AKA David Van Cortlandt Crosby
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Crosby, Stills, and Nash
David Crosby says he was expelled from every school he attended. He thought he might be an actor, and even took some classes, but by his late teens he was performing folk music in coffeehouses with his brother, Ethan Crosby, calling themselves Ethan & David. In his 20s Crosby and his brother toured and recorded folk music with the Les Baxter Balladeers, and in the early 1960s he formed a band called Jet Set with guitarist Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark. When bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke came aboard, the band rechristened itself The Byrds. They had great success, including '60s-defining hits like "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr Tambourine Man", with Crosby on rhythm guitar and doing arrangements and harmonics. Of course, egos eventually clashed, bandmates found Crosby too domineering, and when he insisted on making political statements from the stage he was fired from the group in 1967.
He produced Joni Mitchell's first album, and then Crosby, Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of The Hollies formed rock'n'roll's first "all-star band", Crosby, Stills and Nash (or, with Stills' former Buffalo Springfield bandmate Neil Young often included, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). Remembering the summer day in 1968 when CSN first jammed together, Crosby said years later that hearing Nash add a third harmony to his "Helplessly Hoping", "I thought I was gonna die. I thought my heart was gonna jump right through my mouth. It was about the rightist thing I ever heard." Between breakups, solo projects, and reunion tours, CSN/CSNY have made beautiful music ever since, mingling rock, folk, blues, and jazz in intricate harmonies to make "Our House", "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", "Teach Your Children", "Wasted on the Way", and many more hits. Crosby wrote several of CSN/CSNY's most beautiful songs, including "Déjà Vu", "Delta", "Guinnevere", "Long Time Gone", and the hilariously overwrought nonconformists' anthem "Almost Cut My Hair".
In 1969 Crosby was devastated when his longtime girlfriend Christine Hinton was killed in a car wreck, and Crosby, already deep into drugs and alcohol, sank deeper. His 1971 album If I Could Only Remember My Name included "I Could Swear There Was Somebody Here", a heartbreaking remembrance of Hinton, and the raucous "What Are Their Names?" complaining about politicians' crimes.
"I'm not ashamed of being stoned", Crosby once said. "I was stoned for every bit of music I've ever played. Every record, every performance. If they can match the music, let them criticize it. Anybody who can't ain't got no fuckin' right to tell me nothin' about gettin' high." Through the 1970s and '80s Crosby underwent repeated struggles with drug addiction. In 1982 he drove his car into a concrete freeway divider, and when rescuers extracted him from the wreck they found cocaine and a .45 automatic. After a few more arrests for drug offenses, he was arrested with heroin, cocaine, pot and codeine -- while on bail awaiting cocaine charges. After walking away from rehab, he was ordered to Texas State Prison in Huntsville, where he spent nine months. Crosby says be has been clean and sober since 1986.
In the 1990s he occasionally worked as an actor, most notably and appropriately playing John Larroquette's AA sponsor on The John Larroquette Show. He received a liver transplant in 1994, necessitated by his many years of drug and alcohol abuse. His autobiographies are Long Time Gone and Since Then: How I Survived Everything and Lived to Tell About it. He also co-wrote Stand and Be Counted, a history of protest music, with contributions from Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and numerous other celebrity activists.
Before he was famous, Crosby and an unknown girlfriend gave up their son for adoption in 1962. Not knowing who his biological father was, the boy, James Raymond, was drawn to music, and wrote the songs for Nickelodeon's Roundhouse. He also composed music for TV's Jack & Jill starring Amanda Peet and Lifetime's Angela's Eyes. In recent years Crosby, his son Raymond, and guitarist Jeff Pevar have formed a rock'n'roll band, touring and recording as CPR. Crosby was also the sperm donor for Melissa Etheridge and her lover Julie Cypher.
Crosby's father was Hollywood cinematographer Floyd Crosby. His films include the silent Polynesian romance Tabu (for which the elder Crosby won the Oscar), High Noon with Gary Cooper, From Here to Eternity with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini with Annette Funicello and Dwayne Hickman.
His brother Ethan, long troubled by mental illness, committed suicide in late 1997 or early 1998. A note was found in his northern California cabin that read, "Please do not search for my body. I want it to return to the earth unmolested by uncaring officials... Give my deep love and gratitude to David and all my friends. My last words: I love you all. Go Wild!" Six months after police found the note, hikers discovered Ethan Crosby's decomposing body in May of 1998.
Father: Floyd Delafield Crosby (cinematographer, b. 12-Dec-1899, d. 30-Sep-1985)
Mother: Aliph Van Cortland Whitehead (artist, m. Floyd Crosby 1940, div. 1960)
Mother: Betty Cormack (stepmother, m. Floyd Crosby 1960)
Brother: Floyd Delafield Crosby Jr. ("Ethan", b. 1937, d. 1997 or 1998 suicide)
Son: James Raymond (composer, b. 15-May-1962, given up for adoption)
Daughter: Erika Keller (b. 1966, given up for adoption)
Girlfriend: Joni Mitchell (singer, dated 1967-68)
Girlfriend: Christine Hinton (d. 1969, car accident)
Daughter: Donovan Crosby (artist, b. 1975)
Wife: Jan Dance (record producer, dated mid-1980s, m. 16-May-1987)
Son: Django Crosby (b. Jul-1995, with Dance)
High School: Cate School, Carpinteria, CA
unknown detox facility 1985
Crosby, Stills and Nash
Songwriters Hall of Fame 2009
Dean for America
National Rifle Association
Expelled from School
Drug Possession: Cocaine
Drug Possession: Marijuana Mar-2004
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Mar-2004
Unlawful Possession of Ammunition Mar-2004
Unlawful Possession of a Knife Mar-2004
Drug Possession Dallas, 1985
Risk Factors: Obesity, Hepatitis C, Diabetes, Marijuana, Cocaine, LSD, Heroin
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Sounds Like a Revolution (16-Jun-2010)
CSNY/Déjà Vu (25-Jan-2008) · Himself
Woodstock '94 (1995) · Himself
Thunderheart (3-Apr-1992) · Bartender
Hook (11-Dec-1991) · Tickles
Backdraft (24-May-1991) · 70's Hippie
Live Aid (13-Jul-1985) · Himself
No Nukes (18-Jul-1980) · Himself
Journey Through the Past (May-1974) · Himself
Celebration at Big Sur (9-Apr-1971) · Himself
You Are What You Eat (24-Sep-1968) · Himself
The Big T.N.T. Show (1966) · Himself
Rotten Library Page:
Author of books:
Long Time Gone: The Autobiography of David Crosby (1988, memoir)
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