David Crosby Recalls Losing The Love Of His Life In Car Crash
David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young continues to make music at the age of 80 while suffering many health problems. Recently, he spoke to Steve Silberman about how music also helped ease his pain when the love of his life Christine Hinton tragically died in 1969.
Crosby broke up with Christine Hinton and started a relationship with the singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell. However, because he couldn’t get over his love for Hinton, Crosby cheated on Mitchell by still seeing Hinton. This intense love was interrupted by a tragic event in 1969 when Hinton died in a car crash while taking their cats to the vet.
Understandably, Crosby was never the same after that event. His intake of drugs increased and he became addicted to harder drugs which eventually affected his health and caused liver failure. He had to get a liver transplant and was criticized for advantaging from his fame and his drug abuse. Even after that, the singer couldn’t get himself together physically and suffered several heart attacks throughout the years.
CSNY’s Graham Nash told the band’s biographer David Zimmer that when Crosby was asked to identify Hinton’s body after the crash, something happened to him, and he never went back to how he used to be. This tragic event changed him and his approach to life.
Here is what Nash told in 1987:
“David went to identify the body, and he’s never been the same since.”
Channeling his pain towards producing music, Crosby started to work on his first solo album, ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name,’ in 1971. He had his friends help him in the studio and collaborate with him. Those people were the legendary musicians of Crosby’s era like Joni Mitchell, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, and CSNY members Neil Young and Graham Nash.
In this recent podcast, the singer was back in the studio they had produced ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name.’ He spoke about how he felt at that time and how the studio makes him feel now. He regarded it as a safe space where he had intense experiences with his friends.
Here is what Steve Silberman asked Crosby:
“Do you remember being here 50 years ago?”
Crosby replied by stating:
“That’s a complex question. It should be a simple question, but it is a complex question. Yes, I do. I remember quite well actually. A couple of homeless people outside, I think they’re the same guys. It’s very very crucial times for me and really a lot of stuff going on.
We had just done ‘Deja Vu’ here, and it was an intense experience. Working with those guys is always intense. We were always competing with each other, and we were always loving it, and we were into it way deep. Then I stayed here and did ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name.’ I had all these songs, and I had only used two of them for ‘Deja Vu,’ so there I was. I had a lot of friends in this town. I stayed here, it was a safe place for me.“
You can listen to the full podcast episode through Spotify below.