Submitted by Ed Condran — Correspondent
If rock had a yearbook during the early 80s, David Crosby could have appeared with the designation, Most Likely to Need CPR. The once drug-addled singer-songwriter with the bulging belly made the late Jerry Garcia and Keith Richards look healthy by comparison.
I had a lot of issues, Crosby says. I could have died. Its amazing Im still here, considering all thats been wrong with me.
Crosby, 74, has lived through hepatitis C and diabetes. He has had a liver transplant, not to mention well-known issues with drugs and alcohol.
I fell into traps that so many of my friends fell into and they didnt make it out but somehow Im still here, Crosby says. Its an amazing thing.
So is the output by his longtime band, Crosby, Stills and Nash, which will perform to a sold-out crowd Monday at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The prolific trio, which formed in 1968, has crafted thoughtful, political rock with deep vocal harmonies for generations.
Weve done this for so long, since we love working with each other, Crosby says. Its been very satisfying.
The gentle Our House, the gorgeous tribute to Judy Collins, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes and the jaunty Marrakesh Express are C, S& N classics and part of the pop-rock lexicon. I think weve written and recorded some terrific songs that stand the test of time, Crosby says.
Part of what makes the band and their tunes so special is the distinct characters: Graham Nash is the charming Brit; Stephen Stills is the witty, gifted multi-instrumentalist; and the quirky Crosby is one of the most beloved characters in rock.
Theres nobody like David, former Byrds band mate Roger McGuinn says. It was great being in a band with him. We were so young, but we accomplished a great deal and he stood out.
Music was everything for Crosby during his early years. Crosby became a father when he was 21, but his son was given up for adoption. It was the right thing to do, Crosby says. At that point in my life, I couldnt have taken care of a box of tissues, let alone a child.
Contributing to the theory that Crosby has led a charmed life is the fact that that the son, Jeff Raymond, reunited with Crosby during the 1990s. It was such a surprise and such a wonderful thing to meet him, Crosby says. It was no surprise that hes a musician.
Crosby and Raymond, along with guitarist Jeff Pevar, formed the aptly named trio, CPR. Its been amazing having the opportunity to play with my son, Crosby says. Its been special. Ive just been so fortunate to be able to do what I love for so long.
Fewer of Crosbys contemporaries are recording new material most senior rockers are content to reside on the nostalgia trail but Crosby recently released his fourth solo album, Croz.
Ive always done things differently, Crosby says. Ive never followed trends. If I wanted to do something, I would do it. The same can be said for Crosby, Stills and Nash. We do what we want to do and we want to keep playing music together. Im very thankful for that.