LOS ANGELES — David Crosby, singer-songwriter, known for his work with The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash has died at the age of 81, according to Variety.
Although he wrote only a handful of well-known songs, the witty and always cocky Crosby was at the forefront of the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s – triumphing with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young on the Woodstock stage, witnessing the on behalf of a hirsute generation in his anthem “Almost Cut My Hair” or mourning the assassination of Robert Kennedy in “Long Time Gone.”
Crosby’s wife Jan Dance announced his death Thursday in a statement to Variety.
“It is with great sadness that our beloved David (Crose) Crosby has passed away after a long illness. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer with us, his humanity and kind soul will live on to guide and inspire us,” the statement said.
“His legacy will live on through his legendary music. Peace, love and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him very much. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to cope with our profound loss. Thank you for your love and prayers.”
Crosby was a mainstay of the ’60s and ’70s music scene and was a founding member of two influential rock bands: the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, which later became Crosby, Stills, Nash & young.
He was the founder and center of the Los Angeles rock community, which later produced artists such as the Eagles and Jackson Browne. He was the twinkly-eyed hippie patriarch, the inspiration for Dennis Hopper’s long-haired stoner in The Light Horseman. He advocated peace, but was an unrepentant garrulous man engaged in a personal war and admitted that many of the musicians he worked with no longer spoke to him.
“Crosby was a colorful and unpredictable character, wore the cloak of Mandrake the Magician, didn’t get along with many people and had a beautiful voice – an architect of harmony,” Bob Dylan wrote in his 2004 memoir Chronicles: Volume One. .”
Crosby’s drug use left him bloated, broken and alienated. He broke his addiction in 1985 and 1986 while serving a year in prison in Texas on drug and weapons charges. The sentence was eventually overturned.
“I’ve always said that I picked up the guitar as a shortcut to sex, and after my first hookup, I was convinced that if everyone smoked dope, the war would be over,” Crosby said in his 1988 autobiography, Long Ago. Gone,” co-written with Carl Gottlieb. “I was right about the sex. I was wrong when it came to drugs.’
He lived years longer than he even expected and experienced a creative renaissance in his 70s, releasing several solo albums while collaborating with others, including his son James Raymond, who became a favorite songwriting partner.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.