It’s hard to believe, but one of the most legendary outfits in rock history came together via a chance encounter at a party Joni Mitchell had thrown.
Graham Nash came by City Winery last week to perform a Live From Studio X set and recalled the first time he sang with his soon to be bandmates David Crosby & Stephen Stills. Nash had just come in to Los Angeles for the weekend to visit his girlfriend, Joni Mitchell. When he arrived to her place, she was throwing party with Crosby and Stills in attendance. Nash said,
“Halfway through the final joint we smoked that night, Crosby said, ‘Hey Stephen play him that song we’ve been working on.’ They had been working on a song Stephen wrote called “You Don’t Have To Cry”.
After having them play the song again twice, Nash recalled,
“In the first two performances they did, I learned the words, my harmony, I knew how Crosby was breathing, I knew how Stephen was starting and ending his sentences. When I put my harmony in there, we got about a minute into the song and had to stop and start laughing. We had never heard anything like that moment and there was only one witness in the entire world, and that was Joni Mitchell.”
Graham Nash has been creating and producing music at a frenetic pace over the past few years. His latest record This Path Tonight was put together in just over a week. He said, “In a month, (guitarist) Shane [Fontayne] and I write 20 songs together and we recorded those songs in 8 days.”
Hear more on just how much music Nash has worked on recently, plus why he loves playing small venues like City Winery below.