* MUSIC *
you get started in the music business and how old were you at that time?
MH: My first experience with a band was when my high school
roommate, Alex Call started a band, The Urthworms in
1964. Alex later went on to great success as a songwriter – the composer
of “Jenny Jenny” for Tommy Tutone and “The Power of Love” for Huey
Lewis. I started hanging around bands in 1966 in Santa Cruz, CA where I
was an art major at the University of California. I was 18 at the time
and Santa Cruz was a hot bed of psychedelic music. Whenever possible I
headed up to San Francisco and frequented the Family Dog, The Avalon
Ballroom, Winterland and The Fillmore. Some of the bands I saw: The
Dead, Jefferson Airplane. Moby Grape, Sons of Champlin, Big Brother and
the Holding Company, It’s a Beautiful Day, Tim Buckley, Jim Kweskin,
Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Youngbloods, Country Joe and the
Fish, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks.
have a passion for the arts (music, photography, literature) at an early
MH: Definitely! My mother was a poet and an art lover and I spent
many hours on her lap as a child looking at art and photography books.
you get your foot in the door with the CSNY camp? Was this in 1970?
MH: In 1969 I started to make the first of several visits to New
Mexico where several of my closest college friends had set up a commune
outside of Albuquerque. In September of 1970 I was hitchhiking from New
Mexico to Santa Cruz when I was picked up by CSN&Y production manager,
Steven Cohen. Steven had been the Production Stage Manager at Woodstock
and was on his way to the west coast to stage-manage the Big Sur Folk
Festival. We had a leisurely trip back to Santa Cruz and when he dropped
me off he offered me a job the following weekend at the festival. I
leaped at the opportunity and did everything I could to show Steven I
was a solid, reliable employee. That job led to a Crosby/Nash Tour in
the spring of 1971 where I was an assistant truck driver and go-fer.
"I think that 'Wild Tales' was a truly
cathartic experience for him"
are some of the earliest duties they had you responsible for?
MH: Early on I did everything I was asked to do from running out
and buying strings to helping tear down to tuning guitars.
there any characters that were part of their road crew or managerial
crew at that time? Did anyone document these early days on film?
MH: The personalities that I remember best were Jimmy Deluca, the
head truck driver, Leo Makota the tour manager and Bob Sterne, the head
of the sound company. All three had been involved in touring for several
years and lived colorful lives on and off the road. Jimmy was a serious
biker, Leo had hung with the Hell’s Angels in San Francisco and Bob was
a bear of a guy – also into motorcycles.
Although I had a love of
photography at that time the rigors of road life precluded me from any
serious documentary work. Joel Bernstein did take occasional backstage
photos but by and large that period of time was not well documented.
What did you do during the
intervening years (1971-1973) before CSNY got back together again? What
work did you do on any of their solo or duo albums?
MH: Shortly after the
Crosby/Nash Tour I was asked to Road Manage Jane Fonda and a troupe of
actors (including Donald Sutherland) on a 6-week anti-war world tour of
U. S. Army bases. I ended up being responsible for the travel and
coordination of close to 80 people. I returned the day after Christmas
1971 and in early 1972 I moved to San Mateo, CA where I shared an
apartment with Leo Makota . Leo was handling affairs for Graham and
sometimes Crosby and he hired me as an assistant. This lasted for about
a year. At this point Graham asked me move to San Francisco to act as
his assistant. Leo continued to oversee the remodelling of Graham’s house
and acted as Tour Manager until 1974. Leo died of a heart attack 5 or
6 years ago.
How would you describe the
making of Nash's Wild Tales?
MH: For me it was quite an
exciting time. We had done a couple of albums at Rudy prior to Wild
Tales (David Blue and Michael D’Abo) where I had the opportunity to
watch and learn but Wild Tales was the first time I could observe the
process with somewhat of an understanding of the technology. It was kind
of a “dark” time in Graham’s life and I think that Wild Tales was a
truly cathartic experience for him.
Were you switching job
duties/titles with them as the years rolled by, or did you basically
have the same duties for a substantial number of years? Please describe.
