Robbin Crosby (August 4, 1959 – June 6, 2002), born Robbinson Lantz Crosby and nicknamed "King", was co-lead guitarist in the Glam metal band Ratt, earning several platinum albums in the U.S. in the mid-to-late 1980s.
Robbin Crosby's guitar playing was largely influenced by guitar heroes Jimi Hendrix,Michael Schenker, and Billy Gibbons. He joined Ratt in 1982 as the co-lead guitarist alongside future King Kobra and BulletBoys vocalist Marq Torien.
Crosby preferred to play Jackson King V and Jackson Custom Firebird guitars, He would often put a red rose on the end of his guitar, at one point stating "I thought the chicks would dig it." He requested six red roses on the item list of the tour rider.[
Crosby was born in La Jolla, California, and had two sisters, Risten and Bronle. The son of Harry W. Crosby, a schoolteacher and author, rumours that he was related to Bing Crosby were never proven (there was confusion on that point because Bob Crosby, Bing's brother, lived in La Jolla.)
During High School in the late 1970s and through the early 80's, he dated model/actress Tawny Kitaen. He was also romantically linked to Prince protege Apollonia Kotero.
Robbin joined Ratt in 1982 and made a major songwriting contribution to the band, penning many of Ratt's hits including "Round and Round", "I'm Insane", "Back for More" and "Lay it Down". The team of Crosby, with co-lead guitarist Warren DeMartini, helped to make Ratt one the biggest rock acts in the mid-1980s. However, DeMartini's growing popularity as a guitar hero caused strife in Crosby's life, rumored to launch him into depression and eventually led to drug addiction.
Crosby bought a house in Los Angeles in which he displayed his platinum albums, and cars including a 1979 Ferrari Dino. Robbin married Playboy Playmate Laurie Carr in 1987, but they had no children. He had a reputation for the "rock and roll lifestyle" during Ratt's heyday, and he was a habitual heroin user for some time. Allegedly it was Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx who introduced him to the drug in Ratt's earlier days. Crosby and Sixx were roommates during the mid 1980s.
Interviewers in the 1980s often mentioned that he was a sweet person and a true gentleman who gave thoughtful interviews, things rarely mentioned about his peers in the business.
By 1990, the pressure of fame and living the "rock and roll lifestyle" finally got to him, and Crosby's use of heroin and other drugs began taking over his life. There would be shows where he literally couldn't play and he eventually left Ratt. Later, Crosby worked as a producer for metal band Lillian Axe, but expressed guilt at the manner of his departure from Ratt.
Crosby eventually divorced his wife. Between his heroin habit and his divorce, the millions of dollars he acquired in Ratt were lost, along with many of his material possessions.
In 2001, Crosby publicly admitted that he had full-blown AIDS. He had been in and out of the hospital for eight years dealing with back problems and health issues associated with the HIV virus. To occupy his time he became a Little League coach.
He tried to work on musical projects, including one with ex-Ratt bassist Juan Croucier but relapsed on heroin after moving a friend from his past, who was still using, into his new apartment. Crosby died of a heroin overdose (not of AIDS as often believed) in Los Angeles on June 6, 2002, two months prior to his 43rd birthday.
He was 6'6" tall and weighed around 245 pounds at his healthiest. At the time of his death Crosby had changed physically, due to a pancreatic condition that changed his metabolism; Crosby had gained significant weight since his '80s glam heyday. He was quoted as saying in an interview just before his death:
"Apparently my pancreas has given up and I'm not metabolizing food the way I should. It's real frustrating.... I have a roommate that probably weighs 150 lbs. and he eats a lot more than I do. It's not like I'm a pig or a slob."
In a 1999 interview that was first televised in 2006, Crosby stated:
"When I die, nobody cry at my funeral, in fact let's all have a party; I've lived the life of ten men. I lived all my dreams and more."
According to an autopsy report after his death, Crosby weighed over 400 pounds.
Robbin's remains were cremated. The memorial was at Windansea Beach in La Jolla, California; friends and family on surfboards spread his ashes out at sea.
Robbin Crosby Tribute
Robbin talks about Tawny Kitaen and OJ Simpson
Ratt - "Round and Round"
Ratt - "Lay It Down"
Ratt - "I Want A Woman"
R.I.P. ROBBIN. You may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten.
I Remember meeting Robbin Crosby, in 1998 when I Worked at Guitar Center #116, Sherman Oaks, Ca,
on Ventura Blvd,
So I guess He lived Somewhere in the Area at the time and I Remember 1st hearing Rumors that he Now had AIDS,
and was hooked on Heroin, Crack, etc and was Now with Messy Brown Hair, Fat, Ugly, Unrecognizable, etc,
from some of the "Other" Guitar Floor Salesmen, (Michael Rodecker) Talking Alot of Shit about Robbin,
Behind The Counter, (Behind Robbin's Back!) and Like It was All "Funny" or A "Big Joke!",
Robbins Sad Situation, that Is. I was Shocked and Angry at the time, cause I Loved Robbin, and Learned How to Play Guitar really,
to A Lot of Ratt's Music
So I Almost wanted To Punch or Kick Rodecker's Ass!, But You Know, That Would'nt Be "Professional" In A Retail Environment!
So Any ways Robbin's Looking around for Somebody To "Help Him" Buy Something or He Needed Something at Guitar Center, and All these Giggly,Shit Talkin' Salesmen are Avoiding Him!, and Hiding upstairs, etc,
So I come up and Say;
"Hey Hows It Goin?!, Acting Natural & Respectful, and he Says He's Looking for a MIDI Pedal,
(To Switch on & Off & "Program" Amp & Effect Settings, Etc), But He Wants It t Be "Small", A "Small Midi Pedal,
The Smallest one You Got"!,
So I Show Him the Tech 21/Sans Amp "Midi Mouse", Midi Pedal, which is Smaller than a Normal Effect Box,
and He says, "No, Too Small"!?, So then I Showed and Sold Him A "Rolls" Midi Buddy Pedal, still Pretty Small,
but more like 11"x8".
But In Hindsight, the Guy Was Functioning, but Seemed Pissed or Irritated, was Dressed Messy, and even though I Didnt Recognize Him as "Robbin Crosby" at 1st, I was In Awe Cause Once I Really Looked at His Face and how Tall He was and that Characteristic Deep California Boy/Stoner Dude Voice came through I Knew The Faggots In Back (Supposedly G.C.'s Best & Brightest) who were Talking' Shit and Avoiding Him, Were Fuckin' Assholes, and Should "Burn" in their Own "Rock and Roll Hell",
"Can I Get A Witness!"
For Such Disrespect, For Someone Who Deserved A Whole Lot More than what he Got!
Rest In Peace ROBBIN, You Rocked Hard and Represented Jackson Guitars Like No Other!