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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any CSN(Y) or Hollies fan.
A very interesting book from Mr Nash. Certainly worth a tenner on Kindle Store.

I don't agree with much of his politics, or views on alternative energy etc., but I do think that Graham Nash is a decent human being in that he cares for his fellow man in the global sense.

Key points are largely covered well, although the split with the Hollies could do...
Published 10 months ago by P. Jackson

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two bands
Graham Nash's autobiography opens in August 1968. At that time he was at a crossroads in his musical career. He was a founder member of the Hollies, the phenomenally successful Manchester band that had had a string of hits in the sixties, but he had come to realise that the sort of music they performed didn't interest him any more. He was increasing becoming more and more...
Published 9 months ago by Bantam Dave


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two bands, 3 Dec 2013
By 
Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wild Tales (Hardcover)
Graham Nash's autobiography opens in August 1968. At that time he was at a crossroads in his musical career. He was a founder member of the Hollies, the phenomenally successful Manchester band that had had a string of hits in the sixties, but he had come to realise that the sort of music they performed didn't interest him any more. He was increasing becoming more and more drawn to the United States and to the music that he had heard being produced by his recent acquaintances Stephen Stills and David Crosby. When the Hollies released an extremely lightweight record called Jennifer Eccles, which Nash hated, it was the last straw. He decided to quit the Hollies, move to the States and form Crosby, Stills and Nash with his new friends, and occasionally with fellow troubadour, Neil Young.

This autobiography can clearly be split into two sections, the Hollies and before and CSN and after. Surprisingly, particularly when you consider that Crosby, Stills and Nash all led a true hippy lifestyle consisting of copious amounts of free love and hard drugs, it is the earlier of these two sections that is by far the stronger. Graham Nash's recollections of his early years in Manchester make fascinating reading. Although his family were poor, particularly after his father was sent to prison on a trumped up charge, they allowed him to pursue a musical career rather that get a `proper job'. When he become friends with a class-mate called Harold Clarke, later to become Allan Clarke, he formed a musical partnership which after the obligatory years of struggle finally led to the Hollies. I thought this part of the book was excellent, as good as anything I had read in a rock music autobiography.

Unfortunately, the remainder of the book is not nearly so good. Whereas Nash's account of his early life is lively and vibrant, once he starts to write about his life after leaving the Hollies the mood dips completely. It soon becomes apparent that Nash regarded being a member of Crosby, Stills and Nash to be on a totally higher plain to being a member of the Hollies. Whilst the Hollies were a down to earth pop group with few pretensions, Graham Nash clearly believes Crosby, Stills and Nash to be just the opposite - a serious band whose songs should not just be tuneful but should also make a statement. It is probably because of that that the book also takes on a more serious tone, losing the element of fun that made the earlier part of the book so compelling to read. Despite the tales of a hedonistic lifestyle I found the story of his life in CSN to be rather tedious, only picking up slightly when he describes David Crosby's headlong descent into drug addiction and his subsequent recovery.

Overall, this is a complete curates egg of a book, probably suitable primarily to Crosby, Stills and Nash devotees.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 25 Feb 2014
This review is from: Wild Tales (Hardcover)
I really wanted to like this book as I am from the same era, from the Manchester area and saw The Hollies several times and CSN, minus Y three times and have most of the c.d.s of all combinations of the above.

It's a very egocentric narrative. After a chapter, I got used to Nash's conversational style but his ego began to irritate. His timeline inaccuracies have been covered in other reviews but his darting around in the immediacy of his narrative was confusing, e.g. he finds a soul mate (several times) then, in the next sentence or paragraph, he'll be boasting about his sexual profligacy with numerous girls.

I mentioned the conversational style but his slang and colloquialisms are drawn from both the UK and USA and are often counterbalanced in the same sentence; this didn't help his often fulsome narrative.

I was in the USA, the same time that Nash was doing a 'book-signing' in Waterstone's Manchester. At 25 per copy, it seemed extreme. I bought my copy at a used book store in Minnesota and paid $13; I'm glad that I only paid so little.

