As I worked my way through Graham Nash’s autobiography Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life I was struck by the almost childlike naiveté with which he approaches life. In everything from his take on politics, to money, to drugs and to business, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was about Nash that drove me crazy.
Then it finally struck me; despite the fact that Nash is in his 60s, he truly suffers from the arrested development of a 1960s hippie, that never grew up!
His references to drug use is a legion of clichés! In typical stoner fashion he talks about how various chemicals he ingested opened his mind. His slam against fellow bandmates in the Hollies, who didn’t do drugs and weren’t on his higher plane, takes on an, I’m better than you cause I do drugs tone. He relishes the memory of the recording of the first album with Stephen Stills and David Crosby because they were in such a good place, because they started every session by smoking a joint and doing a line of coke. This fond remembrance flies in the face of the utter destruction that drugs played in the life of David Crosby, but fits perfectly with Nash’s childlike approach to life.
While so many biographies, notably those in the rock ‘n’ roll realm, tend to be a fiesta of name dropping, Nash is a gold medalist at it. At times it seems that everyone who crossed paths with Nash ends up bearing the mantle of “my dear friend” or “my very good friend” or “my lifelong friend” or some such tag.
Nash solidifies his stunted status when talking politics. His causes du jour have included the Viet Nam War, the no nukes movement and stereotypical environmental blah blah, among many others. His thoughts on the “mistreatment” of the traitorous Bradley Manning, the person responsible for leaking top secret information to Wikileaks, shows his lack of ability to comprehend the life or death consequences involved in Manning’s actions.
Sorry, but I find it down right LAUGHABLE, when a multi-millionaire, solidly in the so-called 1%, takes to the streets of New York City to play an impromptu CSN show at an Occupy Wall Street rally. Nash’s arrested development wouldn’t allow him to see the irony or the stupidity of it.