How David Crosby Lost $25 Million And Was Sentenced To Five Years In Prison

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young co-founding member, and co-lead vocalist, David Crosby, has been one of the most prominent figures of rock culture. Although he’s living a pretty chill life right now, that was definitely not the case back in the ’80s. Even though he wasn’t the only one not abiding by the rules, he was one of the few to get imprisoned.

As you know, David Crosby started climbing the ladder of fame in the late ’60s and by the ’80s, he was one of the most popular musicians in the rock scene and was praised for his great work with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. CSNY had a successful music career but the tensions between band members led to their disbandment three times.

One of the main reasons that led to their disbandment was Crosby’s addiction to drugs, and his bankruptcy followed by his imprisonment were the last straws. Today, I’ll try to shed some light on what was going on in the rockstar’s life back in the mid-’80s that brought him from riches to rags.

Did David Crosby Declare Bankruptcy?

The answer to this question is yes. As mentioned above, Crosby started enjoying a successful career as a musician back in the late ’60s and as his fame kept increasing every day, he started receiving better and better deals. This means that by the ’80s David had over $25 million which clearly meant that he wouldn’t ever come across any money problems during his lifetime.

However, his addiction to drugs, and in specific cocaine, led Crosby down a dangerous path which cost him his fortune and reputation. In 1984, he was broke and owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. As if that wasn’t enough, he was also facing drug and weapon charges which caused him to file for bankruptcy in 1985.

Why Was David Crosby Imprisoned?

David Crosby was arrested in April 1982 in a nightclub in Dallas for freebasing cocaine and carrying a .45-caliber handgun. Although fans already knew he was doing drugs, the weapon came as a shock because he was a vocal anti-violence and anti-war activist. Crosby explained that he started carrying a gun after John Lennon was killed in 1980.

David entered a rehab facility in New Jersey as a part of a plea bargain but left after just two days because he wasn’t allowed to have any musical instruments. He was convicted in August 1983 and received five years for carrying drugs and three years for the gun charges. He entered prison in March 1986, after declaring bankruptcy.

While imprisoned, Crosby wrote songs, developed screenplays, sent Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young trying to convince them to get back together, and most importantly, abstained from drugs. After being released in August 1986, Crosby said that prison had been a turning point in his life as he had the time to realize how the drugs had affected his life and career.

After he got out of prison, David moved into a friend’s spare bedroom and wore his friend’s old clothes. It seems like his fall from riches to rags really taught him a lesson as he started working harder than ever and toured around with CSNY. He also embarked on solo projects, got married, and now he’s become the peaceful, outspoken, and quirky rockstar that we’ve come to love.