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Happy Birthday David Crosby

Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Happy Birthday to David Crosby who turns 78 today (August 14th).

Crosby, who’s in the midst of a brilliant third act in his career, is riding high with the theatrical release of the new warts-and-all documentary, David Crosby: Remember My Name.

The movie was helmed by first time feature-doc director A.J. Eaton and produced by Cameron Crowe, and features an unflinching look at Crosby’s tumultuous life and career.

Last October, Crosby released his latest set, titled Here If You Listen, and is currently on the road with one of his two touring ensembles, the Sky Trails Band. Rolling Stone magazine now runs an “Ask Croz” advice column, which features the legendary singer/songwriter a chance to answer fans questions about life in general without pulling any punches.

Last summer, David Crosby announced he was seeking a licensing relationship with a national or global Cannabis company, which would provide the exclusive license of his iconic name and likeness for worldwide use. Crosby, who plans to use his brand name “Mighty Croz” as a tip of the hat to his legendary nickname “Croz,” will “actively advise the selected Cannabis company in developing and marketing the brand.”

Crosby won high praise for his fall 2016 solo album titled Lighthouse and its subsequent tour. The album was produced by Michael League, the leader of the Grammy Award-winning instrumental ensemble, Snarky Puppy, and recorded at Jackson Browne’s Santa Monica studio, Groove Masters.

Crosby’s recent creative resurgence has seen him working both on his own and with son James Raymond — along with other much younger musicians. In February 2014, Croz — which marked Crosby’s first new studio collection in over 20 years — peaked at an impressive Number 36 on the Billboard 200 albums charts. Croz also hit Number Two on the magazine’s Top Folk Albums chart, Number Six on the Top Independent Albums chart, and Number Seven on the Top Internet Sales chart.

Back in 2010, the list of the “Best Albums” published by The Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, ranked Crosby’s 1971 solo set, If I Could Only Remember My Name, second to the Beatles’ 1966 masterpiece, Revolver. Crosby was baffled by the honor, telling Q magazine, “No one has yet worked out what the hell that was all about. And why should The Vatican have an opinion on music in the first place? And to choose me?! It baffles me as much as it baffles you, man. I got an email from David Gilmour saying, ‘Dammit! — Pink Floyd only came in third.'”

Although 2016’s groundbreaking Lighthouse stalled at a disappointing Number 117 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, it ranked Number 34 on Mojo magazine’s list of “The 50 Best Albums Of 2016.”

In March 2016, Graham Nash revealed that his relationship with David Crosby is virtually non-existent at this point and that Crosby, Stills, & Nash are effectively over. Classic Rock magazine translated a then-recent Nash interview with Dutch magazine Lust For Life, which spelled out the end of CSN: “It’s the first time I’ve said this out loud but this is the way it is. You asked me if there is more CSN? Well, my answer is no and that is very sad because we were pretty good but I’m currently not fond of David Crosby. He treated me horrible the last two years. Really, really awful. I’ve been there for him for 45 years to save his f***ing ass but he treats me like dirt. You can’t do that to me. You can do it for a day or so, until I think you’re coming around but if you keep going and I keep getting nasty e-mails, then I’m done. F*** you. David has ripped the heart out of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.”

David Crosby, whose father was Academy Award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby, grew up in affluent towns in and around Los Angeles, and later Santa Barbara, California. Crosby first attained fame as part of the Byrds, which he co-founded with Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke in 1964. The next year, the Byrds went on to score two Number Ones with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and an electric beat arrangement of Pete Seeger’s “Turn, Turn, Turn.”

By 1967, Crosby, who was always an excellent harmonist, had developed a unique modular guitar tuning style, and began submitting seminal ’60s work to the band’s sessions, including “What’s Happening?!?!,” “Everybody Has Been Burned,” “Draft Morning,” and the 1967 psychedelic classic “Lady Friend.” Most notably, Crosby co-wrote the band’s groundbreaking 1966 single “Eight Miles High.” Due to the growing mature nature of his songs and differing musical attitudes with McGuinn and Hillman, Crosby was fired from the Byrds.

In his 1988 autobiography, Long Time Gone, Crosby recalled being dumped by the band, remembering that, “(They said), ‘You’re real difficult to work with. We don’t dig your songs and we think we’ll do better without you.'”

In 1968, Crosby joined forces with the Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills and the Hollies’ Graham Nash to form the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash. It was on their self-titled 1969 debut that Crosby was finally able to shine on Woodstock-era anthems such as “Long Time Gone,” “Wooden Ships,” and “Guinevere.”

The group’s 1970 follow up album, Deja Vu, added Neil Young to the lineup and included such Crosby classics as the album’s title track and “Almost Cut My Hair.” During the group’s frequent sabbaticals, Crosby and Nash continued to work together, most often working as a duo.

By the early ’80s, Crosby had hit rock bottom due to cocaine and heroin addictions. In 1985 he served nine months in Texas State Prison for weapons and drug charge violations, and finally became sober.

In late-1994, on the eve of undergoing a liver transplant operation; he learned that his then-30-year-old biological son, keyboardist James Raymond, who was given up for adoption at birth, had tried to make contact with him. The father and son met the next year, and eventually formed a trio with guitarist Jeff Pevar, called CPR.

Crosby has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame twice, with the Byrds in 1991, and with Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997.

In 2000, Crosby revealed that he was the sperm donor for rocker Melissa Etheridge and then-partner Julie Cypher’s child.

In 2004, Crosby was arrested in New York City for weapons, and marijuana possession. Later that year, he plead guilty and paid a $5,000 fine. Although Crosby had been thought to be completely clean after sobering up in the mid-’80s, he admitted at the time he sometimes used marijuana to curb the constant pain that resulted from his liver transplant.

David Crosby tour dates (subject to change):

August 15 – Roanoke, VA – Jefferson Center
August 16 – Geneva, NY – Smith Opera House
August 18 – Schwenksville, PA – Philadelphia Folk Festival
August 20 – Kent, OH – The Kent Stage
August 22 – Wabash, IN – Honeywell Center
August 24 – Bayfield, WI – Big Top Chautauqua
August 25 – Fargo, ND – Fargo Theatre
August 27 – Bismarck, ND – Belle Mehus Auditorium
August 29 – Missoula, MT – The Wilma Theatre
August 31 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
September 1 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
September 3 – Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theatre
September 4 – Redwood City, CA – Fox Forum
September 6 – Napa, CA – Uptown Theatre
September 8 – Big Sur, CA – Henry Miller Library
September 10 – Beverly Hills, CA – Saban Theatre
September 12 – Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theatre
September 13 – Las Vegas, NV – Red Rock Casino and Spa
September 17 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre