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Nash was born in Blackpool, England during World War II. In the early 1960s he was a leading member of The Hollies, one of the UK's most successful pop groups ever. Although recognised as a key member of the group, he seldom sang lead vocals, although he did write many of the band's songs, most often in collaboration with Allan Clarke. Nash was pivotal in the forging of a sound and lyrics showing an obvious hippie influence on The Hollies' album Butterfly a collection that brought differing opinions concerning the band's musical direction to the fore.
In 1968, after a visit to the USA during which he had been introduced to David Crosby in Laurel Canyon and had begun experimenting with drugs, Nash left The Hollies at the height of their fame to form a new group with Crosby and Stephen Stills, a threesome at first, and later a foursome with Neil Young - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. With them, he went on to even greater worldwide success. Nash, nicknamed "Willy" by his band mates in CSNY, has been described as the glue that keeps their often fragile alliances together. A mark of this is the loyalty and support Nash showed to his best friend, Crosby, during Crosby's well documented period of drug addiction ending in the mid 1980s. Nash's solo career has often been shelved in favour of reunions on stage and in the studio with either Crosby and Stills or Crosby, Stills and Young. His own solo work shows a love of melody and ballads. His solo recordings have experimented with jazz and electronic percussion but tend not to stray too far from a pop format with well defined hook lines.
Nash became very politically active after moving to California to join with David Crosby and Stephen Stills, which would be reflected in Nash songs such as "Military Madness" and "Chicago (We Can Change the World)." His song "Immigration Man," Crosby and Nash's biggest hit as a duo (see below), arose from a tiff he had with a U.S. Customs official while trying to enter the country. Nash became an American citizen on August 14, 1978.
Starting in 1972, Nash teamed with Crosby, the two continuing as a successful recording and performing duo until the more or less permanent reformation with Stills for the CSN album of 1977. The pair reunited for another Crosby & Nash studio album in 2004, and a legitimate release of music from a 1970s Crosby-Nash tour as on a widely-circulated bootleg appeared in 1998.
David Crosby was born in Los Angeles, California. His parents were Aliph Van Cortlandt Whitehead and Floyd Crosby, an Academy Award winning cinematographer. He attended Crane Country Day School in Montecito, California, for elementary school and Jr. High. He received his high school education at the Cate School, Carpinteria, California. In 1960 , when Crosby was 19, his parents divorced.
Originally, he was a drama student, but he dropped out of drama school to pursue a career in music. He moved toward the same Greenwich Village scene (as a member of the Les Baxter's Balladeers) Bob Dylan participated in, and even shared a mentor of Dylan's in a local scene favorite Fred Neil. With the help of producer Jim Dickson, Crosby cut his first solo session in 1963.
|Graham Nash And David Crosby - France Single 1972|
In The Byrds, while Roger McGuinn was responsible for the trademark 12 string guitar sound (which he in turn took from George Harrison on "A Hard Day's Night" and the Beatles for Sale album), Crosby was responsible for the soaring harmonies and often unusual phrasing on their songs.
In 1966, Gene Clark, who then was the band's primary songwriter, left the group due to stress. This put all the group's songwriting responsibilities in the hands of Crosby and McGuinn. Crosby took the opportunity to hone his craft, and soon blossomed into a prolific and talented songwriter. His early Byrds efforts included the classic 1966 hit "Eight Miles High", which he co-wrote with Clark and McGuinn, and its flip side, "Why" co-written with McGuinn, which showed Crosby at his hard-edged best. The song "Hey Joe" is widely credited as being popularized by David Crosby after he picked it up from Dino Valente. He taught the song to Bryan MacLean and Arthur Lee of Love, who then taught it to members of The Leaves. Since he felt responsible for having popularized the song, Crosby convinced the other members of the Byrds to cover it on Fifth Dimension. By Younger Than Yesterday, the Byrds' album of 1967, Crosby was starting to find his trademark style.
Friction existed between Crosby and the other Byrds, which came to a head specifically in 1967 over two issues: his substitution, at the invitation of Stephen Stills, for an absent Neil Young during Buffalo Springfield’s set at the famous Monterey Pop Festival in June; and the Byrds’ rejection of Crosby’s controversial "Triad" composition as either a single or an album cut on Notorious Byrd Brothers in August. It was widely reported that the other Byrds were offended by the topic (a ménage à trois). This angered Crosby so much that he began to frequently skip sessions. As a result, Crosby was dismissed from the Byrds in the fall of 1967. "Triad" was recorded by Jefferson Airplane and released on their album Crown of Creation in 1968. Decades later, the Byrds' version of Triad surfaced on the 1988 Never Before release and is now available on the CD re-release of Notorious Byrd Brothers.)
|Graham Nash And David Crosby - US Promo Single|
Their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash of 1969 was an immediate hit, spawning two Top 40 hit singles and receiving key airplay on the new FM radio format, in its early days populated by unfettered disc jockeys prone to playing entire albums at once.
While in CSN, he wrote many important songs. These include "Guinnevere", "Almost Cut My Hair," "Long Time Gone", and "Delta". He also co-wrote "Wooden Ships" with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Stephen Stills.
In 1969, the group was joined by Neil Young, and with him they recorded the album Déjà Vu, which went to number 1 on the charts. That same year, Crosby's longtime girlfriend Christine Hinton was killed in a car accident only days after Hinton, Crosby, and fellow girlfriend Debbie Donovan moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. Crosby was devastated, and he began abusing drugs much more severely than he had before. Nevertheless, he still managed to contribute "Almost Cut My Hair" and the title track "Déjà Vu". After the release of the double live album Four Way Street, the group went on a temporary hiatus to focus on their respective solo careers.
David also briefly did a stint with members from the Grateful Dead. Together they recorded "David and the Dorks", a rare live recording at the Matrix on December 20, 1970.
|Neil Young - Netherlands Single 1972|
In 1971, he released his first solo album If I Could Only Remember My Name, featuring contributions by Nash, Young, Joni Mitchell, along with members of Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and Santana. Panned on release by Rolling Stone, it has received more critical respect with the passage of time and is still in print.
Crosby and Graham Nash have also released several albums as a duo known as Crosby & Nash.
Some other popular songs Crosby wrote in the 1970s include "Where Will I Be?", "Carry Me", "Bittersweet", "Time After Time", "Foolish Man", and "In My Dreams".
Renewing his ties to the San Francisco milieu that had abetted so well on his solo album, Crosby participated in electronica composer Ned Lagin’s proto-ambient project Seastones, along with members of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Starship. He also sang back up vocals on "Highway Song" from the Hot Tuna album "Burgers".
David Crosby & Graham Nash; with guest Neil Young
"Sheriff Hongisto Prisoners' Benefit"
March 26, 1972 KSAN-FM broadcast
01. Wooden Ships
02. I Used To Be A King
03. The Lee Shore
04. Harvest *
05. Only Love Can Break Your Heart *
06. talk about prison benefit
07. Southbound Train *
08. talk: intro to Crosby solo segment
09. Almost Cut My Hair
10. Page 43
11. talk: intro to Nash solo segment
12. And So It Goes
13. Immigration Man
14. Heart Of Gold *
15. The Needle And The Damage Done *
16. KSAN announcer + talk about Prison Benefit
17. Teach Your Children *
18. Military Madness *
19. Chicago *
20. talk: Bill Graham outro
* with Neil Young