Playing for Time
Instead of celebrating his long run of success, promoting his group's recently released album, After the Storm—or making plans for the birth of the baby he and his wife, Jan, 43, are expecting this spring—Crosby was admitted on Nov. 2 to the UCLA Medical Center. Though now listed in fair condition, Crosby's illness could become life-threatening if he does not receive a transplant within a year.
While he waits for a matching liver, which doctors expect may take up to six months, Crosby counts on the company of band-mates Stephen Stills and Graham Nash and former drummer Dallas Taylor to boost his spirits, if not his strength. "We walked down to the lobby," says Taylor of a recent visit, "and he was so exhausted he had to go back to bed." Having gone through a similar transplant nearly five years ago (detailed in his autobiography Prisoner of Woodstock), Taylor can tell his friend what he has to look forward to: a long wait followed by a long operation, if a donor is found in time. Mean-while Taylor's wife, Betty, can only urge Jan, who sleeps in her husband's private room, to hang tight. "They're scared," says Taylor, "but tough."
And not sinking into self-pity. If a liver is not found soon, Crosby recently suggested to Taylor that they take matters into their own hands. "Why don't you ride your motorcycle, get in a wreck and give me your liver? "Crosby wryly asked him. Sorry, said his pal, but thanks for asking. "As long as he's that ornery," says Taylor, "he'll be okay."
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