Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Join as a sustainer and help unlock $10k. Just 24 sustainers to go!

A conversation with Graham Nash before he plays in N.H.

Graham Nash Facebook

Graham Nash has been making music for decades. His voice and songwriting as a member of The Hollies and then Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young) are legendary.

At the age of 80, he's still touring. He's playing in New Hampshire on Wednesday at the Colonial Theatre in Laconia. NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spoke with Nash ahead of the scheduled performance. Below is a transcript of their conversation.


Rick Ganley: I wanted to ask you about touring post-pandemic. How do you feel to be on the road?

Graham Nash: It feels fantastic. I mean, you know, I'm constantly writing new songs, and I love being on the road. I love being able to see their faces, and I'm playing smaller places this time very deliberately, because, you know, I've obviously done my share of big concerts, but I love these intimate, more personal places. I get to see their faces. I get to see them react to how we're playing.

Ganley: And who comes out to see you. Is it a mix of generations in the audience?

Nash: Yeah, I think it's people that had brothers, and fathers and mothers that turned them on to the music. And the demographics are anywhere between 15 and 70 years old.

Ganley: And the new album "Out Now" was recorded live back in 2019. It features your first solo albums played in their entirety. What are you doing on this tour? Is it a mix of songs throughout the career?

Nash: Yeah, it be a mix of songs from my time with The Hollies all the way through to the song I'm writing today.

Ganley: When you're on stage, how do you keep that enthusiasm for some of the songs maybe you played, dozens or hundreds of times, as opposed to some of the newer stuff that you really want to present to people. How do you keep that that energy level?

Nash: I have to go back and I realize why people love those songs. Why do people love "Teach Your Children"? Why do they love "Our House"?

You know, I'm a lucky man. What can I say? You know, I wrote these silly, silly love songs all those years ago, and they're still resonating today. So I managed to write a couple of songs that had nuggets of truth within that, and it's the truth that prevails. And it's the truth why these songs have lasted so long.

Ganley: And music and photography, I know, go hand in hand for you. What makes the two mediums work together for you? Does does one spark the other?

Nash: I look at the world as a column of energy right before me. And where do I want to plug my energy in? I don't have a writer's block, because if I'm not writing songs, I'm taking photographs. I don't have a camera block, so that I'm constantly changing what it is that I do. So I don't get blocked in any one particular genre because I can go between genres.

Ganley: Do you have a kind of a nervous energy that you always have to be creating, you always have to be doing something?

Nash: Yes, I do. I wouldn't call it nervous, but it's something that I'm very aware of. I mean, my goodness, I'm 80 years old now, you know, and I've been doing this for decades, and decades and decades. And I try and utilize every second of my life the best way I can, because I don't have much of it left.

At this point, Rick asked Graham Nash what he's listening to now. Nash mentioned unreleased music with old friends and collaborators David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young.

Nash: I must confess that for the last few years I've been totally involved in the music that we have recorded in any combination that we have, all the music that me and David [Crosby] have recorded, all the music that me and Stephen [Stills] and David [Crosby] have recorded.

And with Neil [Young], you know, we have volumes of stuff that we have created in the past that no one's ever heard. And so I'm busy delving into into the past. So I do know that that good music will find me.

I mean, you know, a few months ago, somebody sent me the video of "This is America" by Childish Gambino. And what an incredible song that is, and what a great video. So there are people that are definitely utilizing their music to turn people on to what's going on.

Ganley: What's your relationship with your peers like these days?

Nash: Pretty good between me, and Stephen [Stills] and Neil [Young]. I haven't spoken to [David] Crosby personally in a couple of years now. I have been working with my friend Allan Clarke, who started The Hollies with me in December of 1962. He's my oldest friend. I met him when I was six. That means he's been my friend for 74 years, and so I get on with my peers.

Ganley: So you're 80 years old. Why keep doing it?

Nash: I have no choice. I'm an artist. I'm a musician. I'm a photographer.

Find a special a behind the scenes clip from the interview on how Graham Nash wrote "Just A Song Before I Go" here:

Behind the scenes clip from Rick Ganley's interview with Graham Nash

For many radio listeners throughout New Hampshire, Rick Ganley is the first voice they hear each weekday morning, bringing them up to speed on news developments overnight and starting their day off with the latest information.
Before becoming Program Director, Quirk served as NHPR's production manager. During that time she's voiced and crafted the 'sound of the station,' coordinated countless on-air fundraisers, produced segments for Give Back NH, Something Wild, New Hampshire Calling, and developed NHPR's own NHPR Music vertical with features such as Live from Studio D, and long-loved favorites like Holidays By Request.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.