Just A Minute With: singer-songwriter Graham Nash

Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:45pm EST
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By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Graham Nash, the English guy in the rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, is back in the studio working on the first CSN album in a decade and has just released a three-disc box-set of his work.

The writer of rock classics such as "Teach Your Children" and "Our House," grew up in Manchester, in post-war England. Inspired by rock 'n roll stars like Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers, he formed The Hollies, which had several hits and was a part of the "British Invasion" of America.

But he found his true calling when he teamed with David Crosby and Stephen Stills in Los Angeles to write and perform some of the songs that defined the Woodstock era of social upheaval of the late 1960's and 70's.

Rhino Records just released a box-set of the work of Nash who is now 67. Nash spoke to Reuters about music, his mother, Woodstock and President Barack Obama.

Q. Did your parents approve of your musical career?

A. "My parents encouraged me, when everyone else was getting hit upside the head and told 'get a real job.' Before my mother died I asked her why they didn't put me off and she said, 'Because I wanted to be a singer on the stage. But then World War Two came and I married your dad and (had) three kids, and my dreams were gone.' But she said 'I'm living my dreams through your life.'

"That's why at Carnegie Hall ... I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out some ashes of my mother and spread them on the stage. She always wanted to play and I took her there."

Q. You have three kids, have we taught our children well?   Continued...

<p>British musician Graham Nash performs for a satellite radio show to promote his new retrospective boxed set in New York January 29, 2009. It took just 40 seconds, singing harmony with Stephen Stills and David Crosby, to convince Nash to take the musical step that led ultimately to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>