Bruce Berry

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Bruce Berry (August 3, 1950 – June 4, 1973) was professional roadie for the members of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, both as a group and individually.

He got his start by working at his brother Ken's store SIR (Studio Instrument Rentals) which brought him steady gigs. His happy, charismatic personality endeared him to the group and he was always on the road with them. He used to load all of his instruments into his trademark white Ford Econoline van, until he moved to England to work with Stephen Stills.

When he came back to the USA, he was a completely different person. Danny Whitten of Crazy Horse had turned him on to heroin and it now controlled his life. Berry died of an overdose of heroin and cocaine[1] on June 4, 1973, just a few months after Danny met the same fate. Bruce Berry's story was later used as the theme of the lyrics of Tonight's the Night by Neil Young.[2] Danny Whitten's death was not from a heroin/cocaine (speedball) overdose although heroin did play a big role in Danny Whitten's life. He was trying to kick the habit but Mr. Whitten died from a combination of Valium and Alcohol. It happened only hours after Neil Young let him go from Crazy Horse rehearsals at Young's ranch in Redwood City. Neil Young gave Danny fifty bucks and a plane ticket back to L.A. Then, Neil Young got a call from L.A. saying Danny Whitten was dead.[3]


Bruce Berry was the brother of Jan Berry of Jan and Dean.

References

  1. ^ Durchholz, Daniel; Graff, Gary (2012). Neil Young: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History. Voyageur Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0760344118. 
  2. ^ "Tonight's the Night". Neil Young Album Reviews. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  3. ^ BBC 4 documentary, "Don't Be Denied" a bio of Neil Young and wikipedia - Daniel Ray Whitten (May 8, 1943 – November 18, 1972)
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