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Long Time Gone

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,140 ratings  ·  73 reviews
The long awaited autobiography of rock superstar David Crosby holds nothing back, giving readers an inspirational tale of triumph over deadly addiction and the richest, most inside story yet of the 1960s generation. 25 photos. 2 segments on "Good Morning America".
Hardcover, 489 pages
Published October 15th 1988 by Doubleday
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,140 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
At one point, while reading this book in a coffee shop, two policemen sat at a table next to me and I got paranoid.

What I liked about "Long Time Gone" is the unique way that the story was told, alternating between Crosby's personally written recollections, co-author Carl Gottlieb's third-person accounts where he could lasso in Crosby and place his story in a broader context, and the stories shared by the witnesses. I can't recall reading a book written in this style before, and I thought it work
queen esther
May 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: musicians
you can learn a lot from biographies/autobiographies. this was no exception.

when it comes to rock and roll excess, who can separate truth from fiction from legend? when i saw the book i thought, cool—i can hear all about it from him. and that’s kind of the way the book goes, except that it augments what he says with what everyone else says: roadies, ex-lovers, business partners, damaged hippie freaks, ex-managers, fellow musicians and everything inbetween. all of that stitched up together gives
Amanda R
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs, music, nonfiction
Meh. This was written very shortly after Crosby got out of rehab, so (understandably) he focuses quite a lot on his drug abuse. Now, I enjoy a good addiction/recovery story, but I do not need 200 pages of detailed descriptions of how tricky it is to freebase (or just "base," as the cool kids apparently call it).

Especially when the addict in question is David Crosby, who is at least partially responsible for some of my most favorite music in the world. I love the Byrds, I adore CSN/Y, the Crosby
Kate Shannon
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I clearly remember the first time I heard Crosby, Stills and Nash. I was driving my parents car running an errand for my mother, and I can even picture the stretch of road I was on. I wanted to pull over and stop so I could focus on the bliss full harmonies I was trying to take in. I still love listening to C,S,N&Y in all their permutations. I've seen them in various combinations and deeply appreciate the high caliber of their music. I will admit, that David Crosby was never my favorite from the ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
"The Autobiography of David Crosby" is something of a misnomer, since Crosby's memoir is actually more of an oral history, comprising big block quotes from friends, bandmates, managers, and other associates in between first person narration by Crosby and third person narration by co-writer/editor Carl Gottlieb. This isn't a criticism, mind you -- if anything, the panoply of voices is appropriate for a singer who is best known for his harmonies, first in The Byrds and later in CSNY (and all vario ...more
Mike Mason
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally got round to reading this book getting dusty on bookshelf along with one on the Grateful Dead. My wife and I miss our annual pilgrimage to the Olympia in Paris to see CSN. Unfortunately, David Crosby managed to upset Stills and Nash again. The book covers the period upto his jail time. It confirms a picture of a man with issues. Even before the drugs as a schoolboy he is not a nice person. Story is told in 3 chunks. Interviews, Gottlieb the Co- author and then Crosby. How he has managed ...more
John Lyman
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly similar format to Dizzy Gillespie's autobiography, albeit polar opposite as far as drugs and other behavior. It’s amazing he’s still alive, amazing how long he resisted treatment. The last 25-35% was compelling. I’ve never seen any member of CSNY, but the only autobiography of theirs I haven’t read is Stills', curiously.
Mary Blye Kramer
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've seen CSN&Y in their various formations many times over a period of 30 years and they've always been one of my all time favorite groups. I was captivated by David's rise to fame and felt sorry for him over his addictions, but came to almost hate him as I read the details and realized I could never imagine such a selfish person.

And then I came to understand that SO much of his dysfunction was drug related. He is one lucky man to have the love of so many true friends and one brave and strong
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Follow Cros from his early life in California to early music beginnings in folk and on to rock. A cultural history lesson of the progression of folk into rock. Meeting Joni, Cass, Graham, Stills, Neil and others in music. The women in his life. His schooner Mayan. This is a talented sensitive man. A driven man with a strong ego. A guy who is a leader, a friend, and supportive to many. He accomplishes much, the good and the bad. His descent into cocaine/heroin addiction is mind-blowing. How is he ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is actually a pretty unique and admirable book. It might be one of the earliest versions of the combination autobiography supplemented with bit-player oral history memoir - and for Crosby's truly "lock him the f' up" lifestyle - it really works. Basically for a solid 10-15 years of his life "the Cros" (as he is called) was chained to the crack pipe. Day by day he was pouring money and talent into the cesspool of umm. . .Dionysus? That's putting too fine a point on a grotesque display of ram ...more
Jeaninne Escallier Kato
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read many rock bios, yet none stand out as seminal as this one. David Crosby holds nothing back regarding his rise and fall from stardom. I was especially intrigued by the interview format, which includes other musicians' perspectives regarding the events outlined by David. It gives the reader a more fleshed out feeling of so many jaw-dropping experiences. I highly recommend this book for anyone who survived the 60's and 70's, and anyone who wishes to experience that time up close and per ...more
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
cant believe this guy is still alive
Daniel Meza
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was honestly excited to get my hands on this one.
My favorite member of CSNY, and the most overlooked in my opinion.
Well, within the nearly 500 pages you will hardly find most of it covers CSNY, or the music that was created.
These stories are there, they just don't dominate the book.
However, if you want to hear all about groupies, sailboats, and his drug problem, then this book is for you.
The groupie stories aren't even salacious, its just more about how they were always there and how Crosby ju
Deirdre Kelly
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You know you’re in the 70s with this memoir— a no holds barred account of sex, drugs and rock and roll from one of the biggest hedonists around. David Crosby could harmonize like an angel. But his rampant addictions made him the devil you’re not sure you really wanted to know. He was such a manipulator. Such a depraved piece of work. But for all his flaws his story is irresistible. You can’t put it down. The self-destruction is at times hard to take. But he discovered Joni Mitchell! He hanged wi ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I give this 5-stars in recognition of what an incredibly thorough and wide-ranging job that not just David Crosby has done with this book, but - and probably more so - also his co-author Carl Gotlieb. While the book details Crosby's life (until publication in 1988), the book includes a LOT of detail about the genesis of CSN and sometimes Y, and also of the times, including the 60s-70s drug scene, which nearly did in Crosby (and his eventual wife, Jan Dance). To be clear, the book has its flaws ( ...more
Janet Pitcher
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
CSNY is one of my all time favorite bands and their music is the background to my “coming of age”. 50 years later I still listen to it and so do my children. Reading David Crosby ‘s biography was an eye opener to the crazy, chaotic, drug fueled culture of Rock music. He is such a talented man that it was hard to understand why he would throw away all he had to live the way he did. The paranoia, lack of hygiene and losing so much money are the hallmarks of addiction. I heard Mr. Crosby lecture ab ...more
Barb G
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started and stopped this book a few times before it really grabbed me. It also helped reading some biographies of other members of CSNY before this book.

