British-American singer-songwriter and musician Graham William Nash OBE was born 2 February in 1942 in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, his mother having been evacuated there from the Nash’s home town of Salford, Lancashire, because of the Second World War. The family subsequently returned to Salford, where Nash grew up. In the early 1960s he co-founded the Hollies, one of the UK’s most successful pop groups, with school friend Allan Clarke. Credited on the first album as “Group Leader”, he occasionally took the lead vocals. Nash was featured vocally on “Just One Look” in 1964, and sang his first lead vocal on the original Hollies song “To You My Love” on the band’s second album In The Hollies Style (1964). He Sang bridge vocals on Hollies recordings; “So Lonely”, “I’ve Been Wrong”, “Pay You Back With Interest”. Also by 1966 Nash was providing a few solo lead vocals on Hollies albums, and then from 1967 also on B-sides to singles, notably “On a Carousel” and “Carrie Anne”.
Nash encouraged the Hollies to write their own songs, initially with Clarke, then with Clarke and guitarist Tony Hicks including “Stop Stop Stop”. In 1965, Nash with Allan Clarke and guitarist, Tony Hicks, formed Gralto Music Ltd, a publishing company which handled their own songs and later signed the young Reg Dwight (a.k.a. ‘Elton John’ – who played piano and organ on Hollies 1969 and 1970 recordings). Nash often wrote the verses on Clarke, Hicks & Nash songs and also composed songs by himself Such as ‘Fifi the Flea’ (1966), ‘Clown’ (1966), ‘Stop Right There’, ‘Everything is Sunshine’. The Butterfly album included several of his songs such as “King Midas in Reverse”. Nash initially met both David Crosby and Stephen Stills in 1966 during a Hollies US tour. On a subsequent visit to the US in 1968, he was more formally introduced to Crosby by mutual friend Cass Elliott in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles. Nash left the Hollies to form a new group with Crosby and Stills. A trio at first, Crosby, Stills & Nash later became a quartet with Neil Young: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). Nash went on to even greater worldwide success, penning many of CSN’s most-commercial hit singles such as “Marrakesh Express” ), “Our House”, “Teach Your Children”, “Just a Song Before I Go” and “Wasted on the Way”.
Nash became politically active after moving to California, as reflected in Nash’s songs “Military Madness” and “Chicago”. His song “Immigration Man”, Crosby & Nash’s biggest hit as a duo, arose from a tiff he had with a US Customs official while trying to enter the country. In 1972, Nash teamed with Crosby, forming a successful duo. In 1979, Nash co-founded Musicians United for Safe Energy which is against the expansion of nuclear power. MUSE put on the educational fundraising No Nukes events. In 2007 the group recorded a music video of a new version of the Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth”.Nash briefly rejoined the Hollies in 1983 (to mark their 20th anniversary) to record two albums, What Goes Around and Reunion. In 1993, Nash again reunited with the Hollies to record a new version of “Peggy Sue Got Married” that featured lead vocal by Buddy Holly (taken from an alternate version of the song given to Nash by Holly’s widow Maria Eleana Holly) and was included on the Not Fade Away tribute album to Holly by various artists. In 2005, Nash collaborated with Norwegian musicians A-ha on the songs “Over the Treetops” (penned by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) and “Cosy Prisons” (penned by Magne Furuholmen). In 2006, Nash worked with David Gilmour and David Crosby on the title track of David Gilmour’s third solo album, On an Island. Nash and Crosby subsequently toured the UK with Gilmour, singing backup on “On an Island”, “The Blue”, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, and “Find the Cost of Freedom”.
