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Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life Hardcover – September 17, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 543 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Nash, a founding member of the Hollies and (later) Crosby, Stills, and Nash, has finally written an autobiography. Taking us from his childhood to the present day, the book is a portrait not merely of a rock ’n’ roll star, but also of a man who has, it seems, constantly been seeking new challenges. (The formation of Crosby, Stills, and Nash came about because Nash was frustrated with the Hollies; in the late 1980s, having achieved pretty much everything it was possible to achieve in popular music, Nash returned to his first childhood passion, photography.) The book’s title is a bit misleading: this isn’t a collection of “wild tales” about the author’s rock ’n’ roll life; there are some such tales, of course—the story of Nash’s friend and bandmate David Crosby’s long battle with drug addiction, for example—but overall the book is simply the story of a man’s life and his unshakeable passion to express himself through his art. Fans might say the book is long overdue, but it was definitely worth the wait. --David Pitt


"Provocatively honest." –New York Daily News
"There are indeed wild tales to tell...Nash wasn't pulling back on the lurid details." -Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Shockingly candid." –Daily Express (UK)       
"Though CSN and CSNY made more than their share of beautiful music together and lived in a kind of hippie heaven replete with mansions, money and free love, Nash doesn't hesitate to share the dark side of stardom, too, particularly the drug-fueled ego trips and meltdowns that so often derailed the group....[But] the reader is inclined to believe that the drugs, the women, the accolades and the money were never the point. 'It always comes down to the music,' Nash says. And that's what makes this trip worth taking." –USA Today
“A no-holds-barred, fiercely honest chronicle of the glories, excesses, disappointments, and joys of the rock-and-roll life. . . Nash’s tour-de-force tale reveals a soul who is ‘a complete slave to the muse of music.’” –Publishers Weekly
“The story of a man’s life and his unshakeable passion to express himself through his art. Fans might say the book is long overdue, but it was definitely worth the wait.” –Booklist

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; First Edition edition (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385347545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385347549
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (543 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Becker on November 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here we have a self-proclaimed artistic genius who has conquered the worlds of music, art and photography, tackling a memoir. After all, how hard can it be? Simply pour out everything you can remember about your childhood and musical career, rearrange it here and there, add some music for e-book readers, and there you are. Don't allow any competent editing, because that would reduce the size of the book by about half.

The first third to half of the book is by far the most interesting, detailing Nash's childhood in the north of England, a hardscrabble existence punctuated by his father's incarceration for a year for a minor crime. His childhood friendship with Allan Clarke and the story of their meeting the Everly Brothers is endearing, as is his first unplanned session of singing harmony with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. The latter experience resulted in the birth of CSN and directed Nash's future career path. It is interesting to read of the origins of some of CSN's iconic songs, such as Teach Your Children and Our House.

Then Nash starts to tell us both less and more than we want to know about the subsequent history of CSN/CSNY. Drug and alcohol abuse by Crosby and Nash, and Neil Young's pain in the neck personality constantly contributed to drama in the recording studio and on the concert trail, but interestingly, while Nash smoked, snorted, and drank as much as any of them, he was never responsible for any of these problems. He says he could have quit cocaine any time; you see, he doesn't have an "addictive personality," so drugs were not a problem for him.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"I am a simple man." Graham Nash.
"This is how I remember it." Graham Nash.

This (345 page) book covers Nash's musical life from his time in The Hollies (the first 130 pages or so) to his move to SoCal's Laurel Canyon (where the story really begins in earnest), up to the present. The first portion of the book about Nash and The Hollies is the most interesting and informative part of this book. Little has been written about The Hollies by someone who was close to the band, so it's nice to have Nash's perspective on that period. But don't let the three "stars" fool you. This is a well thought out interesting, and (sometimes) informative book from Nash. His stories do bring out those years, but much of it has already been relived by his musical partners and others. But Nash's writing style is very personable and straightforward--which makes reading his book a pleasurable experience--more so than other similar memoirs.

Even if you're familiar with all the stories about CSN&Y, Nash's memories of his early musical life--before and with The Hollies--is well worth reading. His up close and personal description of the early years in England really bring that whole period alive and make the book worthwhile. Reading Nash's memories makes me wish a good writer/editor would interview, in depth, the members of The Hollies and those connected with them, for an in depth book that includes each band member, the band, important people on the scene at that time, and that whole era when music was rapidly changing. The Hollies were there, and witnessed and were a part of that change, from pretty-boy crooners to The Beatles, The Stones, The Hollies, and other bands of the era. It's a piece of English rock'n'roll history that's crying out to be told. Maybe someday.
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Format: Hardcover
Perhaps the most brilliant memoir I've ever had the opportunity to read!! Just ordered ten of them to give out as gifts this Christmas.

It would seem obvious to even the casual observer that an autobiography of one of the biggest rock stars in history, would probably be a book replete with tales of sex, drugs, and rock and roll; a book laden with stories of decadences and dalliances, and of living life to the excess. Well don't worry, Nash pulled no punches here, and those stories all there for the taking but that's NOT what this book is about. Wild Tales is about so much more than that. In the end, it is about the music transcending all else, about people, about family, and most of all about LOVE, FRIENDSHIP and LOYALTY. I picked up the book and was literally transfixed for hour after hour, unable to put it down until I got to the last of it's 360 pages before starting again from the beginning. I laughed, and I cried, over and over again, learning as much about love as I learned about loss. The stories were just so mesmerizing, and seemed to flow so naturally, that for that one brief moment I was transported back in time and witnessing first hand the seemingly cathartic retelling of the most amazing events in musical history cloaked in the wrapper of a life lived with honor, integrity, caring and commitment, by someone who may well have been one of the few islands of saneness in a generation where sanity was hard to come by.
Interspersed with stories of love triumphing over all, we are taken to the places all of us may wish we could have been, as Nash lays down a historical record for us, and for future generations, of glimpses into musical history, many of which had never before been documented.
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