MH: I started out as the
assistant truck driver, then a stage roadie, then a guitar tuner, then a
road manager for Graham, and then tour manager. When we weren’t touring
I worked with Graham’s various management companies planning tours. Over
the years, in addition to various CN, CSN and CSNY projects, I managed
tours for Poco, America, Dwight Twilley, Peter, Paul and Mary and Carole
remember how over the top everything was"
someone not in the managerial or touring business, describe the process
for even coming up with the idea for a tour. Generally speaking, for
CSN, did it start with a spark or a call from one of the three of them
to go out on tour?
MH: Many elements came into
play. Money obviously had its part. Ultimately though the music had to
be there. Even it was going out to play old songs they had to feel a
musical connection or else it would have flown apart.
Did one of them call you and ask for
an opinion, or call the others first, or is this a manager's
decision, based on offers from promoters, etc.?
MH: I was never
involved in suggesting a tour. That usually came from either one of the
principals or from agency/management. Once the idea of a tour was
finalized I did participate with the managers and agents in the routing
and details of the tour.
Were you with the group in Hawaii when
CSNY tried to record an album in 1973? What memories stand
MH: I was in Hawaii just prior to them getting
together. I ended up falling off a waterfall and completely
turning my kneecap into mush. I was flown home to San
Francisco where my brother the doctor picked me up and took
me to the hospital in Santa Cruz where they operated on me
the next morning. I was in a full leg to hip cast for 8
weeks of recovery.
When the idea for playing large
stadiums came up for the 1974 CSNY tour, whose idea was it?
Bill Graham's? CSN or Y?
can only give you my impression of where it came from. I
think it was an idea conceived by both Elliot Roberts and
Bill Graham. With the concept in hand Elliot sold it to Neil
who then suggested it to CSN who jumped at the chance to
play again as CSNY.
What particular moments stand out from
that 1974 tour?
remember how over the top everything was. Two limos parked
in front of the hotel 24 hours, a separate 24 hour suite for
the band - complete with food and drinks, private jets and
helicopters, amazing backstage catering! So much money was
spent keeping the band comfortable. I think Elliot
Bill were concerned that if everything wasn't perfect it
would fly apart. Neil traveled completely separately from
CSN in a tricked out RV and they only saw each other at the
gigs. I think the moment that stood out for me was the night
Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency. The crowd
"The chemistry among them is so volatile"
Crosby has often called the CSNY '74
tour "the doom tour?" Why do you think he has described the
tour in that way?
MH: Well…once again only my observations and opinions.
Everybody was well taken care of during the tour but
with so much money being spent and none of it being Elliot
or Bill’s there wasn’t a lot left over for CSNY after all
the bills were paid. Nash said it best in Wind on the
Water’s “Take the Money and Run”.
Some of David & Graham's most inspired
work came after the 1974 tour, with Wind on the Water and
Whistling Down the Wire. Who was responsible for selecting
the studio musicians for these albums? What role did you
MH: I learned early on to stay out of the music
unless I was specifically asked for my opinion. They
definitely didn’t respond well to suggestions from someone
who they perceived as being non-musical. I helped set up the
sessions and helped to file all the paperwork involved.
Rolling Stone ran a cover story in
1977 covering The Honest to God Reunion of Crosby, Stills
and Nash. What was going through your mind when you realized
the three of them were getting back together? What role did
you play, if any, in bringing this about?
MH: I kept out of it. I didn’t discourage it. The
chemistry among them is so volatile that any little thing
could cause it all to explode. If it was going to happen it
was only on their terms. There was a lot of management
prodding from the sidelines but ultimately the three of them
had to work it out.
In 1977 CSN recorded a new album and
toured extensively. Was this a happy time for the band in
general? They seemed to hit another creative peak at that
time. Would you agree?
MH: I do agree. They seemed
comfortable with one another on a level I hadn’t seen
before. I think they all realized that together they were
something greater than in any other configuration. They hung
with one another like I hadn’t seen them do in the years I
had known them. And in that they rekindled a sense of their
early creative forces.
Speaking of the 1977 CSN album: the cover
photo (that was not taken on David's boat the Mayan,
but another boat). Why did the record company use two
different photos for the cover?
MH: I have no idea.
