Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Drummer Comes to Visalia | Community Spirit
Dallas Taylor, former drummer of the hit group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young will be the commencement speaker at the 15th Tulare County Adult Drug Court graduation ceremony, to be held at 7:00 p.m., May 17, 2012 at the Visalia Convention Center. Superior Court Judges Gary Paden and Glade F. Roper announced that over 150 graduates from around Tulare County will be honored at the ceremony. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
Crosby, Stills & Nash was formed in 1968 from the remnants of four other bands, The Byrds, The Hollies, Buffalo Springfield and Clearwater. Dallas Taylor, the drummer from Clearwater, had played with such luminaries as Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, John Sebastian and Eric Clapton. The band was an instant hit and its first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash, sold millions of copies. Neil Young joined the band and it achieved worldwide fame at the Woodstock Music Festival. Their second album, Déjà Vu, also sold millions of copies and is ranked number 148 on the Rolling Stone list of the top 500 albums of all time.
Several of the band members, including Dallas Taylor, began using drugs heavily and the band fell apart. Stills and Taylor went on to form the band Manassas, but continuing drug use took its toll. Within a short time Taylor was destitute, friendless and suicidal. After attempting to kill himself he went through addiction treatment and began a new life as a drug addiction counselor and interventionist. His extensive drug use destroyed his liver and kidneys. He received liver and kidney transplants which have prolonged his life. He wrote a book about his experience entitled Prisoner of Woodstock. In a 2007 interview when asked what he would do differently in life, Taylor was quoted as saying, “Stay away from the drugs and alcohol. It took everything from a lot of us. Considering all I been through. I intend to take life one day at a time and enjoy each day as if it were my last.....because it could just be.”
The Adult Drug Court began in Tulare County 1996 and since that time over 2000 people have graduated from the program, which supervises drug offenders through treatment and recovery rather than sending them to jail or prison. Graduates of the Drug Court have a much lower rate of recidivism than those sent to jail or prison. Unlike most Drug Courts around the nation, participants in Tulare County pay the cost of their own treatment and testing. Over $1,800,000 is paid every year by Drug Court participants for their addiction treatment and testing, about $4000 per person. The cost of incarceration in prison for drug offenders is about $50,000 per year, and recent Federal Court orders require the state to drastically reduce the number of prison inmates. Tulare County Drug Court saves taxpayers over $16,000,000 per year in incarceration costs alone. By reducing recidivism overall savings is many times that amount.
Judge Roper said, "Dallas Taylor is a classic example of how drug use can destroy someone. He was on top of the world, rich, famous and talented, yet drugs almost killed him several times. After receiving treatment, he has dedicated his life to helping others recover from the scourge of drug addiction. He is a wonderful speaker with a fascinating story. I am sure everyone there will be uplifted and excited by his message. Like all our graduation speakers, Mr. Taylor is not being paid to speak. He is coming because of his commitment to recovery and desire to encourage and reward our graduates.”
Judge Paden added, “We are fortunate in this county to have a thriving Drug Court that reduces drug use and crime without being a burden on taxpayers. Drug Court participants have paid the cost of their treatment and testing, not public funds. This graduation is a celebration of how much the Drug Court helps to reduce crime, bring families back together, help people finish high school, get a job and become law-abiding members of our community. I am sure everyone there will be encouraged and inspired. Drug Court is supported by law enforcement, city and county leaders because it reduced crime and gives people the opportunity to become productive members of society again.”
In addition to Taylor speaking, a video with photos comparing the graduates at the time of their arrest to a current photo will be shown, demonstrating how devastating drug use can be and how much can be regained when people practice recovery from addiction. Two graduates will also be selected to speak on behalf of the graduating class.