David Crosby's Surprised He’s Still Alive After Addiction Battle

By Bryan Le 07/22/19

Given the singer’s substance-soaked history, prison time, and medical problems, Crosby is unsure of how he’s still here.

David Crosby with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young performs at the Sound Advice Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida on August 8, 2006.
To the amazement of himself, Crosby is still here. Michael Bush | Dreamstime.com

Singer-songwriter David Crosby, 77, says he’s about as surprised as anyone that he’s lived to such a ripe old age. Crosby has been addicted to drugs, did hard time in prison, and survived heart attacks and a liver transplant foisted upon him by hepatitis C.

“Nobody has any clue why,” said Crosby. “A whole lot of my friends are dead. I think my new motto is gonna be ‘Only the good die young.’”

He will be celebrating his 78th birthday on August 14.

An upcoming documentary, entitled Remember my Name, will cover the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s “checkered history.”

“I’ve done some great things, some terrible things. Of course I remember that s—,” Crosby revealed. “All I had to do is be willing to tell the truth... But considering how old I am, I should be fading off into the distance politely and sort of getting ready to sit down and shut up.”

Crosby has entrusted the telling of his life’s story to producer Cameron Crowe, who he’s known for a good while.

“I’ve known him since he was 15,” Crosby said. “He was a very, very bright young man, and everybody liked him. I thought he was terrific, and we became friends. He’s been my friend ever since. And he knows, he really knows [about me].”

One of the tales from Crosby’s life featured in the film is the story of how Joni Mitchell dumped him via song. Despite Mitchell going on to date Crosby’s bandmate, the two have stayed friends.

“I do see her and talk to her,” Crosby said. “I had dinner with her at her place a couple months back. And I do still love her. Our relationship has always been thorny but good.”

Prison Was The Turning Point

Crosby’s life took a dark turn when he became addicted to heroin and cocaine, which culminated in drugs and weapons charges in 1983. After at first fleeing, Crosby turned himself in and served five months in prison in 1986. Here, he says, was where he was able to get off drugs for good.

“It’s the only thing that really worked,” he recalled. “I had tried going into treatment and it didn’t work. I went into prison, and it worked. It was a s —y way to do it.”

These days, life is pretty good for Crosby—with the exception of one thing: the 45th President of the United States.

“I’m pretty happy almost all the time—unless I think about the president,” he says.

He’s so passionate, he might even reunite with his old band, Crosby, Stills & Nash, if it could help beat President Donald Trump.

“I would like to do some get-out-the-vote stuff in this coming year,” he said. “I really want this guy out of the White House. So if they wanted to do that, I’d probably do it with them.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter