Graham Nash is one of music’s most prolific and significant singer-songwriters. As part of the Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, his voice is among the most familiar in rock music — “Just One Look,” “Stop Stop Stop,” “Pay You Back With Interest,” “On a Carousel,” “Carrie Anne,” “King Midas in Reverse,” “Dear Eloise” and “Jennifer Eccles,” as well as numerous album tracks of extraordinary beauty. Nash’s best compositions, including “Teach Your Children” and “Marrakesh Express,” are among the most representative of the pervasive idealism of the 1960s, and are among the most popular songs of their era. In 2010, Graham Nash was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Crosby, Stills and Nash and as a member of the Hollies. Nash is a photography collector and a published photographer, and was appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music and to charity.
ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about?
GRAHAM NASH: I would ask him about his and Michelle’s new conference on bullying. The dialogue on bullying is very important, because within that discussion is a very essential truth: the truth that within our communities we are creating enemies. We are putting each other on the opposite sides of the street and throwing rocks. I would talk to him about this new upcoming project about bullying prevention. As the president said, the bullying has gone from shouting at someone on the playground to harassing them on the phone and now abusing each other on the computer.
RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would it be?
GN: Hug his children more. It all starts there. All the policies that he creates are for them, our future.
RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?
GN: How do you revitalize that tremendous amount of hope and optimism that brought him into office in order to keep him in office?
RB: What book would you lend President Obama? Why?
GN: I would have the president read Weapons in Space by Karl Grossman, which is a book documenting the race to weaponize space.
RB: If you were going to send the president to one place in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?
GN: To Madison, Wis., this morning (March 10, 2011), when they tried to forcefully eject the people who were protesting peacefully. I would like to see him handle the situation and be on the front line.
RB: Would you ever consider a political career?
GN: No, not at all. What a mad business. You have to compromise immediately. Just to get in office you have to sell out.
Bronk is a seasoned Capitol Hill strategist and advocate. She started her career at The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for the arts and entertainment industry, in July 1998. During her tenure as CEO, Bronk has taken The Creative Coalition from a New York-based entity to a national organization. www.thecreativecoalition.org