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Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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About the Author
GRAHAM NASH is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducteeonce with CSN and once with The Hollies. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame twiceboth as a solo artist and with CSN. And, he is a Grammy award winner. In 2010, Nash was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions as a musician and philanthropist. An activist for social and environmental justice, he is also an artist, acclaimed photographer and photography collector. His company Nash Editions original IRIS 3047 digital printer lives in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in recognition revolutionary accomplishments in the fine arts digital printing world. He lives in Hawaii with his wife, Susan.
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He purports to be an erudite, well-read and cultured man - but would such a person need to resort to the 'f-word' so many times on each page? It makes for unpleasant reading. In my mind, The Hollies were well-rid of this self-obsessed, sex-mad junkie - their continued success without him seems to disappoint him somewhat. He certainly comes across as someone who will never be satisfied with his lot in life, and the greatest emotion this narrative evokes is one of pity for someone who ceaselessly proclaims how talented he is, but he was obviously not talented enough to be creative without the aid of 'mind-blowing' drugs! CSN(&Y) fans would stick by him in any case so I feel he has done himself no favours by committing his life to paper, just alienated any Hollies fans who still cared about him.
I particularly enjoyed the book from him going to live in America onwards and his insights into the whole music scene are enjoyable. I was especially interested about his relationship with Joni Mitchell, of which, Nash writes very well as he does of his friendship/ working relationships with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young.
He comes across as a caring individual, never more so than talking about Crosby. And yet for me, he seems a little full of himself in an indefinable sense. His use of Americanisms grates a little, as does his use of "man" and "cat" although bearing in mind his American readership, that is largely understandable.
So, I've turned into my dad, with regard to phraseology, but as a personal viewpoint, this book is largely good but with some reservations.
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.
If you love Graham Nash's music then you will certainly enjoy this book and it is fair to say that he opens up his heart and writes with conviction and honesty. My only issue is that his `chatty' style and his strong emotions about certain subjects/people, often detract from the overall feeling of the book as a warm and charming memoir. Every so often, Nash gets side tracked or has an attack of vitriol, which might have been better, if not left unsaid, then possibly reworded. I am thinking of a book such as, "Many Years From Now", in which Barry Miles brilliantly used interviews by Paul McCartney, but wove the story around them to give the whole a more formal structure. In other words, this book could have been edited - quite heavily - and probably would have been improved, rather than suffered from the attention. However, it is wonderful that he shared his memories and, as I have long been a fan of his music, I am glad I read this.
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