Legend, Icon and member of one of Howard's favorite groups of all time, Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young stopped by to promote his incredible new memoir: Wild Tales.
As he likes to do with songwriters, Howard asked Graham to play and talk about the writing of some of his best songs.
KING MIDAS IN REVERSE – a 1967 single by the Hollies, written by Graham. He claims the band didn't want to record it and that was the last straw for him. They were content in what they were doing and uncomfortable going in Graham's direction.
MARRAKESH EXPRESS –The Hollies rejected this song, claiming it didn't have hit potential. Graham says somewhere in a vault there is a terrible Hollies version of the song that was never released. Graham wanted to get experimental, the Hollies, he said, "were content to have every single in the top ten." Graham wanted something a little more fulfilling and claims David Crosby "saved [his] ass" by joining up with him.
WOODSTOCK – Joni Mitchell wrote this song, upset that she didn't play the legendary festival. She was slated to do the Dick Cavett Show, which was a big opportunity for her, and her management convinced her that it was better to play on TV than to play upstate. She wrote the song based on Graham's stories about those famous three days of peace and music.
CHICAGO – The Democratic National Convention was scheduled in Chicago, at the same time as the trial of the Chicago Eight, and Graham asked Neil Young and Stephen Stills if they would come with him and perform. Graham felt like many young people at the time, that he could change the world. Neil and Stephen had other obligations, so Graham went with David Crosby, and wrote the classic song asking Neil and Stephen "Won't you please come to Chicago just to sing?"
OHIO – Neil Young wrote this one, of course, but it's a favorite of Graham's. David Crosby called Graham up one night and told him to get down to the studio right away, Neil had written a song. David showed Neil a newspaper article with the famous Kent State Shooting photo and Neil just took his guitar and wrote Ohio in less than two hours. The band felt it was such an important song that they released it while their hit "Teach Your Children" was in the Top 10, burying that song to make room for Ohio.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN – Graham was inspired by a Diane Arbus photograph of a child in the park with a hand grenade. He couldn't get a handle on the song, musically and admits that Stephen Still turned it into a hit.
OUR HOUSE – This is a song Graham wrote about one of the loves of his life, Joni Mitchell. They were living together at the time and Joni had bought a vase after they had lunch at a café near their house. Graham literally told Joni that he'd light fire while she placed the flowers in the vase …. That they bought ….today-ay-ay.
RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES – This is one of Howard's favorite songs. Graham wrote it about an affair he was having with a friend's wife. Graham called it a "short but satisfying" relationship. He didn't tell his friend because he doesn't like to bring pain to anyone.