Graham Nash has helped shape the world around him through ideas, innovations, and influential works of art for more than four decades. One of music’s most legendary singer-songwriters and vocal harmonists, Nash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice—once with The Hollies in 2010 and once with Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997; Nash was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. He is an internationally renowned photographer and digital imaging pioneer. In 1990, his passion for photography led him to establish Nash Editions, recognized by the Smithsonian for its role in the invention of digital fine art printing.
Graham Nash joined me #InTheLab to talk about his remarkable career, life, and new book “Wild Tales”:
Graham Nash’s Bio:
Born in the seacoast town of Blackpool, England, and raised near Manchester, Nash was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth in 2010. That same year, the group with which he first rose to fame, British Invasion icons The Hollies (named for Buddy Holly), were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their mid-to-late 1960s chart success rivaled that of the Beatles and the Stones with hits including “On A Carousel,” “Bus Stop,” “Carrie Anne,” “King Midas In Reverse,” and “Pay You Back With Interest.” 2011 marked the DVD documentary release, “The Hollies: Look Through Any Window 1963-1975” which featured live performances, vintage television appearances, and new interviews.
Nash departed The Hollies in ’68, and went on to form Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) with David Crosby and Stephen Stills, after connecting and harmonizing with them in Laurel Canyon. Among the classic songs he’s composed for CSN (and CSN&Y)—with whom he still tours and records—are “Marrakesh Express,” “Teach Your Children,” “Our House,” “Lady Of The Island,” and “Just A Song Before I Go.” The trio’s landmark 1969 album “Crosby, Stills and Nash” was a very strong debut for the band, instantly lifting them to stardom. Neil Young joined them for the follow-up, 1970’s #1 CSN&Y debut “Déjà Vu” and earned CSNY that year’s GRAMMY® for Best New Artist—both albums are included on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. Other highlights include the 1971 CSN&Y live double-LP “4 Way Street,” CSN’s “Daylight Again” (1982), CSNY’s “American Dream” (1988), “Looking Forward” (1999), CSNY’s “Deja Vu – Living With War” album and movie (2008).
This year, Nash produced “CSN 2012” the first live video performance release from CSN in over twenty years. Recorded in early spring, the DVD (and Blu-Ray) includes bonus conversations with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, and interviews from their band and crew. CSNY is planning a 2013 release of their 1974 stadium tour.
As a solo artist, Nash’s repertoire reaches back to 1971’s “Songs For Beginners,” which introduced signature songs including “Military Madness” and “Chicago – We Can Change The World”—it is bookended by 2002’s Songs For Survivors, his latest solo title. Nash’s ongoing collaboration as a duo with David Crosby also dates back that far, a partnership captured early on with the 1971 live recording “Another Stoney Evening.” In 2011, digital/vinyl editions of that album became the inaugural releases on Blue Castle Records, the duo’s new label, followed up by the DVD release of “Crosby-Nash: In Concert,” presenting a full show, filmed in high definition, from their 2011 U.S. tour. All aspects of Nash’s musical life are surveyed in the three-CD retrospective boxed set Reflections (2009). Graham Nash is currently writing his memoirs, which will be released by Crown/Random House in the fall of 2013.
With his photography, Nash has drawn honors including the New York Institute of Technology’s Arts & Technology Medal and Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and the Hollywood Film Festival’s inaugural Hollywood Visionary Cyber Award. His work is collected in the book Eye to Eye: Photographs by Graham Nash; he curated others’ work in the volume Taking Aim: Unforgettable Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs Selected by Graham Nash (2009). In 1990, his passion for photography led him to establish Nash Editions, which evolved out of experimentation in the late ’80s scanning and manipulating Nash’s photographs on a computer. Now one of the world’s top fine art photographic printmaking houses, Nash Editions is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution for its role in the invention of digital fine art printing. Since 2005, its first IRIS 3047 printer and one of its first published works—Nash’s 1969 portrait of David Crosby—have been in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
As ever, Nash’s passionate voice continues to be heard in support of peace, and social and environmental justice. The No Nukes/Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) concerts he organized with Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall in 1979 remain seminal benefit events. In 2011, Nash was instrumental in bringing MUSE back to the forefront with a concert to benefit Japan disaster relief and groups promoting non-nuclear energy worldwide. In addition to CSN, the event at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Northern California featured Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, Tom Morello, the Doobie Brothers, Kitaro, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Jonathan Wilson. Also in 2011, Nash was part of the line-up for an all-star concert benefiting the Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding in Tucson, Arizona.