The Hippo


Jun 18, 2019








Courtesy photo.

Graham Nash

When: Wednesday, July 12, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center, 39 Main St., Plymouth
Tickets: $79.50 and up at 

Talking with a legend
Graham Nash on his music career, photography and more

By Michael Witthaus

 “I think the ’60s are going to be seen as a very interesting era in history,” Graham Nash said midway through a phone interview. Clearly, that’s a huge understatement. Nash modestly doesn’t add that a lot of attention showered on the decade stems from his artistic contribution — first as a member of The Hollies, then with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Both bands are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The conversation touched on Nash’s influences, solo music (This Path Tonight was released in 2016) and what the future may hold for CSN&Y.
A musical moment at a 1950s school dance attended with Hollies cofounder Allan Clarke lit a spark for Nash.
We were walking across an empty dance floor when “Bye Bye Love” by the Everly Brothers came on the speakers really loud, and I had never had any piece of music affect me like that. … I had already been listening to the American Top 40 on Radio Luxembourg, Gene Vincent and Elvis, but [that song] made me want to make music that made me feel like I felt right then.  
The diversity of his concert audiences inspire him to carry on.
I see a generation thing that is really thrilling to me. I see people that have been friends of our music and have grown up and gotten married and had kids and their kids have grown up and they turned their kids on to our music and I see that generation when I look out at our audiences. I see 70-year-old people standing next to 15-year-old kids.  
The origins of  “Our House,” one of Nash’s most iconic songs, were a bit of kismet.
You take your girlfriend [at the time, singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell] to breakfast, and she buys a vase in an antique store as you’re going back home, and when I get to her home in Laurel Canyon, I said, “hey, why don’t I light a fire and you put some flowers in that vase that you just bought today?”  Well, all I needed was a chorus, really. 
Why he keeps writing, not resting on his rich song catalog.
There is way too much happening in the world to remain silent. I’m a human being; I get up every morning and realize I’m alive and I get on with my day. I check the news; I check my trends; I see something tremendous ... and I write about it. There is no end to this songwriting thing.
The writer of  “Chicago” and No Nukes organizer sees many ways to keep the artist’s social role vital.
I believe that artists have two things that they must do. ... We must try and tell the truth as much as we can, and I think we have to really show the world what the environment is in which we live. And that is what I am trying to do and I wake up every morning and I look out in New York City and there is a tremendous ocean of humanity out there and oceans of possibilities for songs and creation and images you want to paint and images you want to take with your camera. 
Photography is a constant passion for Nash, who’s published books of his pictures.
I’ve never put my camera down. The truth is, surreal moments go on in front of me all of the time. ... And the most absurd things happen in front of my camera. You can kind of — not will it into existence, but you can put yourself into a mood that something great is going to go on today. I just know it,  I’m ready, I’ve got my camera and my girlfriend. Amy Grantham and I, we walk out into the city with our camera and of course, always something wild happens, especially here in New York City.  
A rock legend roaming the streets with a camera attracts less attention than one might expect.
Fans either touch me on the shoulder, or give me a thumbs up, or  say, “Hey, that’s good music, man, thanks!” They don’t ask me about Woodstock, or where Neil is.
After a falling out with David Crosby, Nash declared CSN&Y over a while ago. Has anything changed?
I am tremendously supportive of David Crosby after all these years. We’ve been dear friends. But we’re just not talking right now. We just don’t have the same view of the world and the same opinion about what’s going on. ... We made some good music in our lives and let’s get on with life.  
A high point stands out from his run with the supergroup.
One of the greatest memories was the end of the 1974 stadium tour, at Wembley in London. ... Not necessarily music-wise ... but for me, personally as an Englishman, to have played that show was fabulous. 

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