Born: Aug 14, 1941 in Los Angeles, CA
Styles: Singer/ Songwriter, Psychedelic, Folk-Rock, Contemporary Pop/ Rock, Soft Rock, Folk, Folk-Pop
Instruments: Guitar, Vocals
The singular odyssey of David Crosby remains one of the more remarkable tales in the annals of music history. As a founding member of the pioneering American groups the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, he helped create and popularize the highly influential folk-rock sound, forging the richly harmonic, radiantly acoustic approach which defined the West Coast music scene for years to follow; he also sold millions of records and enjoyed a cultural impact equaled by few of his contemporaries. Yet despite his often overwhelming success, Crosby is recognized far less for his artistic achievements than for his larger-than-life off-stage exploits, specifically a long and fantastically excessive battle with drug abuse which seemingly kept him teetering on the brink of death for over a decade; that he not only survived but remained as colorful and newsworthy a character as before is a testament to his continued creativity and unpredictability.
Crosby was born in Los Angeles on August 14, 1941; the son of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, he dropped out of drama school to pursue a career in music, touring the folk club circuit and recording as a member of the Les Baxter Balladeers. Under the auspices of producer Jim Dickson, Crosby cut his first solo session in late 1963; early the following year he formed the Jet Set with Jim McGuinn and Gene Clark, and with the additions of bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke, the group was rechristened the Byrds. Although McGuinn chiefly pioneered the Byrds' trademark 12-string guitar sound, Crosby was the architect of their shimmering harmonies; his interests in jazz and Indian music also influenced their subsequent excursions into psychedelic. However, creative differences plagued the group throughout its career, and in 1967 Crosby - reportedly rankled by his bandmates' refusal to release his menage a trois opus "Triad" - left the Byrds in the wake of their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival.
After producing Joni Mitchell's 1968 debut LP, Crosby cut a handful of solo recordings and began jamming with ex-Buffalo Springfield singer/guitarist Stephen Stills. In time the duo was joined by ex-Hollies member Graham Nash; with its exquisitely beautiful three-part harmonies, strong individual songwriting contributions, and graceful folk-rock sound, Crosby, Stills & Nash's 1969 debut LP proved a pop landmark, launching all three members to greater fame than they'd experienced in any of their previous projects. The addition of Stills' former Buffalo Springfield bandmate Neil Young expanded the group to a four-piece, and in August of 1969 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) made just their second live appearance to date at the Woodstock Festival; 1970's Deja Vu arrived in stores with advance orders numbering over two million, and through the thought-provoking social and political messages of songs like "Woodstock" and "Ohio," they emerged as generational torchbearers of enormous musical and cultural influence.
Following a sellout CSNY tour, the group went on hiatus, and Crosby resumed work on his long-delayed solo debut, releasing If I Could Only Remember My Name in 1971; the following year, he and Nash issued the first of several duo efforts, and he also took part in a short-lived Byrds reunion. Despite continued creative differences, CSNY reformed for a 1974 tour; Crosby and Nash issued Wind on the Water a year later, and in 1977 Stills returned to the fold for the multi-platinum CSN. However, as Crosby's longstanding drug problem continued to worsen, he eventually fell out with both Stills and Nash, and a planned second solo album, Might as Well Have a Good Time, was rejected by Capitol in 1980. A series of arrests for cocaine possession and illegal weapons charges hampered him throughout the years to follow, even as he reunited with Stills and Nash in 1982 for the Top Ten hit Daylight Again. After completing the follow-up, 1983's Allies, the trio did not record together for another seven years.
In late 1985 Crosby was sentenced to prison after fleeing the drug rehabilitation clinic he'd entered in lieu of serving out a previous jail term; upon his release the following August, he'd finally conquered his demons, later chronicling the ugly details of his addiction in the fine autobiography Long Time Gone. In 1988 - a full 18 years after the release of Deja Vu - Crosby reunited with Stills, Nash, and also Young for American Dream; his second solo effort, Oh Yes I Can, finally appeared the following year as well. After the 1990 release of CSN's Live It Up, Crosby continued to suffer personal misfortunes - first he was severely injured in a motorcycle accident, and then in 1994 he lost his L.A. home as a result of massive earthquake damage. Months later, he returned to the headlines when it was announced he was diagnosed with hepatitis C and dying of liver failure, undergoing a successful organ transplant in 1995.
During the recovery period which followed, Crosby met James Raymond, the son he'd given up for adoption over three decades earlier and a professional musician as well; the two soon began writing songs together, and with guitarist Jeff Pevar they formed CPR, releasing a series of albums and touring regularly. In early 1997, Crosby, Stills & Nash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Hame; six years earlier, Crosby had first entered the Hall as a member of the Byrds. Young returned to the fold for 1999's Looking Forward, with the resulting millennial tour - dubbed "CSNY2K" - heralding the foursome's first joint road venture in a quarter century. Crosby was again the subject of tabloid headlines when in early 2000 it was revealed that he fathered the children of singer Melissa Etheridge and her life partner, Julie Cypher; that same year, he also published a second book, Stand and Be Counted, which assembled interviews with actors and musicians to explore the intersection of celebrity and social activism.
- Jason Ankeny (All Music Guide)
David Van Cortland Crosby (born August 14, 1941 in Los Angeles, California) is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the son of Floyd Crosby, an Academy Award winning cinematographer.
He was an original member of The Byrds and Crosby Stills & Nash (later Crosby Stills Nash & Young). He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work in the Byrds and Crosby Stills and Nash.
In 1985, he served a year in jail in Texas after having been convicted for a drug-related offence a few years earlier. He was set free after a higher court overturned his conviction on appeal. Later, he was the recipient of a highly publicized liver transplant. On March 6, 2004 he was arrested for drug possession and weapons offences in New York City.
In 2004, Crosby left behind a piece of luggage when checking out of a New York hotel room. A hotel employee searched the bag to try to find some identification, and found a quantity of marijuana, a 45-caliber handgun and a knife. Crosby was arrested when he went back to the hotel to pick up his property. He was charged with illegal possession of a hunting knife, illegal possession of a handgun and ammunition, and possession of marijuana.
He donated sperm to fellow musician Melissa Etheridge so that she and her lesbian partner could have a baby.
14 Aug 1941 David Van Cortland born, Los Angeles CA. Son of cinematographer Floyd Crosby.
Nov 1963 Founding member, The Byrds.
Oct 1967 David Crosby is fired from The Byrds.
1968 Crosby, Stills and Nash.
28 Mar 1982 David Crosby arrested for quaalude possession, driving under the influence of cocaine, and carrying a concealed .45 pistol.
Dec 1985 Sentenced to Texas State Prison in Huntsville for possession of cocaine and weapons violations.
Aug 1986 Released from prison.
1988 Autobiography, Long Time Gone.
20 Nov 1994 David Crosby receives a liver transplant at Dumont-UCLA Liver Transplant Center in Los Angeles. Crosby's liver was deteriorated from extensive alcohol and drug abuse, as well as hepatitis-C. But he only had to wait 18 days for the transplant, whereas the average wait in 1994 was 142 days.
Feb 1995 Meets 30-year-old son, James Raymond, for the first time.
9 May 1995 Son, Django Crosby, born. Weight 7 pounds.
16 May 1997 Marries record producer Jan Dance.
1998 VH1 Behind the Music: David Crosby.
10 Jan 2000 Lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge announces that David Crosby is the sperm donor of her two children with girlfriend Julie Cypher. Etheridge and Cypher are now separated.