And speaking of the Mayan, what are
your favorite memories of that boat? What exotic locales did
you set sail for and what was the experience like?
MH: Although I was on the Mayan on
several occasions the 10 days I spent on her in 1973 were
the most memorable. Graham and I and several others joined
David and his girlfriend for food, wine music and diving.
The most memorable event was one late afternoon Crosby and I
took the small powerboat into Lahaina to get groceries. We
loaded up the small boat and headed back to the Mayan. One
of the mooring ropes on the front of the boat fell into the
water. One end was attached to the front of the boat and the
other end floated to the rear where it proceeded to become
entangled in the rear propeller and cause the engine to
accelerate and turn the boat in high speed tight circles.
Well we spewed groceries all over the harbor until David was
able to kill the engine. Nobody got hurt and we recovered
most of the groceries intact. It did get my adrenaline
* 1980s *
What do you remember about the
building of Nash's original Rudy Records recording studio in
San Francisco? How did Leo Makota figure into this process?
MH: Leo acted as the contractor. He hired all the
sub-contractors and kept on top of the construction on a
day-to-day level. The studio was a combination of great
technology and beautiful artistry. There was gorgeous carved
wood everywhere. Graham spared no expense and Rudy Records
ended up being a great experience for the eyes as well as
"Stephen attacked the
storage closet with a screwdriver"
What was the scene like at original
Rudy Records and when Nash moved his studio to Crossroads of
the World in Los Angeles?
MH: Once Graham married, his bachelor days definitely
came to an abrupt end. The studio and the associated traffic
it attracted was not conducive to his new family life.
Graham began to search for another location to house the
studio. His Los Angeles based managers, John Hartmann and
Harlan Goodman located a vacant space at Crossroads of the
World on Sunset Blvd. Don Gooch, Rudy’s chief engineer,
oversaw the move and within several months Rudy Records was
At one point, Stills and Nash had cut
at least the rough tracks for a duo album but it got
rejected by the record company because of the absence of
David, later becoming Daylight Again. Was that the closest
working relationship you witnessed between Stills and Nash?
In your opinion, why haven't they collaborated on that kind
of level since then, either in the studio for an album, or
MH: That collaboration started out
great and ended up badly. I think that drugs and alcohol
were largely responsible for the turmoil. It was interesting
to see the initial chemistry that the Stills/Nash
collaboration spawned. It all came to an end late one night
with a huge fight over a guitar part or a vocal part – I
can’t remember exactly what started it. Graham had the tapes
locked up and Stephen attacked the storage closet with a
screwdriver and got in and destroyed the tape with a razor
blade. Graham asked me to get him out of the studio, which I
Were these events discussed later on?
MH: I don't have any specific
knowledge as to whether or not they discussed it afterwards.
If they did it would have been out of character for both of
them. I think that they both let time pass and then picked
up where they left off.
In the early to mid 80s you were with
CSN during some of the very leanest years of their existence
(a lack of creative material and a host of drug induced
problems). How did you keep them focused or even together
for that matter?
MH: In 1979 I moved to Los Angeles
and began working full time with Graham and David’s
management firm, Hartmann and Goodman. Crosby was in Mill
Valley, Graham was still in San Francisco and Stephen was
living in the Hollywood Hills. They all were living separate
lives and shared very little with one another. David was by
now heavily into his drug use and Stephen was continuing his
excesses. Money was probably more responsible for getting
them together than anything. The only time I ever saw or
spoke with David or Stephen was when we were preparing for
or on a tour. John Hartmann and Michael John Bowen
(Stephen’s manager) handled most of the interaction with the
group. The tours were hard on everyone. You never knew what
condition Stephen or David was going to be in. There were
nights when tempers flared backstage and I thought it was
all going to blow up and end the tour. Nash played a pivotal
role in keeping it all together and on most nights the
audiences got their money’s worth.
Did you ever feel you were going to
wake up one morning and discover that one or more of them
would no longer be alive? If so, how did this impact your
ability to manage them?
