Music Monday My letter to Graham Nash

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I have read over 40 autobiographies by ROCKERS and it seems to me that almost every one of those books can be reduced to 4 points. Once fame hit me then I became hooked on drugs. Next I became an alcoholic (or may have been hooked on both at same time). Thirdly, I chased the skirts and thought happiness would be found through more sex with more women. Finally, in my old age I have found being faithful to my wife and getting over addictions has led to happiness like I never knew before. (Almost every autobiography I have read from rockers has these points in it although Steven Tyler is still chasing the skirts!!).

Graham Nash has written a very good autobiography called WILD TALES and it certainly does include a lot of wild tales!!!!

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November 16, 2018

Graham Nash,

Dear Mr. Nash, 

Your music reminds me a lot about the Memphis Blues. I thought of your music when I heard the news today, “In 2 days, Mississippi River has risen 10 feet north of St. Louis.”

Everybody is now educating themselves on the great flood of 1927. The 1927 Great Mississippi Flood was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States, causing over $400 million in damages and killing 246 people in seven states and displaced 700,000 people.

My grandfather moved to Memphis in 1927 and he told me about this flood. There was a lady named Memphis Minnie and she wrote about this flood. I always heard that there was lots of great blues music that had come out of Memphis, but I always thought that was overstated and that the Blues was not a significant form of music. (Live and learn, the Blues music out of Memphis had a GREAT AFFECT ON MUSIC WORLDWIDE!!!)

However, at the same time I was listening to groups like Led Zeppelin and the ROLLING STONES, I had no idea that many of their songs were based on old Blues songs out of Memphis.

One of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs was “When the Levee breaks.” It was based on a song by Memphis Minnie.

There are many paths that people can take to deal with the Blues but the one found by many people in this area is to repent of their sins and embrace the gospel. Actually the answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

When I examine the Blues they are really an expression of one’s desperation to deal with the hard realities we face in life. Some seek escapism through alcohol or drugs. In fact, many famous Blues musicians have died from from addictions to drugs or alcohol!!

In your book WILD TALES is this passage:

During the Stones’ set a fan was  fatally stabbed by a HELLS ANGEL a short distance from the front of the stage which more or less signaled the end of the Woodstock era. The minute we finished, we grabbed our guitars and took off for the helicopter at a dead run. 

Francis Schaeffer wrote something about this incident and it seems to agree with your assessment:

At about the same time as the Berkeley Free Speech Move- 
ment came a heavy participation in drugs. The beats had not 
been deeply into drugs the way the hippies were. But soon 
after 1964 the drug scene became the hallmark of young 
people.
The philosophic basis for the drug scene came from Aldous 
Huxley's concept that, since, for the rationalist, reason is not 
taking us anywhere, we should look for a final experience, one 
that can be produced "on call," one that we do not need to 
wait for. The drug scene, in other words, was at first an ideol- 
ogy, an ideology that had very practical consequences. Some of 
us at L'Abri have cried over the young people who have blown 
their minds. But many of them thought, like Alan Watts, Gary 
Snyder, Alan Ginsberg and Timothy Leary, that if you could 
simply turn everyone on, there would be an answer to man's 
longings. It wasn't just the far-out freaks who suggested that 
you could put drugs in the drinking water and turn on a whole 
city so that the "pigs" and the kids would all have flowers in 
their hair. In those days it really was an optimistic ideological 
concept. 

So two things have to be said here. FIRST, the young people's 
analysis of culture was right, and, SECOND, they really thought 
they had an answer to the problem. Up through Woodstock 
(1969) the YOUNG PEOPLE WERE OPTIMISTIC CONCERNING DRUGS-- 
BEING THE IDEOLOGICAL ANSWER. The desire for community and 
togetherness that was the impetus for Woodstock was not wrong, of course. God has made us in his own image, and he 
means for us to be in a strong horizontal relationship with each 
other. While Christianity appeals and applies to the individual, 
it is not individualistic. God means for us to have community. 
There are really two orthodoxies: an orthodoxy of doctrine 
and an orthodoxy of community, and both go together. So the 
longing for community in Woodstock was right. But the path 
was wrong. 

AFTER WOODSTOCK TWO EVENTS "ENDED THE AGE OF INNOCENCE," 
to use the expression of Rolling Stone magazine. The FIRST 
occurred at Altamont, California, where the ROLLING STONES put 
on a festival and hired the Hell's Angels (for several barrels of 
beer) to police the grounds. Instead, the Hell's Angels killed 
people without any cause, and it was a bad scene indeed. But 
people thought maybe this was a fluke, maybe it was just 
California! IT TOOK A SECOND EVENT TO BE CONVINCING. 

On the Isle of Wight, 450,000 people assembled, and it was 
totally ugly. A number of people from L'Abri were there, and I 
know a man closely associated with the rock world who knows 
the organizer of this festival. Everyone agrees that the situation 
was just plain hideous. 

THUS, AFTER THESE TWO ROCK FESTIVALS THE PICTURE CHANGED. IT IS  
NOT THAT KIDS HAVE STOPPED TAKING DRUGS, FOR MORE ARE TAKING  
DRUGS ALL THE TIME. And what the eventual outcome will be is 
certainly unpredictable. I know that in many places, California 
for example, drugs are down through the high schools and on 
into the heads of ten- and eleven-year-olds. But drugs are not 
considered a philosophic expression anymore; among the very 
young they are just a peer group thing. It's like permissive 
sexuality. You have to sleep with a certain number of boys or 
you're not in; you have to take a certain kind of drug or you're 
not in. THE OPTIMISTIC IDEOLOGY HAS DIED. 

I was curious what you thought of these assertions. Thank you for your time and keep up the good work on your music. I have enjoyed it a great deal .

Everette Hatcher, cell phone 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

Image result for Stones' set a fan was actually fatally stabbed by the HELL'S ANGELS

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photo: Graham Nash, David Crosby and Neil Young of CSNY at Altamont

Image result for altamont crosby stills nash

919 × 677Images may be subject to copyright. Learn More CSN&Y – LONG TIME GONE- ALTAMONT SPEEDWAY (RARE 8mm & 16mm VIDEO) – YouTube

Image result for altamont crosby stills nash

CD

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