Long Time Gone, by David Crosby and Carl Gottlieb

by Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot on September 7, 2009

The Autobiography of David Crosby, by David Crosby and Carl Gottlieb

Long-time-gone-autobiography-of-david-crosbySupposedly, behavioral scientists sometime ago conducted an experiment where electrodes were implanted in the “pleasure center” area of rats’ brains. Every time the rats pushed a bar, they were rewarded with a jolt. They obviously enjoyed this, as they ended up spending all their time pushing the bar, eventually dying of malnutrition and exhaustion.

Just substitute electrode with cocaine and rat with David Crosby, and you get a fairly accurate picture of what happened to him during the Seventies and into the Eighties. It’s nearly a miracle that he didn’t die. (Perhaps because, self-evidently due to his sizable girth, Mr. Crosby has always found opportunities to eat.)

Always a major get-high (a photo in the book shows the contents of his pockets, circa 1970: Two kinds of marijuana, two guitar picks, two knives, gold coins, snuff box, roach clip, matches, keys, rolling papers, glass bottle with white powder, tiny spoon, pistol, hairbrush) his life spiraled out of control when he discovered the technique of smoking cocaine, known as freebasing. Perhaps a majority of this book chronicles those years wasted along the way. In Crosby’s case, getting busted in 1985 was probably what saved his life, providing him an opportunity to gain a perspective unhindered by his single-minded dedication to being constantly high.

This is pretty good tale, well organized and well told, thanks to help from Crosby’s friend Carl Gottlieb (screenwriter of Jaws, among other accomplishments). It’s titillating for those who like glimpses into the lives of rock stars. It’s a story of redemption and a story about the power of love.

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