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Rock Legends Graham Nash and John Cale Awarded OBEs (Order of the British Empire) by Queen of England


The veteran British rockers will be getting an invite from Buckingham Palace. Musicians John Cale and Graham Nash have both received an OBE in theQueen's Birthday Honours list. The veterans, who both found fame in the '60s and have gone on to have long careers, were on the list unveiled today (June 12). Welshman Cale, 68, came to prominence in The Velvet Underground, and since leaving the band in 1968 he's enjoyed a successful solo career, as well as producing the likes of Patti Smith,The Modern Lovers and Happy Mondays.

Nash, also 68, has been honoured on the Diplomatic And Overseas Listwith anOBE. Born in Salford, he found fame with The Hollies, before leaving the group in 1968, moving toLos Angeles and forming the massive-selling folk supergroupCrosby, Stills And Nash with David Crosby and Stephen Stills, later being joined by Neil Young. Nash eventually became a US citizen. However, on getting the news of the honour, he told theBBC: "Everything I learned about being a decent human being I learned in England and I am grateful to be honoured by the country of my birth."


It's hard to imagine Queen Elizabeth II digging the Velvet Underground, though we can perhaps see her tapping her toe to Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Nevertheless, both the Velvet Underground's John Cale and CSN's Graham Nash were awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or an OBE, on this year's Queens Birthday Honours List. The recipients were announced Saturday, June 12. 

Cale, 68, a Welsh native, and Nash, who is English, both moved to the US in the 1960s. Cale, a viola player and pianist, joined the New York-based Velvet Underground as bassist and enjoyed high times during the art rock band's days as Andy Warhol's protégées. Since leaving the Velvet Underground in 1968, reportedly due to a falling out with band co-founder Lou Reed, Cale enjoyed an acclaimed solo career and produced records for such artists as Patti Smith.

Nash was already a star before he moved to California in 1968 and joined up withDavid Crosby and Stephen Stills. His former band, the Hollies, which was named for their hero Buddy Holly, enjoyed Top 10 hits with 'Here I Go Again' and 'Just One Look.' The pop group was a regular TV fixture on the BBC's longstanding chart show, 'Top of the Pops.'

Following the award, Nash, who is now a US citizen, told the BBC News, "Everything I learned about being a decent human being I learned in England and I am grateful to be honored by the country of my birth."

An OBE is given for notable service to the United Kingdom in many fields, including entertainment. Though an incredible honor, it is not one of the highest service awards and does not allow the honoree to use the title Sir, as would a knighthood.


Queen Elizabeth II has awarded Graham Nash of The Hollies / Crosby, Stills and Nash and John Cale of the Velvet Undercover the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.).

In separate statements, both artists were thankful for the award although Cale has no idea was he was given it. "I'm stunned. It makes you think 'well maybe I did something right' ? and now I've got to figure out what that was. I thought I was too much of a tearaway," he said earlier today.

Nash was truly honored. "Everything I learned about being a decent human being I learned in England and I am grateful to be honoured by the country of my birth," he said.

Nash received the award for his services to music and his charitable activities. His career started originally in England as a founding member of The Hollies. The band took its name from Buddy Holly.

Nash moved to the USA in 1968 and formed C,S,N with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. The trio has also recorded three albums with Neil Young as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

68-year old Cale was born in Wales but made his name in the USA with Lou Reed in the Velvet Underground.


Two top musicians are rewarded with OBEs.

One goes to goes to Welshman John Cale, 68, famous for forming the Velvet Underground rock band with Lou Reed and producing Patti Smith and the Happy Mondays.

Graham Nash, 68, from Blackpool, co-founder of Crosby, Stills and Nash, also gets an OBE.