In addition to his political songs Nash has written many songs on other themes he cares about such as of nature and ecology such as the Hollies’ “Signs That Will Never Change” CSNY’s “Clear Blue Skies”, plus anti-nuclear-waste-dumping (“Barrel of Pain”), anti-war (“Soldiers of Peace”) and social issues (“Prison Song”). Nash also appeared on the season 7 finale of American Idol singing “Teach Your Children” with Brooke White. In 2010, Nash was inducted a second time to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of the Hollies. He received an OBE “for services to music and charitable activities”, becoming an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Diplomatic and Overseas Division of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on 12 June 2010. Nash received the title of George Eastman Honorary Scholar at the George Eastman House on 22 January 2011, in Rochester, New York. In 2011 Nash contributed a cover of “Raining in My Heart” to the tribute album Rave on Buddy Holly. In 2016, Nash Released his new studio album entitled This Path Tonight (his first collection of new songs in fourteen years) and shared the title track from it through MOJO magazine’s website. Nash embarked on a solo tour in support of the album performing at many places including Bluesfest in Byron Bay, Australia, Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills, California, The Albert Hall, Manchester, the Alte Oper Hall, Frankfurt, Germany and New Jersey and New York in September 2017
Nash is also Interested in photography and began to collect photographs in the early 1970s. Having acquired more than a thousand prints by 1976, Nash hired Graham Howe as his photography curator. In 1978 through 1984 a touring exhibition of selections from the Graham Nash Collection toured to more than a dozen museums worldwide. Nash decided to sell his 2,000 print collection through Sotheby’s auction house in 1990 where it set an auction record for the highest grossing sale of a single private collection of photography. In the late 1980s Nash began to experiment with digital images of his photography on Macintosh computers with the assistance of R. Mac Holbert who at that time was the tour manager for Crosby, Stills and Nash as well as handling computer/technical matters for the band. Nash found that although he could create very sophisticated detailed images on the computer, there was no output device (computer printer) capable of reproducing them.
In 1991, Nash agreed to fund Mac Holbert to start a fine art digital-based printing company called Nash Editions using the IRIS Graphics 3047 printer sitting in Nash’s Manhattan Beach, California carriage house. Holbert retired as road manager for Crosby, Stills and Nash to run Nash Editions Ltd. Early employees included David Coons, John Bilotta and a serigraphic print maker named Jack Duganne. They worked to further adapt the IRIS printer to fine art printing.
Nash and Holbert initially experimented with early commercial printers that were then becoming available and printed many images on the large format Fujix inkjet printers at UCLA’s JetGraphix digital output centre. When Fuji decided to stop supporting the printers, John Bilotta, who was running JetGraphix, recommended that Nash and Holbert look into the Iris printer, a new large format continuous-tone inkjet printer built for prepress proofing by IRIS Graphics, Inc. Through IRIS Graphics national sales rep Steve Boulter, Nash also met programmer David Coons, a colour engineer for Disney, who was already using the IRIS printer there to print Disney images. Coons produced large images of 16 of Nash’s photographic portraits on arches watercolour paper using Disney’s in-house model 3024 IRIS printer for a 1990 show at Simon Lowinsky gallery. Graham Nash also purchased an IRIS Graphics 3047 inkjet printer which David Coons and Steve Boulter used to print an even larger copies. A 1990 show of Nash’s work for Parco Stores in Tokyo.entitled Sunlight on Silver was a series of 35 celebrity portraits by Nash which were 3 feet by 4 feet in an edition of 50 prints per image, a total of 1,750 images. Nash has also exhibited his photographs at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. Nash and Holbert decided to call their fine art prints “digigraphs” although Jack Duganne coined the name “Giclée” for these type of prints. In 2010 21st Editions published a monograph titled “Love, Graham Nash” which includes facsimiles of his lyrics paired with signed photographs by Graham Nash and printed by Nash Editions.
Nash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997 and as a member of the Hollies in 2010. Nash was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours List for services to music and to charity. Nash holds four honorary doctorates, including one from New York Institute of Technology, one in Music from the University of Salford in 2011. and his latest Doctorate in Fine Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2005, Nash also donated the original IRIS Graphics 3047 printer and Nash Editions ephemera to the National Museum of American History, a Smithsonian Institution