August 5, 1983

On this day in 1983, David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was sentenced to five years in jail in a Texas court for cocaine and firearms offenses. Crosby had slept through most of his trial.

On March 28, 1982, Crosby decided to drive himself to his concert that evening while under the influence of cocaine. Crosby crashed into a highway divider on a stretch of the San Diego Freeway in Costa Mesa. Crosby had apparently experienced a “cocaine seizure” before losing control of the vehicle. When emergency teams reported to the scene, police discovered Crosby was in possession of cocaine, as well as a loaded .45-caliber pistol. When authorities asked the singer why he felt the need to travel with a weapon, Crosby answered, “John Lennon.”

Crosby was arrested by the California Highway Patrol for driving under the influence of cocaine, possession of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon. Three weeks after the California arrest, Crosby was busted again, this time on tour in Dallas, when cops discovered the singer freebasing cocaine with a gun on his lap.

Crosby ultimately did hard time in a Texas state prison, followed by periods in and out of rehabilitation centers. As part of an attempt at a plea bargain, he entered a New Jersey rehab facility a few months later but left after two days because he was not allowed to have any musical instruments. Crosby received five years for the drugs and three years for the gun charges, to be served concurrently.


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