by Robert Wilkinson
Today is the birthday of Graham Nash, founding member of the Hollies and Crosby, Stills, and Nash!
As I shared a few months ago, my wife and I saw them in Albuquerque, and they were awesome! Now old men compared to how young they were at Woodstock, they still put on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen, and the thousands there with us roared over and over and over. The 60s may have left the building a long time ago, but the flame still burns in the hearts of millions, if that show was any indication.
All three have been playing professionally for over 50 years. They’ve been a team for the last 43, and though Steven Stills (Jan 3, 1945) and David Crosby (Aug 14, 1941) have had their share of medical problems, they still rock!
Graham Nash (Feb 2, 1942) co-founded the Hollies with Allan Clarke, cracked the big time in the first British Invasion, and never looked back. With their ringing guitars and vocal harmonies, the Hollies were a vibrant sound, and gave us some memorable tunes!
Welcome to the British Invasion! Here’s a VERY young Graham Nash and the Hollies on Shindig in 1965 complete with the very choreographed Shindig dancers doing their first two major hits, “I’m Alive” and “Just One Look”
From 1966 at the Beat Club, the Hollies live performing their huge hit “Look Through Any Window”
A great live performance by Graham and the Hollies, probably in 1966, doing “Look Through Any Window”
From 1966, the Hollies live performing “I Can’t Let Go”
Also from 1966, a lip synched music video of the Hollies doing “I Can’t Let Go”
These next three all look to be from the same gig, but we have one saying it was 1967, and another with a date code saying 1968. In any case, here are the Hollies doing three of their biggest!
Here’s another version from Croatia in 1968 performed live, “On A Carousel”
From the same gig, the closer to the show! “Carrie Anne”
Here’s the original audio-only studio version of their 1967 hit “Pay You Back With Interest”
Now for Crosby, Still, Nash, and (occasionally) Young! The first batch are songs written by Graham.
From very early in their career, a live acoustic performance of one of their most loved tunes written by Graham Nash, the immortal “Teach Your Children”
From Graham's mid-60s trip to Morocco where he states he went in search of the big one and found (and smoked) it! “Marrakesh Express”
From 1974, with Neil Young, “Our House”
Also from 1974 at Wembley, CSN&Y doing Graham’s “Immigration Man” and “Military Madness”
This is just as powerful as it was years ago! Written by Graham Nash in response to an Amerikan gross miscarriage of justice, the rallying cry of "Chicago."
The very beautiful "Wasted On The Way"
From a more recent era, “Just A Song Before I Go”
The next few tunes were written by David Crosby during his CS&N tenure, so enjoy these great live performances!
From the first Crosby, Stills, and Nash album, “Guinevere”
From 2009 in Glastonbury, “Long Time Coming”
From 1974, the legendary tune David wrote with Stills and the great Paul Kantner, “Wooden Ships”
A live acoustic performance in 1991 gives us a great version of “Déjà Vu”
Here’s a performance bootlegged from Rome 2010 with a very electric almost jazzed out version of “Déjà Vu.” This is similar to the arrangement they did when I saw them a few months ago.
In this clip, they look almost exactly as they did in the recent show. From Madison Square Gardens in 2009, “Almost Cut My Hair”
The song that blew the doors down and let the world know a new style of music had arrived! Steven Stills’ masterpiece, “Suite Judy Blue Eyes”
Another early clip of some incredible harmonies! Here's Steven's “Helplessly Hoping”
From the 2009 Madison Square Garden concert, the iconic Joni Mitchell song from their second album, “Woodstock”
Steven's “Southern Cross”
The amazing Stephen Stills' tune, "Find The Cost of Freedom"
I’ll digress a little with this these next two gems. First, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young live at the Fillmore East in the Summer of 1970 doing a fabulous acoustic version of Neil’s Buffalo Springfield classic “On The Way Home.”
Then from Toronto in 2000, we have the 4 together doing an extremely electric version of “Ohio”
(If you don’t know the importance of this song, please reference A Day of Infamy 42 Years Ago Today)
Here are Steven Stills and Graham Nash live in an acoustic duo set on “Rock and Roll Tonite” in 1983 doing an exquisite set of “Change Partners,” “4 + 20,” and “Crossroads”
We’ll close this celebration of joyous music with a long set from “Unplugged” in 1990. I saw them in Austin on this tour, and they really were fantastic! For your enjoyment, the joyous harmonies of one of the best groups ever to sing a note. And if you find yourselves smiling or tapping your foot, you’re in the company of millions!!
Spreading a huge vibe of peace and love 43 years after the end of the 60s is a great way to live, and an awesome legacy to leave the world. As your occasional bandmate is known to sing, “Long May You Run.” You are loved by millions!
Also, a big Happy Birthday shout out to two more amazing talents, one you've heard of and one you need to hear. Today is also the birthday of the brilliant comedian, composer, and musician Tommy Smothers (February 2, 1937) and one of the truly talented woodwind and flute players alive, my dear friend Richard Hardy (Feb 2, 1952). I found a live concert experience with RH playing flutes and woodwinds with Peter Sterling and Fitz-Hugh Jenkins on guitar performing "Live Arabian Nights."
You can also catch more of Richard's current work with Larisa Stow and Shakti Tribe! Here's 9 minutes of Shakti Fest 2012 and from 2010, here they are doing Amba. We'll close this Shakti set with 11 minutes in 2011 with Richard, Larisa, and the Shakti Tribe doing "Peacemaker."
Richard's flutes are transcendent on the albums of the great John Adorney. For a couple of samplers from the mega-selling talent, here's the hauntingly beautiful "Dance of the Moon and Stars" and the equally memorable "As My Heart Desires."
RH just turned me on to this fantastic groove! For an encore, I leave you with something from the Galaxy Theater in 2011. Here's Richard playing sax with the Maykers sounding very soulful and groovin' on the One doing "Promised Land" You can also catch his transcendent musical work on the soundtrack for the I Max movie "Everest," where his playing is out of this world! Happy Birthday, RH!
Copyright © 2013 Robert Wilkinson