Most of all, I wanted to read about The Hollies and their line-up(s) during Nash's time. The original drummer, Don Rathbone "left" - and that's it! Eric Haydock gets at least a sentence or two regarding his departure, Bernie Calvert barely gets more than a couple of fleeting mentions and I would have loved to have heard more about Clarke and Hicks really felt when Nash was on the point of splitting with them. It's a real shame, as this book had great potential which it didn't fulfil.

There are books about CSNY (including many references to them in the intriguing: 'Canyon of Dreams' by Harvey Kubernik - which has a focus on the whole Laurel Canyon time) but I can find nothing on The Hollies ... except the mid-sixties paperback: "The Hollies Tell You How to Run a Beat Group". If anyone knows of a Hollies biography, I'd love to hear about it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any CSN(Y) or Hollies fan., 13 Oct 2013
By 
P. Jackson "Born-again" (Corsham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Wild Tales (Kindle Edition)
A very interesting book from Mr Nash. Certainly worth a tenner on Kindle Store.

I don't agree with much of his politics, or views on alternative energy etc., but I do think that Graham Nash is a decent human being in that he cares for his fellow man in the global sense.

Key points are largely covered well, although the split with the Hollies could do with another couple of pages. He never really explains his relationship with Allan Clarke between 1968 and 1983. Did they speak at all? Glad to see that all is well now though.

Throughout Nash is generous towards others and gives credit where credit's due (Allan and the rest of the Hollies, for example). He is often very honest about his own failings and dubious motivations, and some of his personal contradictions. This is refreshing, and makes the book a good, balanced read. There is a bit too much 'poor boy from Manchester made good' but it is sincerely felt, I think.

The big selling CSN(Y) albums are well-documented, but the lesser selling ones don't always make it. The important 1988 reunion, American Dream, is glossed over too quickly for my liking. How did Stephen Stills get to pollute that album with some real stinkers?

If you're a Neil Young fan, take note that he comes out of this book VERY badly! Nash portrays an immensely talented but totally, totally selfish man. And it's believable! For the most part, Nash is generous - and sometimes brutally honest - about all the characters here, but the final swipe at Neil Young on the last page is stinging and, I am sure, is what he really feels about him.

David Crosby is obviously a great, great friend, but Nash does not spare David's blushes in any way shape or form! A total mess for much of his life it seems, and not a pleasant person on the surface.

The OBE is a mystery for several reasons: Nash doesn't seem to know the person nominating him at all, which is odd. More importantly, Graham makes no attempt to explain why, as an American citizen of some 30 years AND a constant critic of the Establishment/Global Corporations/people in power generally, he would want to be honoured by the Queen in this way?! Instead, it's more 'imagine this poor boy from Manchester meeting the Queen!' sentiment.

So, all in all, Nash comes across as the decent human being you probably always suspected he was, despite his sometimes sermonising music. On paper, his worldview and politics are somehow less grating than on stage!

This is a good read for anyone interested in US/UK rock pop scene in the 1960s and 1970s.

One final warning: Strong language throughout (for no good reason I can think of!) He may be 71 but he's going on 12 on this evidence....why the publisher let it through is anyone's guess. It doesn't add anything: he can tell a good story without it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wild Tales? Yeah right!, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Wild Tales (Kindle Edition)
Graham Nash is blessed with a fine harmony voice and wrote a few decent songs over a very long career. Reading this book it seems as though he was at the focal point of the counter culture a decade after Joan Baez, Pete Seeger etc were at their zenith and that he and his band mates were modern day Mozarts. Lots of bragging about drug use along with descibing the dehumanising effect it had on his best friend David Crosby as well as it's destroying of creativity.

It's an interesting read for those of us that grew up with music of this era. The creation of and his leaving of the Hollies is interesting as is the formation of CSN, and some of the gossip that he was party to is amusing. However it is all overshadowed by Graham Nash's overwhelming self importance and failure to accept that on his own he was not a popular artist compared to as part of his band. He is nowhere near as gifted as Stills or Neil Young but he happily claims to be and passes off the failure of a lot of his solo stuff as the public not being ready for it.

