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