Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life
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From Graham Nash—the legendary musician and founding member of the iconic bands Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Hollies—comes a candid and riveting autobiography that belongs on the reading list of every classic rock fan.
Graham Nash's songs defined a generation and helped shape the history of rock and roll—he’s written over 200 songs, including such classic hits as "Carrie Anne," “On A Carousel,” "Simple Man," "Our House," “Marrakesh Express,” and "Teach Your Children." From the opening salvos of the British Rock Revolution to the last shudders of Woodstock, he has rocked and rolled wherever music mattered. Now Graham is ready to tell his story: his lower-class childhood in post-war England, his early days in the British Invasion group The Hollies; becoming the lover and muse of Joni Mitchell during the halcyon years, when both produced their most introspective and important work; meeting Stephen Stills and David Crosby and reaching superstardom with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and his enduring career as a solo musician and political activist. Nash has valuable insights into a world and time many think they know from the outside but few have experienced at its epicenter, and equally wonderful anecdotes about the people around him: the Beatles, the Stones, Hendrix, Cass Elliot, Dylan, and other rock luminaries. From London to Laurel Canyon and beyond, Wild Tales is a revealing look back at an extraordinary life—with all the highs and the lows; the love, the sex, and the jealousy; the politics; the drugs; the insanity—and the sanity—of a magical era of music.
that I wasn’t cool, that maybe, even now, I was out of my element. Ahhh—what the hell? I’d been in all kinds of situations the past ten years. No point in getting hung up on that now. Suddenly, Joni was at the door and nothing else mattered. It had been a few months since we’d last seen each other—and that was, in fact, the first time we’d met—but our connection was instant. Joni Mitchell was the whole package: a lovely, sylphlike woman with a natural blush, like windburn, and an elusive quality
end—of Crosby/Nash, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the end of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The mothership had a huge, gaping hole in the hull. Crosby was in much deeper trouble than I thought. I learned that after the blow-up, when he’d left the studio, he refused to let Jan drive him home. Instead he sped off in his Mercedes, up into the densely packed hills, with Jan desperately pleading with him to slow down. Inevitably, he nodded out at the wheel and plowed into the back of a parked car. No one was
“Little by Little.” It was basically a throwaway, as most B-sides were, but they’d left a track open for percussion, so we all just started banging away on bottles and clapping. So for a few seconds, Clarkie and I were Stones sidemen. We’d already toured with the Dave Clark Five in late 1964 and often, to my ears, we blew them off the stage. I didn’t hang out with Dave—and I didn’t particularly like him. He was aloof and condescending, just a mediocre drummer; Mike Smith was the standout
see a kid from America whom Linda Keith told me about: Jimi Hendrix. I sat directly behind John, Paul, and George. We were all stunned by his music; it was so primitive, so wild, so unbelievably rock ’n’ roll. A few months later, in March 1967, the Byrds came to England for a short promotional tour to support their new single, “So You Want to Be a Rock ’n’ Roll Star.” This was the first time they’d been to the UK since 1965, when the promoter fucked up by billing them as “America’s Answer to the
to deal with it. It wasn’t hard convincing David that CSN sounded more musical. That’s two to one on my scoresheet. I hadn’t been in America all that long, but there was a lot to like about this democracy business. We had a helluva time in Sag Harbor, cementing our friendship, getting wasted together, just hanging out, enjoying life. But I was especially looking forward to reuniting with Joni. We’d only had short bursts of time together since starting our relationship. And both of us were going