Rock-and-roll memoirs tend to follow a certain formula: early struggle, breakthrough, a pot of sudden money, crooked promoters, nonstop women/drugs/parties, overdoses and rehab, validation from fans and peers. Then, many of the people featured within, just get older like the rest of us.
Graham Nash’s breezy memoir, “Wild Tales,” has similar stories and writes about finding America in the mid-1960s. He discovered like-minded song-writers, say Joni Mitchell, whom he fell deeply in love with and and like-minded song harmonizers – David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Cass Elliot and others. Nash tells of a grim childhood in England and his “moon-in-June” hit songs with the Hollies (“Bus Stop,” “Carrie Ann”). He wanted more from music and songwriting. When he hit California and met Ms. Mitchell, almost all at once, it was life-changing.
Nash wrote many of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s hit songs and has toured relentlessly. He quarreled with the ego-centric Stills; stood by his friend, the one-time drug-addled David Crosby who did time in prison; and after all these years of friendship and music together, he still regards Neil Young as a genius and a pain in the backside. He’s an activist for liberal causes. But in his book, with all that rock and roll business aside, he’s somewhat ordinary: he became a U.S. citizen, he votes, owns land, has been married for 36 years to the same woman, has kids and grandkids.
It’s on the shelves these days at our local bookseller, Sheridan Stationery, Books and Gallery.
Correction of the Day
“A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted Dropbox cofounder Drew Houston saying, “anybody with nipples” instead of “anybody with a pulse.”
While there’s an expected appreciation for the film “Lone Survivor,” there isn’t quite an eagerness to see it. It’s almost like a responsibility.
The story is well known and it’s a realistic movie about four U.S. Navy SEALS involved in a terrific, life-and-death firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan in June 2005. Marcus Luttrell of Texas, the lone survivor, wrote the book from which it is based and was an active consultant in the film’s making. Fittingly, at the film’s end, right before the credits roll, there’s the back story of why Afghan citizens sheltered Luttrell and kept him alive from Taliban fighters until he could be rescued.
At the close of “Survivor,” there are photos and videos of the actual SEALs and helicopter pilots and others who died. They are pictured in wedding videos, with their kids; you read their names, hometowns and ranks. I thought the film more about honor than politics; more about survival and respect. Remarkable, too, is how the audience stayed in their seats during this part of the movie, no doubt sharing an affectation of the story and of Luttrell. It’s a terrific movie, on screen these days at the Centennial Theatres.
“It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another — it’s one damn thing over and over.”
—Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet, playwright, activist, 1982-1950.