David Crosby, the brash musician who rocked the world for more than 60 years, died at age 81. Anonymous sources say that the co-founder of “Byrds” and “Crosby, Stills, & Nash,” who rose to fame in 1965 with a cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan, died of a long illness. Keep reading to find out more about what he left behind.
About David Crosby
In his 2004 memoir “Chronicles: Volume 1,” Bob Dylan wrote about David Crosby: “Crosby was a colourful and unpredictable character who wore a Mandrake the Magician cape, didn’t get along with many people, had a beautiful voice, and was the architect of harmony.” Sad to say, the bold musician who rocked the world with the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (later Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young), died at the age of 81.
His sister-in-law found out about his death, and she told The New York Times that the famous singer died on Wednesday night, January 18th. His fans on Twitter, where David was active until Wednesday, were shocked to hear about his death. One of his last tweets was a joke about heaven: “I’ve heard it’s overrated and cloudy.”
If you didn’t know, Crosby had a liver transplant in 1994 after using drugs for many years. He also lived through diabetes, hepatitis C, and heart surgery in his 70s. Last year, Crosby told his fans, “I’m going to die pretty soon,” and said that he was done with live shows. “I’m getting too old to do it. I don’t have the stamina or strength to do it. I’ve been breaking records at a shockingly fast rate. Now that I’m 80, I’m going to die pretty soon. So, this is how it works.”
He went on, “So I’m working very hard to make as much music as I can, as long as it’s really good… I already have another one ready to go.” Crosby later said that he had changed his mind about retiring from live performances. He said in mid-December, “Dare I say it?… I think I’m going to start another band and play live again.”
Why David Crosby Was So Controversial?
David Crosby’s two rock groups, the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, had a lot of hits (later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). Crosby started CS&N after making friends with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon scene in the late 1960s. CS&N’s debut album, which went platinum in 1968, set the stage for the rock supergroup era.
The group had two No. 1 singles, covers of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by Pete Seeger and “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan. The stormy classic “Eight Miles High” also made the Top 20. Crosby helped write this. People also remember him for writing some of the best Byrds songs, such as “Lady Friend.” From a baby-faced harmony singer with the Byrds to a hippie superstar with CSNY, the man really grew up.
In 1982, he was arrested in Texas on drug and gun charges. This led to a five-month prison sentence in 1986. Because he used drugs and drank too much for many years, he needs a liver transplant in 1994. His solo career did well, but the lifelong bond he had with Nash broke.
As the son of Hollywood star Floyd Crosby, Crosby grew up with a lot of money and power. His bandmate Graham Nash’s 2013 book “Wild Tales” upset him, which led to a public fight. This led to the end of a long-running band. But Crosby continued to record and tour and make money well into the 2000s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once with the Byrds in 1991 and again with Crosby, Stills, and Nash in 2002.
Graham Nash, who used to be in Crosby’s band but had broken up with him, said nice things about the singer after he died. “It made me feel very, very sad to hear that my friend David Crosby had died,” Nash wrote. “I know that people tend to focus on how unstable our relationship has been at times, but David and I have always cared more about the pure joy of the music we made together, the sounds we found with each other, and the deep friendship we’ve had for so many years.”
Well, Crosby really lived longer than anyone could have expected, given how bad his health was and how many health problems he had. He didn’t just live; he kept rocking the world right up until he died. Cameron Crowe made a documentary about David Crosby called “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” It came out in 2019. David is gone, but his work lives on.