David Crosbythe The singer, songwriter and guitarist who helped shape the sound of ’60s rock and beyond, died Thursday at the age of 81. A source close to Crosby confirmed the death of the musician to Rolling Stonebut did not reveal a reason.
Crosby was a founding member of the Byrds, playing guitar and contributing harmony vocals to many of their most stable songs, including “Eight Miles High”, “So You Wanna Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Soon after being forced out of the group due to personal conflicts with frontman Roger McGuinn, he formed the supergroup Crosby, Stills, and Nash with Stephen Springfield of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of The Hollies. The trio—who became a quartet in 1969 when Neil Young joined their ranks—played a major role in the development of folk rock, country rock, and the emerging “California sound” that dominated rock radio throughout the mid-1970s. Croz has written many of his most beloved tunes, including “Almost Cut My Hair,” “Long Time Gone,” and “Deja Vu.”
“It is with deep, deep sadness that I have learned that my friend David Crosby has passed away,” Crosby’s former bandmate Graham Nash wrote in a statement. “I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what always mattered to David and I more than anything else was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with each other, and the deep friendship we shared over all this time. the long years.
He added, “David was brave in life and in music.” He leaves behind a huge void of sheer personality and talent in this world. He spoke about his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and left an incredible legacy. These are the most important things. My heart truly goes out to his wife, Jan, and his son, Django, and all the people he has touched in this world.”
“I am so saddened to hear about David Crosby,” Brian Wilson wrote. “David was an incredible talent — he was an amazing singer-songwriter. And an amazing person. I’m just at a loss for words.”
While his success continued into the 1970s and into the 1980s, Crosby’s personal life was marred by heavy drug use, which wreaked havoc on his career and led to a short prison sentence in 1985. However, he recovered and continued to make music and tour for three more decades. “I have no idea how Jimmy and I are alive [Hendrix] No and Janice [Joplin] Not all of my other friends Rolling Stone In 2014, years after it was cleaned up. “I have no idea why, but I was lucky.”
David Crosby was born in Los Angeles in 1941. His father, Floyd Crosby, was an Academy Award-winning cinematographer. He briefly attended Santa Barbara City College but dropped out to pursue music. In 1964, he joined a band called Jet Set, consisting of Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark. They changed their name to Beefeaters, then Byrds. Crosby’s exquisite harmonies, heard on songs such as a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. tambourine man “and” turn around! Turn! Turn!,” was an essential component of the Byrds’ folk-rock sound.
By 1967, tensions within the band had reached a breaking point, culminating with Crosby’s departure from the group. Crosby and Stephen Stills, who had recently disbanded in Buffalo Springfield, began writing songs together in 1968. They were soon joined by Nash, who had just left the Hollies, and the trio performed together for the first time at Cass Elliott’s home in Los Angeles. Mamas and Papas. Their 1969 debut was a huge success, producing the classic single “Suite: Judy Blues Eyes” on Judy Collins.
After adding Neil Young later that year, the quartet performed their second gig at Woodstock, in front of nearly 500,000 people, announcing the arrival of one of rock’s first and biggest bands. CSN & Y’s debut album, Déjà Vu, sold 7 million copies and spawned the singles “Woodstock”, “Teach Your Children”, and “Our House”. Crosby later said, “I think when the Beatles bomb exploded, we were the best band in the world.”
CSN&Y released a live double album, Four Street, before splitting. Crosby recorded his solo debut, If only I could remember my name, in 1971, with Nash’s support, members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Joni Mitchell (with whom he had been romantically involved for a while and who famously compared Crosby’s gruff appearance to Yosemite Sam). Although wildly brutal at the time, the languid, contemplative album later gained a cult following, with its influence heard in the contemporary neo-folk of Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. In 1977 Crosby, Stills & Nash was repackaged CSN Quadruple Platinum. In 1979, they performed at the Anti-Nuclear Concerts sponsored by Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE).
1982 Daylight again It was another hit, spawning the singles “Wasted On the Way” and “Southern Cross”. During these years, Crosby was a frequent vocalist on recordings by Grace Slick, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, and Phil Collins (including the song “Another Day in Paradise”).
By the early 1980s, drug abuse was having a devastating effect. In 1985, he was sentenced to nine months in prison after leaving a drug rehabilitation program that he was allowed to enter rather than serve a five-year sentence for possession of cocaine and carrying a gun. He appeared with Stills, Nash and Young on Live Aid while on Appeal Bond. Crosby got out of prison in 1986, freshly clean, and married his longtime girlfriend Jan Dance in 1987. In 1990 he published a revealing memoir that received widespread praise been a long time.
He received a liver transplant in 1994 and recorded another album with CSN, a commercially unsuccessful one. after the storm. During the 1990s, Crosby gained more attention for a unique act of celebrity generosity when he became the sperm donor for Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher. “I am grieving the loss of my friend and Billy’s biological father, David,” Etheridge Books. “He gave me the gift of family. I will be forever grateful to him, Django, and Yan. His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure.”
In 1995, he was reunited with his son Raymond, whom he had given up for adoption in the 1960s, and they recorded three albums together as CPR. (Crosby’s survivors include three other children, two daughters (Erica and Donovan) and a son, Django, the only child in his marriage to Dance.)
Crosby has maintained a sense of humor about his troubled past. When he angered the recovery community by admitting he smoked pot, he joked, “Our biggest crime is that we eat ice cream, let’s face it.” He also embraced his actor as the archetypal “Wasted Sixties Guy,” especially in his budding acting career. He was a hippie in 1991 Backdrafta bartender in 1992 Thunder and AA sponsor on an episode of Show John Laroquette. (He also sometimes appeared as himself The Simpsons.) Although Crosby was further toned down by 2000, he remained unapologetic in his pro-gun views. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to criminal weapon possession when police found a handgun and a small amount of marijuana in his hotel room the night after a concert in New York. He has not spent any time in jail.
Towards the end of his life, Crosby recorded the 2014 solo album, cruise, his first record in 20 years, featuring Raymond among the guest musicians and cover photo by Django. He said, “Most guys my age had recorded covers or duets on old material.” Rolling Stone in time. “It wouldn’t be a huge hit. You’d probably sell 19 copies. I don’t think kids would dig it, but I don’t do it for them. I make it for me. I have these things I need to get off my chest.”
He followed it up with more solo albums between 2016 and 2021. “I’m lucky,” he said. Rolling Stone In 2021. “I don’t know if I have two weeks left or 10 years, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is what you do with the time. If you sit there on your ass worrying about dying, you’re wasting it. I didn’t waste it. I had a good time.” Really, and I feel great about it. Sooner or later, something is going to break. Right now, my life is pretty cool.”
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