It is a sad week for those in the recovery community, especially for those whose lives were touched by Dallas Woodrow Taylor Jr. who died on Sunday at the age of 66. The former drummer for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) devoted over 25 years to helping others find their way into recovery.
Taylor once told People magazine that his introduction to drugs started at the age of four when his mother introduced him to opium to treat ulcers, the LA Times reports. At the age of 16 he dropped out of high school and moved to Hollywood. Taylor played in the Clear Light until the late 1960s, when he met David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.
Dallas Taylor appeared on CSNY albums throughout the late ’60s, and was on stage with the band at Woodstock in 1969. Sadly he found himself, as many do, in the grips of addiction which led to his release from the band in 1970. It is no secret that many were experimenting with drugs in those years, but Taylor’s drug and alcohol use were over the top. Keith Moon, a drummer notorious for partying hard and wrecking stage sets while playing with The Who, recognized that Taylor had a problem – warning him of the price he ultimately would have to pay for his drug use, according to the article.
“Keith was always rock’s No. 1 bad boy — he invented the whole thing with trashing hotel rooms,” Taylor told The Times in 1990. “But I remember him telling me, ‘Dallas, you do too much drugs.'”
Taylor would often say that he made his first million and his last million – by the time he was 21.
Taylor’s exit from the band may have seemed like a tragedy, but the reality is that he had a more important effect outside the music industry than within. In 1984 Taylor became an active member of the recovery community, celebrating 30 years of sobriety last month. What’s more, for over 28 years he served as drug and alcohol counselor, specializing in interventions. Over the years he worked closely with a number of well regarded treatment facilities, helping people new to recovery find their way.
Sadly in 1989, with five years of recovery Taylor was diagnosed with terminal liver failure. In 1990, his friends in the music industry came together and held a benefit concert to raise money for a liver transplant. While he was fortunate enough to have a liver transplant, his health fluctuated over the years and in 2007 he required a kidney transplant which he received from his wife.
Despite his failing health over the years, Taylor continued to put one foot forward with goal of showing others living with addiction the gifts of recovery. It goes without saying that his presence will be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dallas’ family, including his: wife Patti, son Dallas, daughters Sharlotte and Lisa, and five grandchildren.