Graham Nash Gave $800K of Archive Material to Neil Young for Free
Graham Nash said he’d amassed a collection of Neil Young’s handwritten lyrics, which he’d valued at $800,000 – but gave them back to Young for no charge.
In a new interview with Uncut, Nash explained he’d “accumulated 28 handwritten documents by Neil containing original lyrics they had had left behind at studios or given to me,” He continued: “A year or so ago, he decided to sell his archive to a university in Canada and he asked me if I still had those lyrics. I said I did. I’d valued them at $800,000 but I realized that Neil wanted them, I realized how much money I had made because of his talent, and I gave them to Neil with a good heart. If Neil wanted his stuff back, he could have it.”
Nash (who once admitted he hadn't originally wanted Young in his band) also looked back on his colleague’s career, reflecting that the Canadian’s abilities meant there was a great distinction between the work he did with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the work they did without him.
Noting that it had been “amazing to watch Neil become this great artist,” Nash said of the early times, “Neil would come to rehearsals with us as CSNY and then at the end of the day we’d go about our business and we didn’t know he was going into the studio to record a solo album.” He added: “When we were first together as CSNY we all realized how talented he was. I personally feel that Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby, Nash, Stills & Young are two completely different bands because of his talent and the difference that it makes.”
He also praised the song “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” which Young had written about Nash and his relationship with Joni Mitchell. “It’s such a beautiful song. I knew it was about me the day Neil played it for me at Stephen’s [Stills] house in Laurel Canyon … and it was incredibly important for me to hear what Neil had said because he was dead right, it is only love that can break your heart. We are strong, mankind, but these love things can really trip you up. He was only 24 when he wrote that. It’s incredible how prolific he was.”
Neil Young - ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’