US Rock Legend David Crosby Dies at 81
LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk) — David Crosby, one of the most influential rock musicians of the 1960s and ’70s and who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with two different groups, has died at the age of 81.
Crosby was a founding member of two revered rock bands: the country and folk-influenced Byrds, for whom he cowrote the hit “Eight Miles High,” and Crosby, Stills & Nash, later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who defined the smooth side of the Woodstock generation’s music.
“It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,” Graham Nash, his longtime collaborator and sometime sparring partner, said in a statement.
“I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together … and the deep friendship we shared,” Nash said.
Crosby’s wife, Jan Dance, announced the death in a statement published by Variety. It did not specify when he died, nor the cause. Crosby’s British-based representatives could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.
Musically, Crosby stood out for his intricate vocal harmonies, unorthodox open tunings on guitar and incisive songwriting. His work with both the Byrds and CSN/CSNY blended rock and folk in new ways, and their music became a part of the soundtrack for the hippie era.
“I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person,” Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson said on Twitter.
Personally, Crosby was the embodiment of the credo “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” and a 2014 Rolling Stone magazine article tagged him “rock’s unlikeliest survivor.”
In addition to drug addictions that ultimately led to a transplant to replace a liver worn out by decades of excess, his tumultuous life included a serious motorcycle accident, the death of a girlfriend, and battles against hepatitis C and diabetes.
“I’m concerned that the time I’ve got here is so short, and I’m pissed at myself, deeply, for the 10 years – at least – of time that I wasted just getting smashed,” Crosby told the Los Angeles Times in July 2019. “I’m ashamed of that.”
He fell “as low as a human being can go,” Crosby told the Times.
He also managed to alienate many of his famous former bandmates, for which he often expressed remorse in recent years.
His drug habits and often abrasive personality contributed to the demise of CSNY and the members eventually quit speaking to each other. In the 2019 documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” he made clear he hoped they could work together again, but conceded the others “really dislike me, strongly.”
Crosby fathered six children – two as a sperm donor to rocker Melissa Etheridge’s partner and another who was placed for adoption at birth and did not meet Crosby until he was in his 30s. That son, James Raymond, would eventually become his musical collaborator.
“Thank you @thedavidcrosby I will miss you my friend,” Etheridge said on Twitter alongside a photo of the two of them.
Looking back at the turbulent 1960s and his life, Crosby told Time magazine in 2006: “We were right about civil rights; we were right about human rights; we were right about peace being better than war … But I think we didn’t know our butt from a hole in the ground about drugs and that bit us pretty hard.”
Crosby was born on Aug. 14, 1941, in Los Angeles. His father was a cinematographer who won a Golden Globe for “High Noon” in 1952 and his mother exposed him to the folk group the Weavers and to classical music.