MH: Let make it clear – I was the tour manager. My
responsibilities were to keep the tour on track. This of
course involved the principals but keeping them on the
straight and narrow was a full-time job. Both David and
Stephen had separate road managers who were responsible for
getting them to the gig on time in good shape. David was the
one I worried about the most. He was playing around with
some very dangerous substances and seemed to be oblivious of
the possible consequences.
one point in the 80s you were Nash's charge d'affaires. What
did that entail?
MH: I was always responsible for
Nash. He took a lot less handling than either David or
Stephen so taking care of Graham was something that I could
easily do along with my other responsibilities. If you told
Graham you were leaving the hotel at 3:30P he would be ready
at 3:15P. Graham wasn’t content to stay up all night and
sleep all day so I spent much of the day with Graham
wandering around visiting museums, galleries and bookstores.
Once in London in 1974
Graham and I discovered a cache of early proto-photographs
(camera lucida drawings) created by Sir John Hershel, the
man who invented the word “photography”. Graham purchased
them for a relative pittance and later donated the bulk of
them to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles where they were
valued in excess of 2 million dollars!
Graham also ended up doing
most of the local publicity on tour so we also spent many
hours in radio stations talking up that evenings’ concert.
"I was surprised every
morning to find him alive"
I understand you drove David and his
band around in a far from luxurious van during his second to
last solo tour prior to his Texas incarceration. We can read
all about the situation in his book Long Time Gone but
again, what was going through your mind during this tour?
MH: Wow! It's hard to even think
about those days. I agreed to take him on the road as long
as he made a real effort to deal with his drug
problems. I was surprised every morning to find him alive. I
did my best to keep the tour receipts out of David’s hands
by sending it back to his accountant as often as possible. I
kept in touch with Graham and as the tour came to an end we
decided that an intervention was crucial. I knew he was too
far gone to help himself. It was a real low time for all of
Did you ever worry that you, yourself,
might end up in jail or worse for associating with him?
MH: You know, I never worried for myself because I
wasn’t involved on any level other than acting as his road
Not to dwell on the negative but
Graham has mentioned in many articles that the last straw
for him with David was the infamous crashing pipe scene (an
amp's vibrations caused David's pipe to fall to the floor
and break - which David felt the need to retrieve rather
than continue jamming). What was the last straw for you?
MH: The last straw for me was one
night in Pittsburgh when David was experiencing withdrawals
during a show and left the stage in the middle of the
concert and came backstage to the dressing room where I was
sitting on the couch going through receipts. He stormed in
and screamed, “Get off the fucking couch”. I leaped up and
he assumed a prone position. I sat down across the room from
him feeling slightly stunned by this sudden intrusion. Then
the door opens and Stephen storms in, walks over to the food
table, picks up a 5 gallon container of ice water and
proceeds to walk across the room and dump the entire
contents on Crosby’s head. He then threw the empty container
aside, yelled at Crosby, “Get your fuckin’ shit together!”
and exited. I’ll never forget the pitiful looks on David’s
face as he sat trying to understand what had just happened.
He looked like a drowned alley cat. He slowly dried himself
off and eventually made his way back to the stage where he
finished the show. I knew at that point that he no longer
had any control over his addiction. All three of them
had always felt a tremendous responsibility to their
audience. David now felt a greater responsibility to his
Where were you when David turned
himself in to the FBI in Florida? Again, what was going
through your mind as manager?
MH: I was living in L.A. working with David and
Graham’s new manager Bill Siddons. Bill flew to Dallas to
help with the situation. I had declined that tour because I
knew David wasn’t serious about cleaning up. I do remember
mixed feelings – I was concerned for David and happy that I
had made the decision not to take him on tour. I also
remember feeling that perhaps this would be the only
solution for David to get clean. Nothing like a year in jail
to help convince one to change their ways.
Did you correspond with David while he
was in prison? If you did, what was his mindset?
MH: I did not correspond with him
although I did get frequent updates through the office. I
think he was pretty miserable initially but he eventually
found ways to cope.
David points to Neil's promise to play
again as CSNY, IF David stayed clean and sober, as one of
his reasons for staying straight. In 10 words or less,
describe what Neil Young means to you... and again in 10
words or less, what Neil means to CSN....
