Photograph by Henry Diltz
This is Part 3 of an interview I did with Graham Nash for the Illinois Entertainer earlier this year. At the end of the interview, Nash expresses his dismay that The Hollies have not been inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Fortunately, that’s no longer an issue. Congrats to Graham and the lads for this well-deserved honor. Note: Due to a few edits, this version is slightly different from the one that appeared in I.E.
The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Deja Vu tour definitely tapped into the political side of Nash as he and his mates delivered a stinging indictment of George W. Bush’s policies toward the end of each concert. The film version of Deja Vu, directed by Young, demonstrates how some audience members were deeply offended.
“The majority of our audience enjoyed our point of view and agreed with us,” Nash recalled. “However, there were about 10% every night who did not agree with the idea of impeaching President Bush for war crimes and for what’s he’s done to the constitution, and for what he’s done to our civil rights. They would wait for three hours and that’s when they chose to walk out. But walk out they did, especially in Atlanta. I believe that Neil [Young] did a brilliant job of putting together the pros and cons.”
It’s an interesting development that the musician who once sang, “Won’t you please come to Chicago for the help that you can bring” now takes an optimistic view toward a president who comes from Chicago.
“And says ‘Yes We Can’,” Nash added, having attended the Inauguration just a few days before this interview. “I was about 75 yards away from President Obama, and then I played at one of the balls in the evening with my friend Jackson Browne. We gave a great concert in the Natural History Museum.”
Reflections also gave Nash a chance to perform songs he admired that were written by others. He thought “We Breathe The Same Air” sounded like a Hollies song, and tried to recruit his oldest friend and former Hollies lead vocalist Allan Clarke to record it with him. Since the song comes at the end of the third disc, it would have brought the box set, which opens with a trio of Hollies songs, full circle. Unfortunately, the plan fell through, so Nash recorded it on his own. He still has a great deal of affection for his first band, which unlike Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, has not been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
“It infuriates me when I think of the lack of respect for The Hollies,” Nash said. “They were very influential in the ‘60s and part of the British Invasion. It would be great to induct them.”
At least they have a place of honor on Reflections. Nash and Joel Bernstein went through 44 versions before settling on which tracks would be included.
“I had to take myself out of the picture,” Nash said of the decision-making process. “And plot a journey through my music that reflects who I am and what I stand for.”
Nash already has 12 new songs ready for his next solo effort, which he hopes to start recording in late 2009, after finishing the 40th anniversary tour with Crosby and Stills.