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Graham Nash Says CSN Sessions With Rick Rubin Were Contentious

Disputes Stephen Stills' claim that Crosby, Stills and Nash won't make a new album

Graham Nash
Mark Sullivan/WireImage
July 26, 2012 12:30 PM ET

In an interview with Music Radar, Graham Nash revealed that the recent Crosby, Stills and Nash recording sessions with legendary producer Rick Rubin were "not a great experience."

"After almost 50 years of making records, we think we know what we're doing, so it's very hard to tell Crosby, Stills and Nash what to do," said Nash. "You can suggest anything you want, but you can't tell us what to do."

In a recent interview, also with Music Radar, Stephen Stills said the group would not make another record. Nash put those rumors to bed: "Two things are happening. One – Stephen doesn't know the big picture," he said. "And two – Stephen is very deaf. He may have misheard you, or he may have been answering the question he thought you asked. Crosby, Stills and Nash will do another record. We're right in the middle of one, Songs We Wish We'd Written."

As Nash mentioned, that is the covers project for which the group had teamed up with Rubin. Despite finishing a few tracks, those ended up on the shelf, with the band rerecording them. Finished cuts now include "Close Your Eyes," "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Ruby Tuesday."

Nash described the Rubin sessions as "irritable" from the start. He recalled a particular flare-up between Rubin and David Crosby over how many Beatles songs would be included on the record: "Rick said, 'There will only be one Beatles song,"' recalled Nash. "Crosby said to him, 'There'll only be one Beatles song if we decide there will be one Beatles song.' You know, like, 'Who the fuck are you to tell me . . . '" 

Of the tracks they did finish, Nash said the heart "wasn't there." While he called Rubin "a brilliant man," he added the two parties "just rubbed each other the wrong way."

"We felt like we had this guy who was telling us what to do all the time," said Nash. "I mean, who the fuck is Rick Rubin? I know he's sold millions of records, but who the fuck is he to tell Crosby, Stills and Nash what to do? Guide us – yes. Make suggestions – fantastic. 'Try it this way' – no problem. But don't tell us what to do. You can't."

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