Folk rock legend David Crosby died recently, leaving a legacy behind as a pioneer of singing and songwriting, and a multitude of hit songs and popular albums. But as he was just becoming a name in the late 1960’s, he discovered a young singer-songwriter named Joni Mitchell singing in a club, and was blown away. The two began dating, and it seemed as if there was a chance for them to become a power couple in the world of music and creativity. But it was not to be. Their relationship fizzled not long after. However, before he died, Crosby revealed some interesting sentiments about his feelings for Joni after all these years. He also revealed the clever and embarrassing way that Joni broke up with him, after discovering he’d been unfaithful. So stay tuned, as Facts Verse presents: David Crosby Died Still Heartbroken Over Joni Mitchell
Joni and David’s Relationship
In 1967, Joni Mitchell and David Crosby made music fans excited when they started dating. Not only were people rooting for them to both find love, but there was also the chance that they could create incredible music together. It was a win-win. And for a brief period, things looked good. They got along well, and even helped each other with songwriting. But two problems emerged almost immediately. For one, Crosby was known as quite a womanizer, and the likelihood of him remaining faithful seemed slim. And the second was that this was the late 60’s, when everyone seemed to be embracing a cultural attitude of sexual freedom. So, it should come as not much of a surprise that Crosby ended up straying from their relationship. Each of them was beginning to find more and more musical success, and thus were meeting lots of people, and spending time on the road. So, fulfilling the stereotype of the rock star, Crosby cheated. And when Joni found out, it was beginning of the end of their relationship.
How Joni Broke Up With David
Of course, if was actually the end of the relationship, but we say the beginning of the end, because Joni didn’t do anything right away. Instead, she decided she’d find a creative and embarrassing way to reveal to David that she knew about him cheating, and that they were over. Not long after Joni found out, she and Crosby headed to a party at the house of Peter Tork of The Monkees. According to Crosby, he could sense something was up all evening. In an interview with Howard Stern, Crosby talked about the evening, saying that she entered the party and was acting different. Joni reportedly asked people to gather around, as she planned to play a new song she’d just written. Naturally this caused excitement, as she was a rising star in the music world. So everyone sat around her and she began to play. What followed was the song “That Song About The Midway.” Crosby told Stern that as soon as he listened to the lyrics, he realized that not only was the song about him and his actions, but that she was actually breaking up with him in that moment.
And if the lyrics weren’t quite explicit enough on the first go around for anyone to figure out what was happening, Joni hammered home the point by literally playing it a second time right away. By the end of the second rendition, everyone at the party knew what the song was really about. Crosby was understandably embarrassed, which was Joni’s intention all along. Thus, her creative and clever break up plan worked!
How Crosby Felt About Joni
You might think that David Crosby was salty about the fact that his then girlfriend called him out in such an open and semi-public way. But that wasn’t actually the case. For starters, he knew that he had hurt her by cheating. So he knew that he deserved his comeuppance, regardless of how Joni decided to do it. Another reason that he wasn’t too upset was because he was in awe of Joni as an artist. So at some level he held her up on a pedestal and felt she could do no wrong. This, of course, had its downsides, especially when it came to creative endeavors. Crosby lamented that Joni’s talent was so great, it could be daunting. He said that there were nights when he’d play her a new song he’d just written, and would be feeling really good about himself as a songwriter. But then she’d return the favor by playing three song she’d written the night before, and they were all better than the one he wrote.
Yet Crosby’s ultimate takeaway from their relationship is that Joni is perhaps the greatest singer/songwriter in modern times. And for that, he was constantly in awe of her. During his interview with Howard Stern, he noted that the two didn’t necessarily get along that well in their later years. However, his big takeaway from their relationship was that he loves her “with his whole heart” simply because of the songs and inspiration that she’s given the world with her music. He even made the bold claim that she’s 10 times better, in terms of musicianship and singing, than Bob Dylan. And perhaps while the singing claim is easily justified, the songwriting and musicianship claim is a bold one. But it certainly paints a clear picture about the way Crosby thinks about Joni Mitchell!
After they broke up, Joni actually began to date one of Crosby’s bandmates from Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young: Graham Nash. When asked about that pairing, Crosby not only didn’t have any jealousy, he was fully behind the union. He said that he was psyched when Joni and Graham got together, adding that Graham was a much better match for her than he was. He noted that Joni generally doesn’t get along with her ex-boyfriends, so he’s not surprised that they aren’t close anymore. But he said that he was under the impression that Joni’s best relationship was with Graham.
David Never Got Over Joni
While Crosby might have spoken about being content with his status with Joni after all these years, his tune changed when he was interviewed by journalist Chuck Arnold in 2019. According to Arnold, when they talked about the infamous way that Joni broke up with him, and the fact that she moved onto his bandmate, he was still a bit heartbroken. He flat out told Arnold “I do still love her.” He also added that their relationship in the ensuing years had been a little up and down, but overall good. Crosby also claimed that at that point, only a few years before his recent death, the two of them did talk to each other and see each other. He even claimed to have had dinner with her a couple of months prior.
So it’s likely a case where Crosby had mixed feelings. On the one hand, he realized their relationship was doomed from the start, and that he caused it to end. And thus he tried to distance himself emotionally from it and from Joni. And on the other hand, as he got up there in years, he realized that, at some level, he never quite got over their breakup. His adoration of Joni and her talent clearly stayed with him at some level until he died.
David Eventually Found Long Term Love
David Crosby was married for 36 years to his wife, Jan Dance. The two met when Jan worked as a receptionist in the music business, and hit it off immediately. However, at the time, David was actually seeing someone else. But once that relationship ended, he was free to pursue a romance with Dance. The two shared a passion for each other as well as for music. In an interview, Jan talked about how her relationship with David allowed her to be in the room during recording sessions of some of the great all time, and meet many of her musical heroes. The two had a long lasting relationship, and even in his later years, Crosby still gushed on social media about how much he loved his wife. And as for whether he ever stepped out on her? Crosby said in an interview that he never once did. He admitted that back in the day, during the free love era, there was a sense that people could sleep with whomever they wanted, and that often included multiple people in bed with you at the same time. So, according ot him, the same rules didn’t apply. But he said that the day he started his relationship with Jan ended all of that. He claimed to have ever been with another woman again after that.
Crosby has been very public that his greatest accomplishments in life have been his children. Which is impressive, considering how accomplished he was as a legendary musician. He had one son with Jan, named Django. He also had five other children three of whom were from his previous relationships: James Raymond, Donovan Crosby, and Erika Keller Crosby. David also donated his sperm to his friend, and fellow musician Melissa Etheridge, and she and her partner had two more of his kids: Beckett Cypher and Bailey Jean Cypher.
Crosby was intensely proud of all of his progeny, and wasn’t afraid to talk about it. In an interview with Closer Weekly, and talked about how when you see your children being born, you love them instantly, and they matter more than anything else.
Crosby’s recent death has made waves in the music world, as fans mourn the legendary and talented musician. Now it’s time to hear from you. Did you know that Joni Mitchell broke up with David Crosby by writing a break up song and performing it in front of a group of people? Let us know in the comments section below!