A little more self awareness would have come in nicely and made this a more interesting read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild Tales - E-Book version, 25 Mar 2014
This review is from: Wild Tales (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the first 75% of this book a lot, but the last 25% was a rushed affair of Grahams last 25 years. The book starts brilliantly with an in depth story of how it all began and covers the 60s and 70s in great detail. His relationships, his music and the drugs are well covered. However as we get into the 80s things began to get glossed over and there is not as much to read about. Many other books written by rock stars also tend to go this way so it's not the first time I have encountered this. The final few chapters cover his family life and how things are for him today.
I am a big fan of music from the 60s and 70s so as a whole this is a great read for me, however it is painfully obvious that music not only changed for us as listeners but the attitude from musicians also changed and gave us the music we hear today. The old guys are not the same as they were in the heyday of music, they have money, families to worry about.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ego Tales, 24 Jun 2014
This review is from: Wild Tales (Kindle Edition)
Now Neil Young is an exceptional artist, David Crosby was great in the Byrds,(his harmony on 5D is breathtaking) Stephen Stills i can live with out and Graham Nash, well i can recall his halcyon days as a pop star with the Hollies and they did make some good pop records but as a serious rock performer i could list hundreds of performers with more talent, particularly in respect of songwriting skills. However we're looking at his memoir here , which should be entertaining as hes been around some interesting situations and by and large it is, but as other reviewers have said this cat is carrying around a massive ego about his own importance and its annoying to the point it distracts from the book. Therefore in truth its difficult to make gold star recommendations to read it, so i wont!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping and wild, 28 Sep 2013
By 
Bodhi Heeren (Copenhagen) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wild Tales (Hardcover)
As one would suspect from a superb songwriter and photographer this a work of quality written in an easy but literary style. Funny but also profound when that is needed.

A rather amazing tale of a guy born and raised in utter poverty in postwar UK and then realizing his teenage dream and more with The Hollies before being turned on by the likes of David Crosby and Mama Cass to mindexpanding drugs and the hippie lifestyle.

We get the intimate story of his failed love relationship to Joni Mitchell, the wild and crazy times surronded by lots of gorgous and willing girls, the snorting of insane amounts of coke and the total downfall of Crosby in the 80s. And some interesting reflections on Neil Young and his erratic, selfish behavior that might unsettle some fans of St. Neil. On the other hand he paints a lot more sympathetic pic of Stills than Crosby does in his two autobiographical books.

The only problem is that book is too short, the time from Crosby's return from jail up to now being very fragmentarily dealt with. As if albums like "Live It Up", "After The Storm", "Looking Forward" did not exist not to mention the brilliant Crosby and Nash.

All in all a wonderful book and not only a must-have for CSN(Y) fans but for everyone reflecting on the rock life, the enviroment and the muse of pure Music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frank but not quite fulsome, 2 Jan 2014
By 
Andy Leslie (Llandybie, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild Tales (Kindle Edition)
Reading these memoirs it struck me that it's bloody amazing any rock stars from the 1960s and '70s survived at all. They let cocaine / heroin take over their lives and ruin their health.

A lot of the book is about Graham Nash's life and times and that's what I expected, but that he chose to fill other pages with David Crosby's woes of drug addiction, ill health and accidental parenthood. I mean, there's a *lot* about how stupid David Crosby was, less so about Stephen Stills' problems. Graham Nash proclaims himself never an addict, despite getting through grams of cocaine like, well, a rock star of the 1960s and '70s. As to Neil Young, I think Nash must just be afraid of him as he gets off so lightly as to be almost as good as the author at dodging the drug charges.

For the most part this is an astonishingly frank memoir with some illustrations of his songwriting technique.

Well worth a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nash off!!, 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: Wild Tales (Hardcover)
Yeah man that night met couple really beautiful Aymerican birds, met 'em when I was in this heavy scene with 'love of my life' then met more birds Course I slept with 'em They seemed to find me irresistible (the accent?) and not from England town (bad teeth trip?)
The book had it's interesting parts but what a high opinion the mediocre-dull Nash has of himself!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just so up himself!, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Wild Tales (Kindle Edition)
I saw Graham Nash with the Hollies at the Gaumount Taunton in1964 and again at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013. The intervening 49 years are covered in this totally self indulgent, selective (you'll search in vain for any mention of Eric Haydock or Bernie Calvert, bass players with the Hollies, who were in fact present with Graham Nash and Allan Clarke at the Hall of Fame induction!) but nevertheless fascinating book. A legend in his own lifetime - as he keeps on telling us! But listen to his music and you can - almost - forgive him!
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