Lex Neon on Graham Nash (The Hollies, CSN, CSNY, solo)

Here’s a Poppertruth; Lex trims his goatee to a Hollies album cover. He says that the first time he saw Graham Nash in the Woodstock film, he knew that he’d want one of his own when he could grow it. Happy birthday Graham, who celebrates his birthday on February 2.

So, I was working at the L.A. County Museum of Art when I actually saw Graham Nash in the flesh. I was hired to be the guy who hands out headsets and other museum paraphernalia. He was in my sight for about 14 seconds. I was stunned. I was having a really bad day, and all of a sudden . . . Graham Nash.

I wanted to tell him that I loved his songs, his voice, and his spirit. I don’t think I would have grown a conscience if I hadn’t heard songs like “Military Madness” and “Chicago.” I grew up with Graham’s first solo album, Songs for Beginners in my collection. I also had albums and singles by his first successful band, the Hollies. Their song “Carrie Anne” was the song on my answering machine and voice mail for almost 5 years!

The very first time I saw the film Woodstock, I was blown away by a lot of the performances. Crosby, Stills and Nash’s live version of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” had me mesmerized. Do you know the part of the “suite” that starts, “Friday evening, Sunday in the afternoon. What have you got to lose?” When they hit that part of the song in the film, I started to cry. Me, a goofy foul-mouthed 10 year old! I cry to this day.

I remember the late 70s, and all of the talk of “No Nukes.” I actually thought that “No Nukes” meant a great line-up starring CSN and Jackson Browne. I learned through Graham, his music, and his interviews that it was very important to use your talent to say something to get people thinking about right, wrong, and basic human needs. For my high school senior yearbook, we were given a questionnaire. One of the questions asked us who should be “President” of America. I scratched out all of their choices, and put in Graham Nash.

Yep, that 14 seconds came and went. I never got up the courage to say “hello, and thank you for the music and ‘the word.’ I think you’re great.” He no longer had the goatee, but he still looked great. Next time (and there will be a next time), I won’t be a shy 20-something. Next time, I’ll extend my wing without fear – I hear he’s a vegetarian.

Happy Birthday Graham! Until I see you again, hello!

(Lex Neon is the musical mastermind behind the music of indie sunshine pop / rock band Poppermost.  For more info, go to http://www.poppermost.com/)

Note: The date listed on the album shown below is for the remastered version. The original  “Songs For Beginners” was released May 28, 1971.

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~ by Poppermost on September 6, 2008.

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