Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life

This is Graham Nash’s autobiography.

Graham narrates the audible version and does a good job weaving through his personal history. He starts with his blue-collar family and how Alan Clarke and he knew each other since school and formed The Hollies. The most interesting part to me was the mid-sixties era living in swinging London.

He wrote about his friendship with the Beatles and him getting an advance tape of Sgt Pepper from Brian Epstein. He had a great hi-fi system at his flat and he would show it off to anyone that came over. When the Turtles came over from America they were blown away by Sgt Peppers at top volume. He went on about how Sgt Peppers changed everything and it would eventually lead him to leave the Hollies.

Graham describes being a pop star in the mid-sixties in London. Shouldn’t we all live that life? Paul McCartney calls him up and invites him over to the All You Need Is Love session for the “Our World” program to be broadcast to millions.

He talks about how his friendship with Mama Cass led to meeting David Crosby and eventually CSN being born. Graham covers the CSNY period and his romantic relationships including  Joni Mitchell. He does cover the drama associated with CSNY and the troubled David Crosby. What kind of Rockstar bio would it be without drugs… Graham did his share and Crosby did our share. Graham handled them better than some.

Graham would write simple songs compared to Crosby, Stills, and Young but many times his songs would be the hits that drove some of the later albums…songs like “Just a Song Before I Go” and “Wasted on the Way.”

One thing I can say is he didn’t hold back or pull punches…but he still comes off as a really nice guy but it is his book.

This book helped sever his relationship with Crosby…for now anyway but Nash stressed through the book how much he cared for Crosby.

I would recommend this book to not only Hollies and CSNY fans but fans of 60’s and 70’s music and culture. After reading this I listened to more Hollies songs and I really began to appreciate their psychedelic period with songs like King Midas in Reverse.

 

 

 

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

14 thoughts on “Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life”

  1. I can’t decide what surprises me more- that George Jones lived until the age of 81. The odds in Vegas had to be he never would see forty-five…. that Keith Richards is seventy-four or that David Crosby is seventy-six–back in the seventies who would have thought it. Must have some mighty genes in those families. .. I liked your line on Nash- he comes off as a really nice guy- but it is his book! I’ve always been very lukewarm about CSN. … Did you ever watch those Mystery Science Theater 3000 program? I saw a couple ones and one that cracked me up– there was some scene and the commentator said on it “That looks like David Crosby eating a McRib sandwich” for some reason it was really funny. Maybe you just had to see it.

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    1. Yes I did watch that show way back…very funny. I’m glad you brought that show up… I’ll have to track a few down… It’s funny the original thing I said was he could be a little self serving but it’s his book…but I thought…I’ll be nice… The parts that I liked were the mid sixties with the Hollies. I never had the desire to read about the Hollies or CSN but it was enjoyable…
      Keith Richards is a cockroach…I mean jeez. I never thought about George Jones but you are right.

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      1. Is the Nash book worth a read? going to place an order on the Robbie Robertson book– and I still haven’t watched The Spirit of ’76 yet– been a busy week so far…

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      2. It is worth a read… A lot of good stories about the mid-sixties and London at that time. He does go over everything. Sometimes a bit self-serving to me but he wrote the book. I didn’t know that Apple turned down CSN… Did your wife enjoy Bedazzled?

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      3. She hasn’t gotten a chance to see Bedazzed yet- I still have it- I am sure she will like it—even better than she liked Revolution #9… I will say this she didn’t like Captain Beefheart at first but I think she is starting to recognize his genius after a few listens.

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  2. Your well-done review ended where the book should have ended. It was full of interesting stories about an amazing time in music and cultural history, until the writing turned into something else. This is the music bio I wished afterward I hadn’t read. I wrote a review of the book in 2014, but it is still sitting in my ‘drafts’ folder, and will probably stay there. I’ve loved Graham Nash my entire life–his music and the public persona, until this book, when I decided I didn’t like him very much.

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    1. He comes off smelling like a rose a little too much… Have you seen the Hollies documentary “Look Through Any Window?”

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      1. I won’t highly recommend it unless you are a big Hollies fan. It was enjoyable but if you see it on some channel watch it… Personally, my favorite Hollies song came after Graham left… The Air That I Breath… I do like some of the other stuff also. It does show them working on “On a Carousel” in Abbey Road which was cool.

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