The four members of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young may not like each other very much these days, but their shared animus towards President Donald Trump may be enough to bring them back together again.
Graham Nash tells Variety that, “I believe that the issues that are keeping us apart pale in comparison to the good that we can do if we get out there and start talking about what’s happening. So I’d be totally up for it even though I’m not talking to David (Crosby) and neither is Neil (Young). But I think that we’re smart people in the end and I think we realize the good that we can do.”
CSNY are no strangers to politics, of course, from their solo work before and after the band formed to songs such as “Wooden Ships” and “Ohio” and the strongly political 2006 Freedom Of Speech Tour.
Nash continued that, “You have to keep up your will to fight. You have to research your subject matter so that when people ask you about them you have good answers, true answers, you need to feel something before you create something like a song that could change the world, you have to remain really vigilant and strong. We cannot let this man undermine everything we have fought for over the last 30 years, which is what’s happening by the way. You couldn’t possibly write this script and have it accepted in Hollywood, they would laugh you out of the office. Then this guy becomes president and did what? It’s a crazy story.”
All four members, including Stephen Stills, have been involved in their own projects since 2015, and Nash has been particularly adamant that the split is permanent, telling us that “In my world there will never be a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young record and there will never be another Crosby, Stills & Nash record or show… Right now I don’t want anything to do with Crosby at all. It’s just that simple… Right now the truth is I’m totally immersed and me and David and Stephen and Neil’s music, I’m done. I’ve had 10 years of it. Leave me the f*** alone. I need to concentrate on me.”
Crosby counters that, “Yeah. I quit…Same thing that happens with groups, all groups over the years. You start out being very much in love with each other and you love each other’s music, and you’re having a blast and you wind up 40 years later not liking each other and it’s down to just turn on the smoke machine and play your hits. And it’s no fun. It was stifling music for me. It was making music be no fun.” As to whether the professional or personal relationships will ever be mended, Crosby simply said, “Don’t know. No idea.”
But Pegi Young, Neil’s former wife, tells us that we should never say never when it comes to CSNY: “Neil and Stephen, for instance, have had all kinds of spats and this and that over the years ’cause they’ve known each other since they were kids, but the music takes you above and beyond and so I hope that’s the case in this case ’cause those guys made some great music and (I’d) just kind of hate to see the whole thing implode…And then there’s the whole other Graham and David thing, so, I dunno, things have been spinning out of control a little bit. Again, music transcends…I think it really transcends individual, beefs or maybe some ill-chosen words, or maybe just words that are spoken from the heart.”
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.