has nothing to do with her gender, noting he hated when artists like The Who and Jimi Hendrix smashed their guitars as well.

He lost us, however, when he began claiming that destroying instruments is something that’s only done by those who lack talent. “It’s what you do when you can’t write, sing or play,” he wrote. Anyone who’s ever seen or heard Nirvana or Hendrix or The Who would likely beg to differ, and in fact Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea felt the need to chime up and press him on this claim, tweeting, “Hendrix couldn’t write?”

Of course, there’s no accounting for taste, but for our money, Pete Townshend wrote far more undeniably classic songs than Crosby ever did, and to argue that a guitar god like Hendrix couldn’t play is simply asinine. Still, Crosby seems determined to die on this hill, tweeting again this afternoon, “I was not wrong I prefer people who can actually write songs,” prompting Bridgers to once again weigh in and shut him down with a simple “whiny bitch.”

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