Will the Real David Crosby Please Stand Up?

RIP, David Crosby. In light of the legendary rock star’s passing, I thought I’d repost this blog entry that was originally published on Sep. 17, 2014. I love that the original comments are still here. A couple of you might recognize yourselves!

Last night, we saw Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Keller Auditorium in Portland. Some of our Facebook friends were surprised to learn that David Crosby is not dead. Truth is, he’s alive and well. And for one blissfully ignorant half-hour, we thought we had met this rock ‘n roll legend.

We had time to kill before the concert, so we were strolling around the auditorium. A couple of tour buses were parked in back and standing next to them, just minding his own business and leaning against a railing, was a very distinct looking man who was bald on top with a shaggy mane of white hair cascading down the sides and a big, bushy mustache.

“Holy shit!” we said. “It’s David Crosby!”

We don’t generally like to bother famous people, but he was introducing himself to his fans, posing for pictures, and chatting away. So we approached and shook his hand.

“I’m a big fan!” I announced.

Tara was wearing a t-shirt from our Tom Petty concert last month. “Tom Petty,” David Crosby snorted. “He sings through his nose!”

“We’re much more excited to see your show,” Tara said, stretching the truth a little but more than happy to butter the guy up. After all, it was David freakin’ Crosby. He played Woodstock, man.

“We hate to bother you, but could we pose for a picture?” we asked.

David Crosby was happy to oblige. He put his arm around me (OMG!), smiled, and joked about how “we go way back.” It was one of the most surreal moments of my life.


We thanked him for his time and walked away, immediately posting this picture to Facebook and Instagram. For the next thirty minutes, we could not believe our good fortune. It’s not every day you shake hands with a rock ‘n roll pioneer.

And then, Tara had to go and pull out her phone.

She clicked on a hashtag I had posted – #csny – and pulled up a whole bunch of photos of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Recent ones.

“Umm, that was not David Crosby,” she said.

“What are you talking about?!” I replied. “That was totally David Crosby.”

Only, she was right. The man we met was most definitely not David Crosby. THIS is David Crosby:


Well, shit. In seconds I had gone from shooting the breeze with a rock ‘n roll legend to shaking hands with a weird, fat, sweaty Portland guy who put his arm around me.


Yeah, he fooled us. The resemblance was pretty remarkable (though in looking at recent photos, not quite so much as we initially believed). At least we weren’t the only ones bamboozled by this weirdo. People were chatting him up left and right and taking pictures with the guy. One poor schmuck had him sign a CSNY record album he was toting around. Now, that would piss me off.

In retrospect, it did seem odd that David Crosby was just hanging around outside the auditorium 45 minutes before a show without a care in the world, taking the time to chat up everybody who happened to wander by.

That guy’s a real jackass, whoever he is. I’d almost rather have remained in the dark because boy, were my friends awed and impressed by this picture. For a few brief moments, I felt like a hero to them. But then Tara posted that he was in fact not the real deal, and the Crosby was out of the bag.

Oh, well. We did get to see the real David Crosby, at least. From the third row of the second balcony, but whatever. CSN put on a great show. The vocal harmonies may have diminished some from their heyday in the late 60s and 70s, but when they gelled, they were on. “Cathedral” was downright rockin’, “Guinnevere” gave me shivers, and the combination of “Helplessly Hoping” and “Our House” was executed flawlessly. Three hours had passed by the time they came out for a final encore, “Teach Your Children.” We got home really late for a work night, but it was totally worth it.

There's the real David Crosby: that tiny white-haired speck on the right.
There’s the real David Crosby: that tiny white-haired speck on the right.

Unbelievably, the story didn’t end here. One week later, my daughter ran into the fake David Crosby at another event. You can read about that here.

51 thoughts on “Will the Real David Crosby Please Stand Up?

  1. “Well, shit. In seconds I had gone from shooting the breeze with a rock ‘n roll legend to shaking hands with a weird, fat, sweaty Portland guy who put his arm around me.”


    “Yeah, he fooled us. The resemblance was pretty remarkable”

    Mark, he would have fooled me as well because, damn, that guy really DOES look like him!

    I think it’s so cool that you went to this concert! “Teach Your Children” is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, right before I left this comment, I went over to You Tube and listened to it. What a great song! Ah, the memories!


    1. I was personally hoping for “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” my favorite CSN(Y) song ever, but there’s no way they could cram everything into the show. Glad to know the impostor would have fooled you, too. He WAS pretty realistic looking.


  2. I have heard of this before…..people who impersonate rock stars at a venue before the event. I would say they are benefitting from the power of suggestion, but that guy seriously looks like the real deal!


  3. You know what, you’re not alone. A friend of mine was just recently asked to post for a selfie with a stewardess because she thought he was a famous rapper. Then again…he’s actually a hypnotist, so perhaps he started that rumor. LOL


  4. I would social media the hell out of this fraud! I am sure he bamboozled others so get his name plastered everywhere and hashtag till no tomorrow! He wont get away with that long if people are on the look out!


