The pair briefly dated around 1967, and both of their careers benefited from each others’ influence. But as Mitchell wrote in her song “That Song About the Midway” (which ended up in on 1969’s Clouds LP), she eventually got tired of his behavior and wanted to move on. One night, among friends at the home of the Monkees’ Peter Tork, she delivered her breakup message.
“She came in and she was kind of different,” Crosby told Howard Stern on SiriusXM recently. “She’s like, ‘I’ve got a new song,’ and we were all there, and we all said, ‘Oh, fantastic, a new Joni song!’ And she starts to sing it, and it’s plainly a goodbye to me. And then she sang it again in case I didn’t get it the first time – unbelievable! Everybody in the room was going, ‘Oh.’ Everybody. … It’s hysterically funny.”
Listen to Joni Mitchell’s ‘That Song About the Midway’
Asked if it had been difficult being in a relationship with Mitchell, Crosby replied: “Listen, imagine if you wrote a song, a really good song, and you sang it to her when she came home, and then she sang you three better songs that she wrote last night.”
He accepted that the split was inevitable as a result of her immense talent. “She is arguably the best singer-songwriter of our times,” Crosby noted. “I don’t get along with her that well anymore, but I do love her with my whole heart for what she’s given us.”
Crosby added that “it’s not just me – I don’t think Joni gets along with any of her exes. … I was very happy when she went with Graham [Nash]. Graham was, I think, the best of us for her. The best experience she had with a guy was with Graham.”
Top 100 Classic Rock Artists
Click through to find out how they stack up, as we count down the Top 100 classic rock artists.