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Saturday, April 01, 2023

RARE STILLS-YOUNG INTERVIEW: "The Forrest Gump Interview" w/ Stephen Stills & Neil Young

Forrest Gump (1994)
Actor: Tom Hanks, Director: Robert Zemeckis

Here is a very rare interview with Stephen Stills and Neil Young which is known as "The Forrest Gump Interview".  The following is a rough transcript of a recorded interview. Interview details were subsequently lost inside of a crowded hazy bar.  All apologies.


Stephen Stills & Neil Young
The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing GRAMMY Event
Village Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California - January 21st, 2014
(Click photo to enlarge)


"The Forrest Gump Interview" w/ Stephen Stills & Neil Young

What did you think of the movie, Forrest Gump?

Stills: Well, I actually had Forrest Gump in my class in Louisiana when I was in about the third grade. And I'll never forget him, because they treated him just like that and I knew that guy, and actually, in all of the towns in the South that I lived, there was a guy like that everywhere we went. So I kind of knew that guy, and his mom, who was always the eccentric little old lady from down at the end of the road with these big live oaks with moss and the shell roads and stuff. I know that guy really good. [Laughs]

Q: So when you saw the movie, it was like being back there?

Stills: Hey, it's [laughs] It was all of us and none of us. It reminded me a lot of Neil.

Young: It did? [Laughter]

Q: So what did you think of the movie?

Young: Oh, I loved the movie. I loved it. I thought it was the best movie I'd seen since Star Wars. So I'm very serious about that.

Q: Stephen, let's talk for a minute about 'For What It's Worth.' [featured prominently on  Forrest Gump soundtrack]  Can you tell us what inspired you to write the song and the circumstances when you wrote it?

Stills: Well, the best thing about that movie coming up, because I basically kind of went, Oh yeah, right, right, then signed the thing. I didn't really pay any attention to any of that part of it. So I actually Oh, I've heard about this great new movie, and I had forgotten that our song was in there.

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: So when I saw it the first time, it was like, 'Boing', and the guitar note hits. And it was like, Yes! [Laughs] Because somebody made the jump that that song was always about not just the kids here, with the cops, but the kids over there, trying to keep their heads down. So I probably shed a tear. I loved that movie, too.

Q: Can you tell us about the situation that inspired you to write the song? What was going on at that point in your life?

Stills: Well, the astonishing thing is that Mark Fuhrman was just born. We probably can't use that. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: What about the times? The time in my life

Young: What about it was around the time that we played at Pandora's Box with Michael Clark.

Stills: Oh, yeah.

Young: Remember that? And that's what they tore that down shortly after.

Stills: Was it Pandora's Box? That was the name of the place?

Young: Yeah. Remember? And they tore it down.

Stills: Oh, that was the name of the bar. Yeah.

Young: Yeah. It was just this little club. Right now it's the corner of Rescent Heights and Sunset, and there's a big

Stills: There's a strip mall there.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: It looks like anywhere else. There's a strip mall across the street.

Young: Yeah. Do you remember who that other guy was who was playing with us that night?

Stills: No.

Young: I thought it was Forrest Gump.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: I thought it was Bubba. [Laughs]

Young: Might have been Bubba.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: We did play with Bubba. I know that.

Stills: We sure did. Bubba taught me to play. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Q: So you were playing at Pandora's Box when the cops were beating up kids during the Sunset Strip riots?

Stills: Well, see, the L.A.P.D. didn't get it then, either. They decided to run a line-up across the street, like there was some kind of a revolution going on or something. It's a bunch of kids having a funeral for a bar. And it was pretty damned ridiculous, as a matter of fact. There was no big political point to it. There was no nothing to it. It was just a bunch of kids having a party. And okay, they wanted it to break up. It was getting a little late. But you sort of stand around and watch them for a while. They'll drift off and get tired and stuff. Give them tickets for drunk driving on the way home. But they laid into them like it's some big act like it's Kent State or something, which hadn't even happened yet.

Young: All the more reason not to do it.

