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  • Crosby, Stills and Nash In Concert
    Show Date: August 14, 2012
    Venue: Verizon Theater, Grand Prairie, Texas

    There are few acts that can take several generations at once and induce a group flashback to their favorite times past like Crosby, Stills and Nash.
    And what a flashback it was.

    From the opening of the show with Carry On/Questions to the final encore tune, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, the entire almost three hour show was chock full (twenty-five songs) of musical memories. The multi-generational, sell-out crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy – and sometimes sing along – with every song on the set list.

    Along with the musical treasure chest of memories, the show had subtle and not so subtle riches and treats. For one, witnessing the contribution of David’s son, James, to both the musician and songwriting of the group was heartwarming on many levels. One only needs to search the internet for the story of David and James’ relationship and how it got to where it is today. It’s worth the effort of searching.

    Second, the show fell on David’s 71st birthday. While the birthday was mentioned early in the first half of the show, “Happy Birthday” wasn’t sung until the group returned to the stage and was led in the song by Graham Nash. I can only imagine what it must feel like to have that song sung to you by 6,300 of your closest and dearest friends.

    Other highlights of the show was great guitar work by Stephen Stills – especially blistering solos on Déjà Vu, and Blue Bird. There were newer and very moving songs like, Radio, written by James Crosby and the protest song, Almost Gone (The Ballad of Bradley Manning), in support of the soldier facing trial for the Wikileaks scandal.
    The audience, at times, spontaneously sang along with the iconic trio on songs like Our House, Teach Your Children and Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. What a tremendous honor – and how flattering – it must be to have thousands of people not only know and love your music but feel compelled from deep within to sing right along with you. But such is the impact that these men have had on several generations.
    It’s Boomerocity’s hope that they continue to impact us for generations to come.

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    Posted March 2019

    GrahamNash2cropped creditAmyGrantham cropPhoto by Amy GranthamI have often heard it said that the baby boomer generation had the greatest music. I happen to agree wholeheartedly. One of the reasons I feel that way is because of the iconic work by the legendary Graham Nash. Whether it was his work during his time with The Hollies or the prolific period with Crosby, Still, Nash (and, sometimes, Young) or in his various solo pursuits.

    Because Nash was, once again, going to be performing in East Tennessee (this time at Chattanooga’s Walker Theater), I was granted the opportunity to chat with the musical icon about his latest album, Over the Years, and the supporting tour.

    After some small talk about his recent vacation that he just returned from, I mentioned that he was going to be playing in Chattanooga (easy driving distance from me) and that I met with him during his show in Knoxville (even closer to me). He interjected with this neat bit of news:

    “You know, in Knoxville, I was approached

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  • rocksoldierhc finalRock ‘N’ Roll Soldier
    By Dean Ellis Kohler with Susan Vanheck Forward by Graham Nash
    Published by HarperTeen
    Reviewed: March, 2010

    When one hears the phrase, “Vietnam War”, a wide variety of images, phrases and emotions are conjured up. I was too young to fight in that war but not too young to remember the impact the war had on friends as well as society.

    ‘Nam impacted our politics, news and entertainment. It became the subject of protests, songs and movies. The pros, cons and impact of that lengthy war is still being felt and discussed today.

    Rock ‘N’ Roll Soldier is an engaging tale of a young man, Dean Kohler, who made the quantum leap from Portsmouth, Virginia, to Qui Nohn, Vietnam. His long sought after, and worked for, dream materialized literally on the same day that he received his draft notice, dashing that particular dream.

    Kohler and Vanhecke weave a captivating story of how circumstances in boot camp led Kohler to an opportunity to purse a different version of his dream in a nightmarish environment. After a cathartic encounter with PFC Goodridge, with some fellow soldiers, Dean formed a band called The Electrical Banana. This band provided a welcome, uplifting distraction for both the band and its uniformed audience, bringing to them live covers of their favorite songs of the day.

    The book isn’t all about music. It also details young men who bury their natural fears with incredible amounts of bravery. Some icons from the 60’s are mentioned in the book (Nancy Sinatra and Graham Nash, to name two) as are tales of friendships, chain of command, homesickness and girls left behind in two countries. Also told is the process of Kohler’s adjustment to civilian life and fitting back into society. The story provides insight into how our minds can be so conditioned to routine that, when that routine is altered, time is needed to adjust back into the new norm.

    The book’s forward by Graham Nash is worth the price of the book by itself. Nash closes his remarks by saying, “Through the transcendent power of music, Dean created his own bit of order out of the chaos of the Vietnam War . . . to survive another day.”

    The books final words honors Kohler’s Electrical Banana band mates. In them he poignantly states, “ . . . with their help, during a time when none of us knew for sure if we would live or die, I came to know the true power of music – to communicate, heal, connect. Unite.”

    I couldn’t say any better, gentlemen.

    Mr. Kohler and the thousands of men and women who served your country in an unpopular war: We can never repay you enough for your sacrifice nor will we ever forget. Thank you so much!

    PFC Goodridge, thank you and may you continue to rest in peace.

  • wildtalescoverWild Tales
    Author: Graham Nash
    Publisher: Crown Archetype
    Release Date: September 17, 2013
    Review Date: February 9, 2014


    One can’t reflect on the soundtrack of the sixties and seventies without touching on a few of the over two hundred songs Graham Nash has written. I mean, think about it: The guy wrote huge hits like Marrakesh Express, Teach Your Children and Our House. Those songs (and many, many others) are still enjoying heavy air play on radio and featured in movies and TV. Now, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer tells his story in Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life.

    I’ve read a lot of rock biographies and memoirs over the years. Some of them are even reviewed here on Boomerocity. Whether by Keith, Clapton or Ronnie, one thing that I’ve noticed is that the ones written from across the pond have their own unique tone, rhythm and flavor that makes them particularly engaging.

    I can now add Wild Tales to that list of very well written autobiographies. One gets the feeling while reading the book that you’re sitting with Nash as he regales you with the stories of his fabled life. The book starts at an interesting part of his life: His visit to the U.S. to meet up with his then lover: Joni Mitchell. Who he met there that night opened the door for the next huge stage of his life and career.

    The book is a treasure chest of rock and roll history. Obviously, you’ll get the inside scoop of all things Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. That’s a given. You’ll also get the scoop about how the Hollies formed as well as his interactions with a virtual who’s who of rock and roll royalty. People like the Beatles and the Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Cass Elliot and others. Then, of course, there’s insight into Woodstock – both the concert and the movie/soundtrack.

    One of my favorite stories in the book is where Nash shares how he and Allan “Clarkie” Clark saw Bill Haley and the Comets in 1957. Think about it: One future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (a double inductee, at that) watching another future Hall of Famer perform and writing about it fifty-six years later. There is something almost mystical and prophetic about that scene. You’ll just have to read the book to see what I mean.

    For business geeks like me, Wild Tales is full of glimpses into the inner workings of some historic deals. Names like Geffen, Ertegun and others are peppered throughout the book and you’ll learn how some of the deals were done. The ultimate in business porn, in my book!

    Whether you’re a casual music fan, a hard-core CSNY fan or a learned musicologist, Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life is a must-have for your personal library.

    Keep up on the latest on Graham Nash by checking out his website: www.grahamnash.com