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Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any CSN(Y) or Hollies fan., 13 Oct. 2013
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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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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Oct 2013 10:11:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Oct 2013 19:55:29 BDT
Nash's problem is his perception of his and their contribution to music - since 1975 there's been little of any substance. Best advert for not shoving stuff up your nose. American Dream contained one decent song the title track and he doesn't even mention the catastrophic Looking Forward. Nash's dislike for Young is well documented - Nash doesn't like Neil for the way he's treated them over the years. CSN always needed Y - but Y never needed CSN. Living on a paradise island gives him little right to give a worldview.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013 11:44:30 BDT
Boswell says:
Mr Riggs, American Dream wasn't as bad as is generally thought. "This Old House" & "Compass were first class songs and "Got It Made" ain't bad either.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013 11:48:15 BDT
I forgot about Compass - good call.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013 19:21:51 BDT
P. Jackson says:
I thought that Looking Forward was actually quite a strong album, and certainly better than American Dream. The intervening 10 years meant that the awful tinny 80s production techniques had been consigned to history. In my opinion, everything on Looking Forward was far superior to Driving Thunder (possibly the worst song by anyone ever!!) and Graham extolling the virtues of clean water...
...but that's just my opinion. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013 19:58:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Oct 2013 19:59:33 BDT
With the passing of time there's not much to choose between these two CSNY records - the nadir being after 10 years they didn't have enough songs to complete Looking Forward and finished the record with Sanibel ! So much for Nash's claim that it's all about the new songs. Deja Vu stills sounds much better to me.

Posted on 15 Oct 2013 12:45:51 BDT
Janie says:
I think that both American Dream and Looking Forward have their moments - a little patchy, but a handful of great songs on each. On American Dream, Crosby's Compass is wonderful, and most of Young's songs are great - Nash's 'Clear Blue Skies' is great too. It's Stills who lets the side down on that album. Looking Forward isn't a masterpiece, but to call it 'disastrous' is bizarre. There are some great songs on it.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2013 16:31:05 BDT
I called it catasrophic - ok there's 2-3 decent songs on both records - Young's songs are not great, Stills admittedly hadn't written a decent song in 20 years but to say Young's songs were great is frankly ludicrous. Young just preferred to use his stronger songs for his solo work, but even they were threadbare. I love CSNY, but they've not come near to matching CSN debut or Deja Vu -theses records still sound fresh whilst their other group offerings sound weak & insipid.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2013 17:21:47 BDT
Johnny Dee says:
It's simply not true to suggest that CSNY didn't have enough songs to complete Looking Forward. I urge you to read Dave Zimmer's book on that subject. CSN were working on an album as a trio, and Young asked to join and it changed the nature of the project altogether. Some terrific songs were dropped: songs like Crosby's Climber, Stills' Acadienne, and Nash's Half Your Angels were pushed out to make way for some very average Young material and Sanibel. Half Your Angels alone is better than anything that was retained. I'll leave it to you to speculate why the editorial choices were made, but it certainly wasn't through lack of songs. Both Crosby (Just Like Gravity) and Nash (Songs for Survivors) put out very fine albums within a couple of years of Looking Forward. They may not have sold as much, but they were far better than the last CSNY album. The best thing about Looking Forward is that it led to the CSNY2K tour.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2013 19:51:29 BDT
Interesting. I read that they covered the Sanibel as they didn't have enough material. You can read in Nash's book that Neil Young has been selfish and dropped them many times. If they had all these songs why did they start to record a covers record with Rick Rubin. My final point being that the C S N box sets showed that they had very few unreleased songs worthy of consideration as a result we had box sets full of duplication..

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Oct 2013 08:47:11 BDT
Johnny Dee says:
I was lucky enough to catch two of the shows on the current (rather excellent) CSN tour, during which they played at least 5 unreleased Nash songs: Exit Zero, Burning for the Buddha, Back Home (for Levon Helm), Olympia and Golden Days. Crosby and Stills also played new songs. The fact is that CSN have always written more songs than they recorded, and that is particularly the case now because the economics of releasing music has changed. Some unreleased songs, like Almost Gone, have appeared on their websites and on YouTube, while others have been available through newer channels: on the C&N 2011 UK tour of concert halls you could buy instant downloads of the concert immediately afterwards. In short, they have always had new material. The covers project was Rick Rubin's idea and one they were happy to pursue for a short time because it looked like they would get the backing of a major record company for that release, but after Croz argued with Rubin they left and never pursued it. And CSN are not unusual as a vintage act in there being plenty of interest from companies like Rhino in releasing retrospective box sets. But once again that doesn't mean they don't have new material, it just means Rhino prefers to marked the older stuff. CSN have plenty of new material. The best news from the stage at the Manchester Arena last week was that there'll be a new Crosby CD out in February.
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