How Smoking Pot Made Graham Nash A Better Songwriter

"I was smoking dope, and I became more introspective."

Graham Nash has written some of his generation's most iconic songs, but he told HuffPost Live on Thursday that he only got serious about songwriting as a significant art when he started pairing it with marijuana.

The rock legend, who will release "This Path Tonight," his first solo album in 14 years, on April 15, talked with host Alex Miranda about the influence drugs have had on his decades-long career. Nash said that while he quit cocaine cold turkey after 20 years when he realized its detriments, his experience with pot has been much more fruitful.

Before he became one-fourth of the rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Nash was a member of the English pop rock band The Hollies. But he said that it wasn't until he found his way to the music scene of late-'60s California -- and the prevalence of marijuana within it -- that he truly became the musician he is today. Nash explained:

In the last couple of years with The Hollies, I'd met David [Crosby] and Stephen [Stills], and I was smoking dope, and I became more introspective. I began to realize that I'd been trained by my experience in The Hollies to write hooks and melodies that you can't forget if you've heard them once. When I joined David and Stephen and Neil [Young] and Joni [Mitchell], I realized there was more to say. There's more going on in this world than just, "Moon, June, screw me in the back of the car" kind of lyrics. ... So my songwriting changed dramatically.

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