Thursday, 30 October 2014

Graham Nash - Wild Tales

Graham Nash autobiography - is very frank and revealing.  Starting with his childhood in Salford, greater Manchester after WW2, having an out door toilet and no hot running water and often feeling hungry - a salutary reminder of how recently such poverty was widespread.  It covers his love of music at school and church and how rock and roll and skiffle changed his life - leading through various bands to the Hollies and then Crosby Stills and Nash (and Young)  and various combinations.

He is very sweet about leaving the Hollies and instant that it was a Joni Mitchells (not at Cass Eliotts of the Mamas and Papas) that he, David Crosby and Stephen Stills first sang together

There is a lot about the drugs and the women in his life, even more about the effects of drugs on David Crosby, Nash's best friend and musical collaborator.

It is very sad to read about Crosby's drug addiction, even if it has been covered by Crosby himself in his autobiography - how can one not feel sad when after a 3 hour intervention meeting by family and friends. Crosby goes off to the bathroom to smoke some more heroin, smokes more all the way to rehab and checks himself out of rehab within hours and takes drugs all the way back to his house.

Crosby became unable to sing properly and in some concerts his mike was turned down and another person sang his parts.

It slightly odd to hear so many Crosby Still and Nash songs described as political - at best most are quite obliquely so, but perhaps that's no bad thing, most directly political songs have a short lifespan if any at all.  What is undoubted is that they certainly played a lot of benefit concerts and did a lot of awareness raising. 

Perhaps strangest of all, when Crosby Stills and Nash were looking for a label, they sang for George Harrison and an Apple employee, they turned them down, the sang for Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, they didn't get it either.

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