BOOK REVIEW: Graham Nash, “Wild Tales”

Written by Book Reviews, Books, Music, Popdose

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This autobiography from the Hollies/Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young mainstay isn’t your standard book of revelations.  It is one of those rare musical life reflections that, although dishing some “dirt”, isn’t filled with the usual bitterness, accusatory sniping at former band mates or lovers or victimization.  If anything, Nash presents a lighthearted story of his ups and downs – and let it be said, at no time (to me, anyway) does he come off as self-serving or innocent.  He freely admits to his shortcomings with women and his prolonged affection for marijuana and cocaine.

It’s a fascinating read.  Glimpses of his youth in England; The Hollies’ formation and rise; his conflict of trying to grow as a writer and artist within the constraints of The Hollies formulaic pop; his introduction to Crosby and Stills and most poignantly, his meeting and falling in love with Joni Mitchell – the most profound narrative of the story.  These events led Nash to leave his marriage, his band and his country to start all over again in the United States, thus beginning an even more spectacular ride to success than he had with The Hollies.  Equally heartwarming is the way he speaks of his wife, Susan, and their children – it is a well-rounded recounting of one’s own experiences, especially when you’re something of a musical legend.

Wild Tales is a “can’t put it down” type of read.  There’s much to be enjoyed and digested – easily one of the best autobiographies that’s come along from any musician.

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