Wild Tales: a Rock and Roll Life– quick hit

“I’m a complete slave to the muse of music. I’ll do anything for good music. With Crosby Stills and Nash we know that the music is far more important than any of our individual lives.”

wild tales

While I’ve always liked alternative music—The Cure, Depeche Mode and OMD were early favorites and my first concert at 16 was General Public at The Orpheum Theatre in Boston—I fondly recall connecting to classic folk band Crosby Stills Nash and Young [CSNY] in elementary school and attending a CSN concert years later. I listened to the audio book which provides the added bonus of Graham Nash singing bits and bobs of songs as he recalls writing, recording and performing them. Every member of CSNY is in rock and roll hall of fame twice.

Nash reminisces about growing up poor in England, forming The Holies, meeting and falling in love with Joni Mitchell and then forming CSNY with David Crosby, Steven Stills and Neil Young in the 60s. This isn’t a particularly raw, dirty rock and roll memoir—he did some drugs, mostly hash, met some girls but doesn’t labor on about that.[“I was a musician. I couldn’t keep it in my pants. And I was in love with Joni Mitchell.”] Graham Nash NEVER smoked cigarettes, opposed nuclear weapons and became a proponent of water conservation decades ago. It’s incredibly detailed and conversational. Nash adores music, treasures his bandmates [for the most part] and is also an amazing activist and photographer.

An early rule established for CSNY: “If I play you a song and you don’t react to it you’ll never hear that song again.”

“The songs were dark because our lives were dark.”

On David Crosby– “a hedonist to the nth degree.”

Of famed Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont: “where rock n’ rollers went when life wasn’t treating them so well.”

On Neil Young: he “has a big heart with two faucets on it the hot and the cold and you never know which one you’re going to get.”

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