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Interview:
Graham Nash in Royal Oak, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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Graham Nash once wrote "Songs For Beginners" (the title of his first solo album), but with more than 55 years of recording and two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions (with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Hollies) behind him, the man is no neophyte.



The British-born singer, songwriter, musician and producer has recorded timeless hits ("Our House," "Teach Your Children") and pointed protest songs ("Chicago," "Immigration Man"). It's a rich and full body of work, with is bands and his four studio albums, right up to 2016's "This Path Tonight." These days Nash, 77, is working on his own, with more material to come as well as his endeavors in painting, photography and forays into social activism...



While his collaboration with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young is at an impasse, possibly permanently, Nash is enjoying his time on his own "tremendously. It's very freeing. Its nice to only thing about the music that I want to do. I get to sing songs I've never sung -- last night I did 'Better Days,' and I did 'Carried Away,' songs I've never done before on stage, because I have the freedom to be able to do that."



Nash likes the fact that it also allows him to play more intimate venues, "where I can see people's eyes. They're only six feet away from me. Quite frankly I want my audience to know that I really want to be there, that I want to make music for them and sing it the best that I can, and that's what Im doing. And I'm realizing I've actually written a couple of really decent pieces of music, and looking at the way it's affecting my audience I have no reason to change what I'm doing at all."



In other words, read his lips; There's nothing going on with C, S or Y, though Nash remains in touch with Stills and Young and has not patched up his relationship with Crosby -- even though this year marks the 50th anniversary of the first "Crosby, Stills & Nash" album. "It certainly went by very fast, and it certainly occasionally feels like 500 years," Nash notes. "We did a lot of good work, and if we don't do anything every again, after 50 years what we've done, it's not bad, y'know?"



Nash has "better things to do" than participate in the 50th anniversary Woodstock events taking place in August, but he still has fond memories of the festival, which was just the second performance by CSN&Y. "I had a great time. I didn't (care) how many people were there. I had already been through (stuff) with the Hollies for six or seven years before. Stephen was pretty nervous that night, but I thought we did well. I actually have never seen the movie; I ought to sit down and watch it one night. I've seen bits of it, but I've never really sat down and watched the whole thing."



Nash also performed at Joni Mitchell's 75th birthday concerts last November in Los Angeles, playing "Our House," which he wrote while they were living together during the late 60s, as the only non-Mitchell song performed during the show. The show was recently released as both a film and an album. "I thought it was appropriate to do that song. When I saw the rough cut of it they cut to Joni singing the chorus in the audience. That was nice. I can't remember here reaction (when he wrote it), but I certainly don't remember a bad reaction. Youve got to understand that Joni Mitchell is one of the greatest songwriters ever, and 'Our House' is such a simple song. But I don't remember Joni saying it was a piece of s*** or anything like that, at least."



Graham Nash performs Wednesday, March 20, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors at 7 p.m. $36-$126. 248-399-2980 or royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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