7 questions with legendary rocker Graham Nash: Concert Sept. 20 in The Woodlands
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Graham Nash has been a musician since December 1962, and while he still loves performing all the oldies, being on stage keeps him feeling young.
The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is best known as a founding member of the Hollies; and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Nash will be on stage Thursday Sept. 20 at Dosey Doe-The Big Barn in The Woodlands.
Woodlands Online chatted with Nash about his upcoming solo show, his hobbies, and how it all began.
You've been performing a long time. Does it ever get redundant? How do you put the same pep into a song that you've sung thousands of times?
Because I know what it means to people. It wouldn't be right to not sing a song that they want to hear. They want to hear Our House, they want to hear Teach the Children. Who am I to say I'm not in the mood? I put myself in the mood emotionally, just like where I was when I wrote the song I'm performing in the moment.
It's amazing how a three-minute song can tell an entire story. As a songwriter, how do you do that?
It's part of the magic of music. I know what happens to me physically. When I want to write, I have to feel it deeply. I have to research my facts and make sure it makes sense. A lovely three-minute song can change people's lives.
How did you find your way into music?
Listening to other people I loved. Early American rock and roll. Listening to Buddy Holly, listening to the Everly Brothers, listening to Elvis, to Jerry Lee Lewis. All of them. I got fired up with American rock and roll. If the weather cooperated and we could get the signal on the radio (in the United Kingdom) … I was supposed to be going to bed to get to school the next day, but that was when American Top 40 came on. I could put my ear to my bedpost and hear the radio playing down the hall. That's how I got into American rock and roll, and my life has never been the same since.
You can say "I want to be a rock and roll guru" but you have to have some kind of talent to pull it off…
You never start out with talent, you just follow your passion. I couldn't play guitar. There was a point my fingers were bleeding because I was trying to play guitar. There was a point where I'd never written a song. But it's like a muscle. You have to exercise it, and put it through its paces and keep it pumped full of blood and hope that it flowers. In my case it did, and it still flowers. Even 60 years later.
What is your earliest memory of realizing "we've made it …"
Leaving Manchester with my four partners from the Hollies, and going down to do a show at the BBC in London. When we walked in to the BBC studio, we passed a couple of workers who were installing a large window into a shop. They had a little radio that they were playing music on. Our record was on the radio. That was the first time I'd ever heard it on the radio.
You've picked up photography along the way. How did that happen?
Actually I've been a photographer longer than I've been a musician. My father showed me the magic of photography when I was 10. I put out a book of my images about five years ago called Eye to Eye. A portrait in there is one I took of my mother when I was 11.
What can people expect to hear from you at the Dosey Doe show?
A couple of things. One, and most importantly, they need to know I want to be there. I'm tired of going to shows where I think the performer doesn't want to be there. I want to be there because they are spending time and money to come and see me, and I want to know they're smiling on the way out of the concert.