Even though David Crosby is playing guitar here, he didn't like the song at first. According to Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History
, Crosby cautioned Young, "Don't sing about that. It's not funny."
Young spoke at greater length about Crosby and the public-at-large's reaction to the song in the 1985 NME
interview: "Well, see, I wasn't touring at the time, so I didn't really feel the reaction of On The Beach. Then when I went out on the road I didn't do any of it, so... I did end up playing it on the CSNY reunion tour though.David Crosby especially was very uncomfortable, because it was so much the darker side. They all wanted to put out the light, y'know, make people feel good and happy and everything, and that song was like a wart or something on the perfect beast."