Photography by Katie O’Neill
Words by Harry Potts
Graham Nash was co-founder of the Hollies and member of 1970s US supergroup, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Born in Blackpool in 1942, his mother having been evacuated from Salford during WW2. The family subsequently returned to Salford, where Graham grew up. In the early 1960s he co-founded the Hollies as guitarist and occasional vocalist, the band went on to be one of the UK’s most successful pop groups.
In 1968 Graham officially left the group due to musical differences and moved to Los Angeles to form a new group with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. A trio at first, Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) later became a quartet with Neil Young: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). With both configurations, Graham went on to even greater worldwide success, penning many of CSN’s most-commercial hit singles such as “Marrakesh
Express” and “Teach Your Children”. Graham, has been described as the glue that kept their often fragile alliances together. The band’s second performance was at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, Nash struck up a romantic relationship with singer Joni Mitchell. The couple lived together for two years inspiring and influencing each other’s songwriting.
CSNYand CSN enjoyed continued success throughout the 1970s with the individual members eventually pursuing solo careers and other musical projects.
Graham briefly rejoined The Hollies in 1983 (to mark their 20th anniversary) to record two albums. After a number of musical collaborations in recent years, Graham is currently recording and touring as a solo artist and can still boast a loyal and enthusiastic fan base.
Graham became an American citizen in 1978 and holds dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and United States and currently lives in New York.
Graham Nash is also an internationally renowned photography collector and a published photographer. His camera has never been far from his side during his long and illustrious music career.
Graham 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. He 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.
Graham Nash holds four honorary doctorates, including one from New York Institute of Technology and one from the University of Salford in 2011.
Student reflection: Katie O’Neill
“We photographed Graham at Salford’s Lowry Theatre before his homecoming show on his U.K. tour – the shoot was quite rushed and a little tense. We met Graham inside the theatre, but our chosen waterfront location for the photography was adjacent to a large group of fans waiting for Graham at the stage door – a cause of concern for the road manager. Graham then made the decision to outrun the fans. ‘What the hell, let’s get the shots outside’ he said. We quickly moved between locations while I tried to direct him and explain the project. I managed to come out of the shoot with images I am really happy with. Graham was such a nice guy to meet and speak to – no matter how short our time together.”
© All images – The Manchester College (unless otherwise stated)