MH: My take on Neil – Unique, Genius, Focus,
Committed, Dedicated, Loyal, Clarity, Artist, Passionate,
His importance to
CSN - Vision, Nucleus, Center, Discrimination
MH: The quality of being discriminating; acute
discernment; as to show great discrimination in the choice
What do you mean by "choice of means"?
Neil is a man of discriminating taste. He chooses musical directions and options with great care and precision.
Describe your personal and business
relationship with Neil.
MH: I never dealt with Neil on a business level and
only had a friendly relationship with him. He always treated
me with respect and was a pleasure to be around.
"'American Dream' lacked the authority of
their earlier efforts"
The late 80's found CSN touring and
recording in various forms and the
CSNY album American Dream was released.
What is your opinion of this long anticipated reunion album?
Was this a case of simply being unable to live up to the
hype and expectations of music critics or a ravenous public?
MH: I think the relative lack of success was
due to the major rifts that had developed between them all
over the years. It was easier to talk about doing music
together than actually doing it. The quality that defined
early CSN and CSNY was the coherent sense of purpose and
shared vision. When they stopped relating as friends and
came together mainly as business partners, the clarity of
their shared vision became muddied. All of them are great
musicians but “American Dream” lacked the authority of their
* CSNash Additions *
Let's shift gears for a moment and
talk about your relationship with Graham. You partnered with
him to found and run Nash Editions - the first digital
printing operation of its kind. What motivated you to break
out of the managerial role in music and shift gears into the
world of photography and digital printing?
MH: I was an art student in
college and always loved photography and the graphic arts.
Graham and I shared a lot in what we valued in life and I
enjoyed his friendship. The rigors of the road and the
personalities I was forced to deal with on a day-to-day
basis eventually began to wear on me. I had gotten
married in the mid 80’s
and had a daughter. I began to realize my babysitting
responsibilities with CSN were getting in the way of my
family. I was looking for a way to transition out of the
music business. I liked the music part – it was the business
that turned me off.
In the late 70’s
I had introduced Graham to digital imaging and he and I
spent a lot of time investigating different ways to output
digital files. In those days there weren’t a lot of options.
In 1988 Graham discovered a printer that was capable of
creating digital prints that rivaled traditional
photographs. He ended buying one of these printers
($126,000) to create his own work. He soon realized that the
printer was an expensive piece of equipment to have lying
around unused for months at a time and he suggested that we
form a company to offer digital printmaking services to
other interested photographers and artists. I jumped at the
chance and did my last show in Saratoga, CA in late June
1991 and moved my family to Manhattan Beach, CA one week
later where we opened Nash Editions on July 1, 1991.
What role did you play, if any, in
Grahams early exhibition of photographs (1978: de Saisset
Art Gallery and Museum at the University of Santa Clara in
California) and fine art (1990: Parco Stores in Tokyo, Japan
- the first exhibition ever of digitally produced fine art)?
Did you play a role on the sale of his photography
collection by Sotheby's in 1990?
MH: I helped
a lot with the
acquisition of many of the images in his collection but had
little to do with the de Saisset show. His wife Susan and
Graham’s curator, Graham Howe were mainly responsible. The
Parco Exhibition I had much more involvement with, mainly in
the selection of the final images and the hanging of the
show. The Sotheby’s sale was handled by Graham’s friend,
Charles Wehrenberg. He negotiated the final deal with
Sotheby’s and oversaw the auction.
What role did you play, if any, in
1996 work on Life Sighs (a theatrical performance shown in
Philadelphia) or his 1990 television show, The Inside Track,
which featured recording artists answering studio audience
questions and performing?
MH: I was integrally
involved with the Life Sighs project in the beginning but I
felt that not enough preliminary work was being done. I saw
the entire effort being more about the technology than about
the very interesting life my friend had lived. I felt that
several of the key individuals involved were taking
advantage of Graham and wasting vast sums of money so I
slowly extricated myself from the situation. The Inside
Track on the other hand was something that I worked on from
the beginning to the last of the 13 episodes. I helped write
the questions and was a voice in Graham’s ear during the
actual taping suggesting questions and prompting him.
You were on the
Board of Directors for Graham's Manuscript Originals, which
sold limited edition, hand signed lyrics by noted musical
artists. What was that experience like?
