By Brian Ives
Rock bands aren’t necessarily designed to last forever, but it seemed like Crosby Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young) was one that would continue on as long as the individual members were still singing and playing.
But that isn’t to be, at least according to a recent interview Graham Nash did with Billboard (and an earlier one with Dutch magazine Lust for Life). In it, he said, “I don’t like David Crosby right now. He’s been awful for me the last two years, just f—ing awful. I’ve been there and saved his f—ing ass for 45 years, and he treated me like s—. You can’t do that to me. You can do it for a day or so, until I think you’re going to come around. When it goes on longer, and I keep getting nasty emails from him, I’m done. F— you. David has ripped the heart out of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.”
While it’s unclear what, exactly, Crosby did to upset Nash so much (outside of sending some “nasty emails” that Nash referred to). But clearly, whatever it was, it really offended him. The two have been playing together in bands since Crosby Stills and Nash formed in 1968; the group would expand to include Neil Young over the years. At other times, Crosby and Nash have gone Stills-less by recording and touring as a duo, and they’ve also guested on each other’s solo albums in the past.
That certainly changed; Nash told Radio.com in a recent interview that “I didn’t want to work with David and Stephen on this record. I just didn’t,” referring to his upcoming album, This Path Tonight. Although he didn’t describe his relationship with them (or with Crosby) as being in jeopardy. “I need a rest from them, quite frankly.” He also mentioned that he hadn’t spoken with Crosby since the last CSN gig, which was at the Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington DC in December of 2015.
When the subject of the rift between Crosby and Neil Young came up in the interview, Nash was notably annoyed. (To recap: in an interview, Crosby had referred to Young’s new girlfriend, Daryl Hannah, as a “purely poisonous predator”; Young responded by telling an audience, “CSNY will never tour again, ever.”) “You can’t insult Neil Young personally like that and hope to get away with it,” Nash said. “And I told David that he was wrong to have said that, and that he should jump on it and try and figure it out with Neil. But he waited about a year, and that’s way too long, and he did it publicly on The Howard Stern Show, apologized to Neil. But it was way too late.”
“I’m the guy that wrote ‘Wasted on the Way’ because of all the songs that I wish we had written and had sung and had been together enough to make more music than we did,” he added. “But I guess it’s what it is. I mean if CSN or CSNY never play another note of music, then that’s how it is.”
However, his feelings, at least about Crosby, seemed to have gotten considerably worse, considerably quickly. He told Billboard, “Right now, I don’t want anything to do with [David] Crosby at all. It’s just that simple. In my world there will never, ever be a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young record and there will never be another Crosby, Stills & Nash record or show.”
And while the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young collective have come back from breakups over the decades, only time will tell if we’ll see them playing together again. Which will be sad for the fans, and for Nash as well. “When we put our voices together behind a great song and make a great track, we do good work. And I want it. There’s a definite need for what we do in this world… I love those guys.”