What drugged-up rock star changed his life in Jupiter 32 years ago?

David Crosby was a fugitive from justice and a freebasing cocaine fiend when he arrived at a boat dock in Jupiter on Dec. 12, 1985.

It wasn’t the happiest of holidays.

The rock and roll legend was “isolated, frightened, paranoid and broke,” as he later wrote in a memoir.

The previous August, he had failed to appear at a hearing in Texas where he was appealing a 1983 conviction for possessing cocaine and a .45-caliber pistol. Warrants had been issued for his arrest.

“They got me for a quarter of a gram of pipe residue,” Crosby complained to People magazine at the time. “For that I’m going to spend five years in the state penitentiary?”

RELATED: When the Rolling Stones partied, played in northern Palm Beach County

He came to Jupiter with drug-addled dreams of escaping on the Mayan, his 59-foot schooner docked here. The boat may have reminded him of happier times — he had sailed it all over the Caribbean, and wrote “Wooden Ships” and other famous hits onboard, according to Wikipedia.

Crosby’s plan was to flee to Costa Rica, where he thought he would be safe from extradition to the United States. But when he got to Jupiter, he discovered the boat wasn’t seaworthy, he recalled in his autobiography, “Long Time Gone.”

And that’s when the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a charter member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “had a flash” that changed his life.

“It was my moment of clarity— my Moment of Decision— when I realized with utter lucidity that I could not go on,” he wrote.

RELATED: How Metallica’s former bassist found peace in Jupiter

So, he stepped ashore, barefoot and wearing a red T-shirt, and didn’t even tell his future wife Jan what he was about to do. “I didn’t even go back for my shoes,” he wrote. “I got a ride to the FBI office in West Palm Beach, where I turned myself in, just as I was, barefoot…That’s how crazy I was.”

His decision became front-page news. “Crosby Gives Up In WPB,” read the 1A headline in the Palm Beach Post. Robert Neumann, then head of the FBI’s West Palm Beach office, told the Post that Crosby was “extremely uptight” when he surrendered.

Crosby asked reporters to “wish me luck” as he was handcuffed and put inside a Palm Beach County sheriff’s vehicle. Asked why he gave himself up, he said it “seemed like the right thing to do.”

The following day, Crosby appeared in Palm Beach County court. He was unshaven. His eyes were puffy. His hair was a mess. He was wearing blue prison garb and sat with about 75 other inmates.

The photo shot by The Post — of Crosby looking back over his shoulder at the camera — is right up there in the Celebrity Mug Shot Hall of Fame. Not quite Nick Nolte-level, but close.

At the hearing, Crosby called County Judge Edward Garrison “sir” and waived his extradition rights, settling in for a week until he was sent back to Texas on Dec. 20. He spent several months in prison, and, with a few detours here and there, eventually beat his drug habit.

He’s paid a price for his wasted-on-the-way years. Crosby has suffered from hepatitis and diabetes, and required a liver transplant. But, unlike many of his contemporaries, he has survived.

He’s returned often to West Palm Beach for both solo and CSN concerts at the Kravis Center, SunFest, and the former Carefree Theatre. He’s an engaging presence on Twitter, where he responds to fans’ queries. In 2015, he even stopped by the Boca Raton restaurant Farmer’s Table.

As for the future of Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young, it’s dicey. You can take the drugs out of rock ‘n’ roll, but never the drama.

In 2016 interviews, Graham Nash raged against Crosby, saying he has poisoned relationships with both him and Neil Young. “David has ripped the heart out of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young,” Nash told Lust for Life, a Dutch magazine, as reported by Rolling Stone.

But earlier this year, Nash told Variety  that there was one person who might persuade the fractured group to promote their themes of peace and justice again.

The Variety headline says it all: “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Could Reunite — Because They Hate Trump More Than Each Other.”

Sources: This story is based on original accounts by former Post reporters Nick Madigan, Mary Broussard and Greg Schwem, as well as online stories from Wikipedia, Ultimate Classic Rock, Variety, People and Rolling Stone magazine.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community

New book helps weekend warriors stay in the game
New book helps weekend warriors stay in the game

Like so many aging recreational athletes, Jeff Bercovici wants to extend his competitive days for as long as possible. But, as he found out when he hit his early 30s, his body didn’t respond to vigorous exertion the way it did when he was in his athletic prime. “Not only did I have to work hard to get into game shape, I found myself racking...
What is Earth Day? 5 things to know
What is Earth Day? 5 things to know

Sunday is Earth Day 2018, and more than one billion people across the globe are expected to celebrate with environmentally friendly events. But what exactly is Earth Day? Here's what you need to know: >> Read more trending news  The first Earth Day celebration took place 48 years ago, in 1970, after a devastating oil spill in America brought...
Record Store Day: Why are so many vinyl record stores opening in Palm Beach County?
Record Store Day: Why are so many vinyl record stores opening in Palm Beach County?

Analogopolis Records, Films, Games & Things is a mouthful of a title for a record store. Let owner Tom Procyk explain. “There are all these record stores with crazy names,” he said. “I was looking for something hard to say and hard to pronounce, but once you hear it you won’t forget it.” The 36-year-old music enthusiast...
‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says
‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says

A sweeping international study of alcohol consumption has found no overall health benefits from moderate drinking and calls into question the U.S. guidelines that say men can safely drink twice as much as women. The threshold for low-risk drinking, the researchers found, is about seven beers a week for men and women alike. The new report, published...
How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream
How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream

The idea that a someone who’s not a medical professional could reverse deadly drug overdoses by injecting victims with an antidote was once fringe. Now it’s widely accepted - and got even stronger backing this month with a rare announcement from the U.S. surgeon general. Jerome Adams urged Americans to consider getting trained to administer...
More Stories