Rare 1969 CBC Radio Interview with Neil Young + The Story Behind the Interview
Neil Young - 1967
Here is a very rare CBC 1969 Radio Interview with Neil Young that surfaced a few years ago from the CBC Archives. The fascinating radio interview by CBC Radio's Robert Fulford with Neil Young was broadcast on Feb. 11, 1969.
Some real profound insights into the "dirty" music business from a 24 year old, we would say. Neil Young frankly discusses career failure with The Buffalo Springfield, his recording process as a solo musician, and "mafia" label executives. Neil's crack about groupies and goldfish is enough to make one laugh out loud.
We followed up with CBC to get a little more background as to how this came to be and heard back from Elizabeth Bridge with the CBC Digital Archives project:
We've been wanting to put up something on Neil Young for about as long as our website has been around -- almost eight years now. But when our site was first launched, all our material was organized by topic, and (astonishing, but true) there just wasn't enough Neil in the CBC archives to build a whole topic on him.Thanks Elizabeth for the story behind the interview. And sorry Neil didn't make it to the reunion.
About a year and a half ago we launched a redesign which enabled us, at last, to post one-off clips. As people pop up in the news, we are now able to quickly post a solo clip about them. Lately, among all the other things we produce, we've been focusing on posting some of the bigger celebrities who have appeared on CBC over the years.
When Neil Young's scheduled free appearance in Toronto this past weekend was cancelled (or, rather, was never booked in the first place), it prompted us to have a look once more. Typically we aim for TV clips first, but I can only guess that the CBC wasn't quite with-it enough, and that Neil went to LA so early in his career, that we just didn't have any TV of him early on. Keep in mind that we are mostly limited to using interviews and news pieces (i.e., no performances, because we'd have to license the song). So we turned to radio, and there was that 1969 clip. It was really the only interview of any substance available.
So to answer your question, we never really looked hard enough before. There isn't any story about an item misfiled in the vault or improperly catalogued; we just hadn't got around to it yet.
The image is another story. All our radio clips need images, so we found a non-CBC special from 1967 called Go!!! (filmed in New York, I think) featuring performances by Buffalo Springfield and a few other bands. We took a still while Neil was performing "Mr. Soul."
Interviewer Robert Fulford is a Canadian cultural critic and arts journalist. His show "This is Robert Fulford" ran on CBC Radio for a few years in the late '60s and early '70s.
Incidentally I went to Kelvin High School in Winnipeg, Neil's old school. His yearbook image in the school library's copy had long since been razored out by an enthusiastic fan by the time I got there.
I'm hoping he's able to show up for the reunion in 2012 when the school celebrates 100 years...
Writer, CBC Digital Archives