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Crosby was born in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in Humboldt and Sonoma counties in Northern California, raised by a single mother from an upper-class family who owned a record store in Fortuna, California. His great-grandfather was John C. Crosby, a congressman from Massachusetts and his ancestry on his mother's side is English and Native American. It is speculated that his father, who was a lounge guitarist whom he never met, may have been partially Japanese.
At the age of 13, he was profiled in Guitar Player magazine and Shrapnel Magazine as a rising young star. He developed a love for classical music after watching the film Amadeus. When he met a girl named Michelle in 6th Grade, he learned to play The Beatles' hit "Michelle" on guitar to impress her. This sparked his interest in The Beatles, and in rock music in general. Crosby's other influences include Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, U2, and Depeche Mode. He formed VAST in 1993, at the age of 16, after moving to Petaluma, CA with friends Mike Alioti and Dimitri Katzoff, formerly of ska-band The Conspiracy, though that line-up was short-lived and would be frequently supplanted. He played few early shows, mainly at the famed Phoenix Theater, where many early acts—like Green Day—got their first big break.
At 19, Crosby's manager/ex-girlfriend Sakina Sati took him to New York, along with ex-members Daniel Alva and Stephen Garver, for the purpose of shopping his demo tapes through Shiva Baum, former manager for Opiate for the Masses, and a bidding war broke out; he then signed with Elektra. Two albums were released by Elektra – Visual Audio Sensory Theater in 1998 and Music For People in 2000. In 2002, however, Crosby left the label. 2003 saw him break new ground when he released two digital download albums, Turquoise 3.x and Crimson 3.x. He then moved on to Carson Daly's 456 Entertainment, where Nude was released in 2004.
In 2003 he started his own record label, 2Blossoms Records & Media. Late 2007 and early 2008, Crosby released five download-only EPs, under the collective title Generica, which was to be "an exploration of people, places and American music." The first three volumes were solo acoustic guitar songs, while the last two were recorded along with VAST band members under the name "Jon Crosby and the Resonator Band". Crosby stressed the difference between this outfit and VAST:
|“||When we put out "April" we were toying with the idea of releasing it as a JCRB album because the style was such a departure from previous VAST music. But then I thought, just because the music is different that doesn't mean it has to be a side project. Plus, a side project with the same members seemed a little bizarre. As we were recording the songs that would eventually go on Generica five we planned on putting them on a VAST album. Commercially it would have made more sense because people have heard of VAST but most people have not heard of JCRB. But to me, this music isn't VAST.||”|
Jon Crosby and the Resonator Band
Other side projects
- Bang Band Sixxx: Relay EP (2008)