Listen to this track by former Holly and one-third of Crosby, Stills & (yes) Nash, Graham Nash. It’s “I Used To Be A King”, a key track from his first and arguably best solo record, Songs For Beginners from 1971.
By then, maybe the term “beginner” wasn’t pertinent to Nash. True, this was Nash’s first foray as a solo artist, transplanted from Manchester to sunny California after having left his band The Hollies in the late sixties. But by this time, he was well established as a native of SoCal, and no stranger to the scene. He was riding pretty high with CSNY, with this record being his next project after the mighty Deja Vu completely solidified the success of the band. Also, Nash had a lot of help on this record from musicians who weren’t exactly babes in the woods either, with members of the Grateful Dead, Traffic, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and a couple of his regular teammates in Neil Young and David Crosby pitching in.
So, what’s all this about “beginners”, then? Well, I suspect the answer to that question had less to do with musical proficiency, career experience, or the road scars that comes with all that. The fact was that by 1971, Nash was starting again for other more personal reasons. Read more