    1. That’s not a bad idea. I already did a Google search to see if anybody else reported a similar encounter, but sadly, no. Which means there are a whole bunch of Portlanders walking around thinking they met David Crosby – and some even have the “autograph” to prove it!


  5. My wife seen him from 50 feet away when we were parking and yells “that’s David Crosby and he waved”. About 5 minutes later as we walked over all excited that he was still there I knew it was not THE David Crosby but a very close second. we talked to him for a few minutes when the REAL David Crosby came out of the back door of the Keller Auditorium 15 feet away from us and walked into his bus.
    We did talk to the look-a-like for almost a 1/2 hour and watched the excitement he caused with people thinking he was the “real thing”. Very pleasant fellow that said he has been mistaken for Crosby for a very long time. To tell you the truth it was a lot of fun watching peoples reaction. If you were one of many looking for a David Crosby autograph on a CSN or CSNY album……you were out of luck…..D.C. does not sign autographs. On the other hand Graham Nash did. Great show and we were lucky our short vacation to Portland from Kelowna, British Columbia could include this fun filled event with 3 hours of music history.
    By the way…..several people came up to me after they seen me talking to the look-a-like and asked if it was really him and I told them politely that it was not. Some of these people did not believe me and I told them to just ask him……he was honest. Some of these people thought I was his body guard. Take a picture anyhow…….what would it hurt.
    Lastly…….beautiful city with very friendly people. We will plan another vacation here and hopefully with another concert. Thank you Portland.


    1. Thanks for the great information, David. I’m glad you weren’t fooled by the fake Crosby. Ironically, my daughter ran into him at an Oktoberfest festival yesterday…gotta follow up with THAT post. I’m happy you enjoyed Portland and had the opportunity to see a great show, too!


  6. A little piece of my heart died today when I read of his death. Not that it wasn’t inevitable but CSN (& Y) were such a huge part of my life back in the day. I saw them 3 times in concert and each show was amazing. Cathedral? I sang so loud I was hoarse the next day. RIP David… you brought a lot of joy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think they played it two out of three of my shows, but ended with My House every time…
        I have a slew of CSN and CSN&Y and Neil Young albums. A few Graham Nash, but no Crosby soli albums. Feel kind of bad about that now.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I just found out about David Crosby’s death a few hours ago. I like your idea of reposting this as a tribute. I grew up on CSN and CSNY. It’s one thing when singers, actors, etc. you grew up with die young from drugs or accidents. But more and more these people that influenced my childhood are getting old and dying from… being old. Watch out – when Sting dies I am going to lose it, and that will PALE in comparison to how the husband will react when Bono finally dies.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I caught a CSNY concert back in 2000, about the time they were pitching the CD “Looking Forward.” I have but vague memories, but do remember some nice harmonies, and ear splitting guitar solos by Neal Young. As for your fake David Crosby, guess it’s one of those people believe what they want to believe things…

    RIP David, or at least in harmony.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nobody could harmonize like those guys! I’m jealous that you got to see the full band lineup with Neil Young. We were secretly hoping he’d surprise us and show up for a few songs, but alas, no such luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So funny and bizarre! At least you got a good story out of it, even if it’s not the good story you wanted. There was a Blue Bloods episode that involved someone impersonating Jimmy Buffet, until the real Jimmy Buffet told him to go away. The real Jimmy Buffet played both characters. That was fun to watch. It amazes me how many singers make good actors too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha. That’s genius! We were watching The Shield last night and Tara realized one of the characters on the show was none other than Andre 3000. He did a pretty good acting job, too!


      1. I had to look up who that was. My knowledge of the rap world is severely limited. I remember friends laughing at me after seeing in the credits of the movie Finding Forrester that one of the actors was named Busta Rhymes. I was all, who would name their kid that?! I’m glad I could give my friends a good laugh.


  10. I like my original comment! About a month ago, there was a Reddit thread on people who’ve met celebrities that were major assholes. Some guy who claimed to be in security and had met hundreds of celebrities said most were quite polite, but that David Crosby was the worst person he’s ever met. The guy seemed pretty sincere in his story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That seems to check out based on some of the other comments I received, ha. Even Crosby’s old bandmates didn’t want to have much to do with him in his later years. At least he had a voice as smooth as velvet!


    1. I honestly have no recollection of his voice. I don’t think that would have set off any alarms for me anyway. Sometimes, an artist’s speaking voice is nothing like his singing voice…which I’ve always found odd!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. But if you hadn’t done the research you, like the other fans, would have gone home happy… tactless wearing a T shirt for another artist when going to a gig. Just sayin’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ignorance is bliss up until the point he signs your album. That’s just fraud. At least I didn’t have to deal with that!

      Who wore a t-shirt from another artist? I’m confused by that part of your comment…


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