It’s Only Rock N’ Roll (But I Like It)

Graham Nash still rocking at 80.

“Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.” — Paul Simon.

We went to see Graham Nash in Coral Springs recently and it felt…well…it felt magical.

We bought the tickets more than two years ago only to have Covid wash everything away for a while. So, it felt extra gratifying to walk into the theater and see a live show.

I’m on a personal mission to see the legends while they’re still here. Graham Nash certainly qualifies.

At 80, he retains his distinctive tenor. He is a charming and dynamic performer.

We were swept away by the music and for two hours it might as well have been the 60s and 70s when Nash was playing arenas not small theaters in Coral Springs (which he mistakenly referred to as Coral Gables).

Most people think their generation’s music was the “best ever” made; only in our case we’re right.

Nothing beats classic rock.

Two nights before the Graham Nash show, we went with my dad and his girlfriend to see “The Liverpool Legends” a Beatles tribute band at Spanish River Church in Boca Raton. They were accompanied by the Spanish River Orchestra, and they covered the Fab Four’s catalog from “A Hard Day’s Night” to “Let it Be” with aplomb. And for just a moment, we were transformed to a better place.

Outside the beautiful church, our world is a mess.  Missiles are being fired at innocent Ukrainians an ocean away, gas prices are skyrocketing and Covid—that damn virus– was still claiming victims and threatening yet another surge. Even though we are done with the virus, I’m not sure the virus is done with us.

Yes, it’s quite a world.

It’s during these times that we seek solace, answers, and sustenance. We get it from music.

Are there words profound enough to describe the brilliance of The Beatles?
Not likely.

What it is about their music that 60 years down the road we are still dancing in the aisles and singing along?

Same with Graham Nash.

My high school friends and I saw Crosby, Stills & Nash, 40 years ago at the Nassau Coliseum. CSN were sort of an oldies act even then—a 60s era band but still making music that resonated.

The song “Wasted on the Way”  broke through for me. The song was released in 1982. It was senior year and despite being 17 years old, I was already experiencing regret for not taking more chances. Why was I so scared of talking to that brilliant brunette in my English class? What’s the worst that could have happened if I asked her to grab a pizza at Mario’s in East Setauket?

The lyrics to “Wasted on the Way” challenged me to think differently.

“Look around me

I can see my life before me

Running rings around the way

It used to be

I am older now

I have more than what I wanted

But I wish that I had started

Long before I did

And there’s so much time to make up

Everywhere you turn

Time we have wasted on the way

So much water moving

Underneath the bridge

Let the water come and carry us away

Oh when you were young

Did you question all the answers

Did you envy all the dancers

Who had all the nerve

Look around you now

You must go for what you wanted

Look at all my friends who did and got what they deserved.”


Yes, I envied all the “dancers” who had all the nerve but this song—in 2 minutes and 52 seconds—gave me hope. It told me that life could be different. That we can “go” for what we wanted, question all the answers and find a better world that would run rings around the way things used to be.

That song—among so many—provides hope, inspiration, and joy.

There is something about music that makes us feel fully alive.

The other day I left work dragging. I sat in a chair for 8 hours, answered endless emails and was all “zoomed” out.

But when I got to the car bracing myself for the rush hour traffic, I turned on Sirius and “Jumping Jack Flash” came through the speakers— the distinctive riff instantly lifted my mood. I turned it up—way up— and the worries of the day melted away. When that song ended, the opening notes of “A Hard Days Night” so ingrained that they feel a part of my DNA blasted through the speakers.

I was no longer tired. I was no longer beleaguered. I was renewed.

That’s what good music does to you.

Whether its Bieber or The Beatles.

Beyonce or the The Band.

We’ll let Bob Marley have the last word:

“One good thing about music,” he said. “When it hits you, you feel no pain.”




  1. Mike Sneiderman says

    I love hearing from you first thing Monday morning!
    Wakes me right up!
    You challenge me to take the day,
    Like Harry Nilsson, “Gotta get up!”
    Thanks for your words Jeff!
    Always Right On!

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