The Story Behind The Song: Marrakesh Express by Crosby, Stills & Nash

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By the late 60s, Morocco was fast becoming an essential stop-off point on the new hippie trail. It was a place frequented by seekers of all stripes, from travellers and the more adventurous tourists through to artists, writers, fashionistas and rock stars. They were all drawn by the exotica of this storied corner of North Africa, whose heady promise of spiritual enlightenment and hashish served to melt away the conventions of the West.

In 1966, Graham Nash made a pilgrimage of his own, one that sparked off one of his most famous songs. On holiday from his day job as leader of The Hollies, Nash bought himself a ticket and hopped aboard a train from Casablanca to Marrakesh. “I was in first class and there were a lot of older, rich American ladies in there, who all had their hair dyed blue,” Nash recalls today. “And I quickly grew bored of that and went back to the third class of the train. That was where it was all happening. There were lots of people cooking strange little meals on small wooden stoves and the place was full of chickens, pigs and goats. It was fabulous; the whole thing was fascinating.”


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