Graham Nash's Wild Night Out With The Everly Brothers "The phone rings in my hotel room, and it was Phil Everly," Nash says of the strange evening in 1992 when he fulfilled a childhood dream.

Graham Nash's Wild Night Out With The Everly Brothers

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GRAHAM NASH: (Singing) Where are you going?


That's Graham Nash, still singing...


NASH: (Singing) Where are you going?

SIMON: ...After five decades of music-making through The Hollies, then Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, but it's been 14 years since his last solo album. He joins us now to talk about "This Path Tonight."


NASH: (Singing) This path tonight.

SIMON: Mr. Nash, thanks so much for being with us.

NASH: Thank you very much, Scott. How are you today?

SIMON: I'm fine, thanks. Thanks for asking.

NASH: Excellent, me too.

SIMON: Why a solo album after all this length of time?

NASH: Shane Fontayne, who is an incredible guitar player and is the second guitar player in the Crosby, Stills & Nash band, and I share a bus as we travel around America and travel around the world. And we wrote 20 songs in a month and recorded those 20 songs in just over a week. So "This Path Tonight" is me trying to get out my feelings, which as, you know, I've always done in my life. And in the last 14 years, I've been a very busy boy. I've done, you know, hundreds of shows with David and Stephen. And that's one of the reasons why it was so long between solo records.


NASH: (Singing) And I'm rolling down this lonesome road.

SIMON: May I ask, how do you get your voice so high (laughter)?

NASH: You know, I've been asked that question a lot and quite frankly I don't know. I don't know the answer. I learned to sing high singing three-part with The Everly Brothers in my bedroom, you know, when I was a teenager. Do you have time for a quick short story about this?

SIMON: We have time for whatever, yes, of course.

NASH: Fantastic. 1992 - I'm in Toledo, Ohio, and the phone rings in my hotel room. And it was Phil Everly from The Everly Brothers of course. I said, Phil, why are you calling me in Toledo, Ohio? And he said, well, you know the place that you and David and Stephen are going to play tomorrow? And I said, yes. He said, well, we're there tonight. Do you want to come to the show? So of course I did. I'm an incredible fan of course.

So me and my friend Mac Holbert went down and after sound check Don Everly looks at me and he says, so what are you going to sing with us? And I got to tell you, Scott, I was dying inside. It's been a lifetime dream of mine. So I'm trying to be cool and I say, I like "So Sad."


THE EVERLY BROTHERS: (Singing) So sad to watch good love go bad.

NASH: Phil said, I'll tell you what, then, I'll sing underneath Don. You take my part. And I said, why? He said because I have the high part. I said, Phil, look who you're talking to.

SIMON: (Laughter).

NASH: I learned to sing high because of you. Why don't you stay exactly where you are and I will sing on top of both of you? I have a board tape of me singing three-part with The Everly Brothers on "So Sad" that thrills me to this day.


THE EVERLY BROTHERS: (Singing) So sad to watch good love go bad.

NASH: My point is that I have no idea why I sing this way. I don't have a vocal coach. I don't do vocal exercises. I just warm up a little before I go on stage and I sing like this.

SIMON: That's a wonderful story. I want to ask you about another song on this album, which is a tribute song to the late great Levon Helm, "Back Home."


NASH: (Singing) Look inside and you will find you. Take your time 'cause time will take you. And from your sky the sun is falling, but Mother Earth will soon be calling you back home.

SIMON: That's quite a song.

NASH: Indeed and, you know something? That's our demo from the bus.

SIMON: That's your demo from the bus?

NASH: Yeah. CSN used to do this song in a kind of reggae kind of feel. And then when we were in the middle of the record, Shane came to me one day he said did you - have you ever heard our demo from the bus of "Back Home?" And I said, no, play it for me. And he played it for me and I said, holy, Toledo. I think we have something here. This makes me feel, you know, I'm excited about this. So all I had to do was overdub the drums and the base and my lead voice.


NASH: (Singing) May the circle be unbroken as the band, the band plays on.

NASH: Shane and I did a benefit for The Barn in Woodstock. Levon does all those ramble schools (ph). And to have Levon's daughter, Amy, crying her eyes out on the front row while Shane and I were singing this song for her father was incredibly emotional for me.

SIMON: I'll bet. Another song we'd like to ask you about. Let's listen to a little bit of "Beneath The Waves."


NASH: (Singing) Living in the same world, a world that's full of love and lies, a world that really doesn't care if we live or if we die. Fifty years before the mast. How long will it last before sinking?

SIMON: You've been making music since the tumult of the 1960s. We're in a new millennium now. We have new problems but a lot of the same old problems. And you in several different guises have sung the theme song of a lot of lives for people. I mean, I wonder if this world is what you thought or hoped it would be.

NASH: It is, and I'll tell you why. I know it looks bleak out there. I know it looks very challenging. You know, my personal feeling is that climate change is the most dire problem facing humanity, but we also have terrorism and, you know - but I have to remain positive. I have to think that these are still the golden days. The people that own the world's media you could probably count on a couple of hands, and they don't want, you know, songs on their airwaves that might rock the boat, that might disturb the status quo. But of course me and my musical partners for decades now have been fighting the status quo and trying to rock the boat.

SIMON: Graham Nash - his soul album, "This Path Tonight." He joined us from NPR West. Thanks so much for being with us.

NASH: You're very welcome, Scott, thank you.


NASH: (Singing) Songs with soul and words with so much hope for a brighter day. Oh, I know that people hurt, but they try to find a better way to these golden days.

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