MH: A very frustrating
experience. It was a great idea but it needed Graham as a
figurehead. Someone to reach out to the artist and help
publicize the company. His life was very busy with family
and music and although he gave what he could it didn’t prove
to be enough and the company was finally taken over by
Graham’s son Will 3 years ago. To be honest, I don’t know
what success he’s had with it since.
"CSN has NEVER been known
for their ability to quickly and efficiently navigate the
recording of an album"
CSN are in the studio on and off
cutting a series of songs written by performers they love,
Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Tim Hardin.
Rick Rubin is the producer. It seems to be taking an
incredibly long time to make. Is this a case of trying to be
MH: I know they are all keenly
aware that you don’t attempt to cover a classic
unless you are
prepared to honor it by giving it your all. Over the years I
watched them reluctantly include cover songs into their set
list. They never attempted to do so unless they knew they
had it nailed. “Blackbird” is a perfect example. They bring
themselves to their rendition. I suppose there is some of
that going on. Also CSN has NEVER been known for their
ability to quickly and efficiently navigate the recording of
Not to simplify the process, but one
would think that getting the three of them around a single
microphone, strumming an acoustic guitar or two on songs
they love would not be an arduous process. There can't be
that many false starts/stops or off-key takes, can there?
MH: I don’t think they originally even knew how to
play many of the songs they’re working on. I know Joel
Bernstein was hired to help create the arrangements and to
show them how to play the songs. It’s one thing to know the
proper notes and another to give the performance the proper
“CSN Treatment”. Also they may have spent hours on a
particular song only to find out that for whatever reason
it’s just not working. You know I really think they’re more
concerned about honoring the original than they are about
making it perfect.
Obviously the music industry has
changed significantly since the dawn of CSN. From vinyl
records and reel-to-reel machines, from cassettes and
8-tracks, from CDs to MP3s and iPods and file sharing.
Considering the average age of CSN and Y, how will they survive
financially in this age of file sharing?
MH: They’re going to have to find new ways to access
their core audience. There are still a lot of us around but
technology has eclipsed the capabilities of many in that age
group. Live performance is one way they can survive but who
knows how much longer they can do that? It’s a challenge to
survive in the music business no matter what your age.
The technology has obviously changed,
but from a managerial perspective, how have the fans
changed, if any over the course of the years?
MH: The demographics of the fans
have changed as the audience has grown older along with the
group. They do attract a significant number of younger fans
which is tribute to the quality and timelessness of much of
I may be wrong, but the number of
young female groupies throwing themselves at the band MAY
have tailed off, but what about those fans hoping just to
catch a glimpse of the band, or the honor of getting an
autograph. How has that scene changed?
MH: You’ve got to remember – I
left the road in 1991! They always have had very adoring but
respectful fans. I think that has a lot to do with they way
the generally treat their admirers.
* Wooden Ships for sale*
I never thought I would see the day
when David would put his beloved Mayan up for sale. Can you
provide any insight on why he did this and has it sold?
MH: Nope – this is the first I’ve heard of it. But
I’m not in frequent contact with any of them any more.
"I collected EVERYTHING I
could - almost from the beginning"
Have Graham, Stephen or Neil started
parting (selling) things off from their personal collection
that you are aware of?
MH: I haven’t heard any rumblings about that.
about yourself? Anything special tucked away in the basement
that may soon see the light of day for CSNY collectors?
MH: Oh yeah! I collected
EVERYTHING I could - almost from the beginning. Graham
helped me immensely by giving me objects that normally never
get out of their own private collections. I have numerous
gold and platinum records given to Graham, concert tickets,
backstage passes, laminates for all the principals, signed
songbooks, albums, tour itineraries, programs, handwritten
set lists, demo tapes, acetates, tour jackets,
t-shirts – you name
it, I’ve probably got it. If any of your readers are
interested they can contact me at
I will then direct them to a website that outlines the
collection. I’m only looking for seriously interested
inquiries to purchase the entire collection. I will not sell
items individually. I will be accepting offers through
December 31, 2010. The minimum bid is $100,000. It’s an
opportunity for someone who wants to immediately acquire one
of the most unique CSN(Y) collections in the world!