Thursday, November 20, 2014

Teach Your Readers: A Review of "Wild Tales"

Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll LifeWild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life by Graham Nash
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, my life certainly hasn't been as interesting as Mr. Nash's... and I bet yours hasn't been either -- especially if, like the poor wretches he writes about in his home town ("Cold Rain"), you go to work every day, pay your taxes and don't do drugs.

In the incestuous other-world of classic rock, you can hate guns but then tell loving stories about your best friend shooting people. You can live on mini-compounds of homes on dozens of acres of land, and be a voice for conservation. You and your mates can ravage your voices and squander a good bit of career productivity on drugs and possessions (with women seemingly placed in that category until you reach middle age), and yet profess that music is always first and foremost. But then you can also helicopter in to benefit concerts and raise money for good causes too -- so what do I know?

I read this book because I enjoyed the early CSNY ("Our House" was a staple on my high school's jukebox for years after the song came out), and Graham Nash's public persona seems refreshingly likeable. And, very likely, he's a great guy in real life. Here, though... well, I wanted to give this book only 2 stars. I found it more preachy than descriptive or insightful, and it made me feel... well, small.

However, I listened to the audio version, which is read by the author, and every once in a while Graham Nash breaks into song. So I gave it an extra star.

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