David Crosby, the legendary and influential singer/songwriter, has died at 81 years of age. Born in Los Angeles on 14 August 1941, Crosby began his career with The Byrds before joining up with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of The Hollies to form one of the most successful supergroups of all time, Crosby, Stills & Nash. The trio eventually added Neil Young to become a quartet. Crosby’s career saw him become a 10-time Grammy nominee, with one win, and achieve the rare feat of being inducted to the revered Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice for his role in both The Byrds and CSN. 

Crosby’s reputation for a hedonistic lifestyle saw him named “rock’s unlikeliest survivor” by Rolling Stone magazine. Heavy drug use took a toll on Crosby’s life. In 1982, he was arrested in Texas on drug and weapons charges, and he spent nine months in prison. He also received a liver transplant in 1994 after decades of drug and alcohol abuse.

He became known for his countercultural politics and trademark moustache as well as his musicianship and amazing ability to counter harmonise. Stephen Stills and Graham Nash described Crosby in this way:

He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius. The glue that held us together as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun.

One only has to browse through social media to see how many artists were influenced by Crosby’s musical genius. Crosby discovered Joni Mitchell playing in a Florida club in 1967 and helped her secure a record deal before producing her first album, Song to a Seagull. He once described Mitchell as “ … the best singer-songwriter … I don’t think anybody comes close”. 

David Crosby - Pencil

Crosby’s iconic career spanned seven decades. And, although in his prime before my time, Crosby’s music has had an indelible mark on my musical upbringing, with classics such as Deja Vu, Eight Miles High, Almost Cut My Hair and Turn! Turn! Turn! The 13 best songs of David Crosby 

It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I realised the words to Turn! Turn! Turn! were taken from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3. However, we don’t have to be a theologian or a scientist or a pop singer to know there are ‘times and seasons’ in creation as well as ‘times and seasons’ in our lives. As those words from Ecclesiastes remind us: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die.” And, at 81 years of age, Crosby’s time had come.

Turn! Turn! Turn!

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late!

David Crosby Time