It’s simply amazing what our bodies can be out through and survive; that such beautiful music could be made by someone so whacked out on drugs. Keith Richards said in his book that the reason he and others survived their heavy drug use was because they were “fortunate” enough to use pharmaceutical grade drugs that were pure. I don’t know.

Glen Demers
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Written soon after he got out of prison, got married and got sober, this book spends a lot of time on his descent into drug addiction. I would have preferred more stories about his early days with the Byrds & CSN.
It's an interesting autobiography in that Crosby's voice is set differently from that of his co author, who provides historical context, and also from the frequent comments and stories from people in his past. Sometimes you'll have two or three people describing the same event but with
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This will not be long as I do not want to include any spoilers.
People like me of a certain age will know David Crosby, The Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash and Crosby Stills Nash and Young. They may also think they know the back story, but believe me they don't
This book pulls no punches and at times is a difficult read. If it were a piece of fiction you would not believe some of the content.
It is well written with lots of content from people who were there at the time and in the end is a testament
Kyle Eldridge
best rock star biography ive ever read (more accurately its an "oral biography", comprised of mostly quotes, with the author providing context here and there). the way he came back from being a total drug addict, smoking upwards of 10 grams of coke a day and taking heroin as well, is truly inspiring. the guy is an inspiration to me.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A harrowing companion to the Cameron Crowe documentary that came out over the weekend. A page-turner that could also use some judicious pruning...

...which is where I come in. Calling dibs on the adapated screenplay...
Robert Waterman
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book a long time ago and I really liked it. A great honest biography about how tragic addiction can be. How ending up in prison actually became a blessing to get his life back on track.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I quit after three chapters, this was awful! I don't often say this. The best part was the photos in the center of the book.
John Brewer
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A raw and honest look at David Crosby's descent from the pinnacle of music success to an ordinary junkie on the run from the law.
Karen Lewis
Captivating book on recovery and strength. Always love Autobiographies and this one is interesting. Lots of drug talk and music business.
Denis Farley
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
About halfway through . . . up to the photos, the late '70s, about the time I was also living in Miami and involved in the music scene there. In a sense, the story is close to me although I've never met him, while having interacted and been friends and acquainted with some of the folks, places and objects mentioned. This is the third of his books that I've read, working backward chronologically from the last to the first.
Well, I love the personal take on the music, and the music biz, (especially
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book and very candid which was refreshing. I did think that Crosby was a little in denial about his being "cured" from his addiction. He had only gotten sober two years before the book was written and then only because he was in jail. I found myself disliking his wife immensely. She kept bringing up drugs and how nobody would give her any and it wasn't fair. It was implied several times that she made up or "hallucinated" stories to get attention while David was on tour. She refused to show ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read. Somehow, it reminds me of the old E Channel True Hollywood Story: the struggle for success, finally making it, and then – drug hell. Fortunately, Crosby was able to turn his life around.
This memoir is really more of an oral biography. We have Crosby’s own account, but much more from interviews with those who knew him. Most of the book is by his friend and co-writer, Carl Gottlieb. Actually, that’s a good thing, because Gottlieb gives the story structure and context.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it liked it
This is kind of the 'unfinished' story of David Crosby as the book ends in 1988 which is almost twenty-five years ago. I picked up the book because I was interested in his time in The Byrds, and this is covered fairly well.

After The Byrds broke up, he became a founding member of the super group, 'Crosby, Stils, Nash, and Young' which took off at nearly the same time that his drug habit spiraled out of control. He certainly makes the case that 'free basing' cocaine takes addiction to an entirely
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of David Crosby's music. Suffice it to say if you are not, you may not enjoy this book as much as I did. It contains everything you would expect from a "rock bio", from sexual escapades to heart-breaking and career breaking drug use and prison time. He remembers enough of the sixties to really let you in on what it was like to experience it, and what he doesn't is relived honestly in the voices of his friends. What sets it apart, in my opinion, is David's non-narcissistic and can ...more
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