Simple Man

Album: Songs For Beginners (1971)
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  • Graham Nash wrote this heartbreaker on June 7, 1970, just hours before his show with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Fillmore East in New York City, where he performed it for the first time. The day before, he broke up with Joni Mitchell, whose life together he sang about in the 1970 CSN&Y track "Our House." It was devastating for Nash. "My whole world fell apart," he said.

    Worse, Mitchell was in the audience that night, listening to Nash sing lines like:

    I never been so much in love
    And never hurt so bad at the same time

    The show was broadcast on the New York radio station WNEW and later released as the album Fillmore East 1970.
  • When Nash wrote this song, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young had stopped recording as a group and were working on their solo albums, so it ended up on Songs For Beginners, Nash's first solo effort.
  • Nash played piano on this track, with David Lindley on fiddle, Dorian Rudnytsky on cello, and Rita Coolidge singing backup.
  • Two years later, Lynyrd Skynyrd released their "Simple Man," a song with a very different meaning. That one is about the pleasures of living a simple life focused on friends and family.
  • "Simple Man" plays under the opening credits of the 2007 movie Reign Over Me, starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle.

Comments: 1

  • Bill from UsI'd probably write a few songs if I got to break up with Joni Mitchell.
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