Stills: More reason not to do it. It was ridiculous. And it was hardly a riot. Let's put it that way, until and it was just astonishing. Being twenty-two or something, of course, I wrote a very serious song about it. [Laughs]

Young: Remember when I had that Corvette that I got from our first royalties?

Stills: Yeah. Which is worth about two hundred grand now.

Young: Yeah. I know. I know.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: I don't have it. But I got busted by the cops. Remember when that - and they took me down to Sunset and Clark or whatever that street -

Stills: Robertson?

Young: Down there where the police station was.

Stills: Yeah, right.

Young: Took me inside and then started, me and this other guy, Freddy Brechtel. I don't know if you remember him.

Stills: Oh. I remember that name.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: God.

Young: So we were in the cell and they were calling us names and everything, and the cop was calling us the one cop had real short hair sticking up in a brush cut, with big horn-rimmed glasses, and he called me an animal. So I called him a grasshopper.

Stills: Uh oh!

Young: Yeah.

Stills: [Laughs] Uh oh!

Young: That's the night that they came in and knocked my tooth out, this one right here, and did this other stuff and banged us around. It happened really fast. I didn't put up much of a fight, obviously.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs] But that was kind of like the ambiance. We were freaks.

Stills: That was the-yeah.

Young: In a pretty cool car and bang, in jail for whatever. Who knows?

Stills: Yeah. Everybody there who wore their hair long in the Sixties has a vague inkling of what it's like to be black.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Even still. And it's just-[laughs]-it was just everything and all things that we were, taken together. That happened to you before.

Young: Yeah. Before the Sunset.

Stills: Before the Sunset thing. So we were already prepared.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: You lit out. You went and hid in Topanga after that or something, if I recall.

Young: Yeah. I left the area.

Stills: Yeah. [Laughs]

Young: But [laughs] yeah. Then I left that area. [Laughs]

Stills: And here we are. Do you think-Neil, do you think you're safe? [Laughter]

Young: I think I'm okay now. [Laughs] That's true though.

Stills: Yeah.

Q: Talk a little about the Buffalo Springfield and the history of it. How did you guys get together and how did the band form?

Stills: Buffalo Springfield was an accident that was waiting to happen for both of us, one of those marvellous accidents of fate where fate just intervenes and lets it all work out. What it did for the two of us, as people and as artists, we can't ever repay.

Young: Can't get that back. That was a one-time experience for us.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: Everything happening for the first time. We never had-just everything.

Stills: Hearing your music back on tape for the first time, loud.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Wow! [Laughs]

Young: Right. Yeah!

Stills: And then our first recording session, where we played a six-and-a-half minute song and the guy pushes the buttons and says, "Uh, it's too long. Could you play it faster?" [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: Neil and I looked at each other and went, "Oooooh, boy. I think we better learn how to do this." [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: So it was just glorious.

Young: "For What It's Worth" was just-that was probably one of our best, early records that we made. We made it kind of like-I don't know. It just happened real easy and it was real natural. You had the acoustic thing happening on it, which was really cool, and then when we had it almost done and everything and Stan Ross came in from Gold Star

Stills: Yeah.

Young: And tried that thing with the broom and a guitar pick to give the snare sound a little-

Stills: That's right.

Young: He was cool.

Stills: To beef up the back beat a little bit.

Young: Yeah. Just a guitar pick.

Stills: But without having it overwhelm it.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Wow, cool!

Young: Did you play that?

Stills: Yeah, I did.

Young: You did that. Stan was the guy who had Gold Star, and that's where Phil Spector did all his recording, and that's where the wall of sound echo chamber was. That was Stan's place. We started recording at Gold Star, but we did "For What It's Worth" at Columbia. And Stan came over to see us, because he knew we were there. He just came in and showed up. Remember that?

Stills: Yeah.

Young: We were working without Charlie or Brian or anybody. We had no producers.

Stills: We had run away.

Young: We had run away.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: We had got recording money and had run away. And we were at another studio, with people we didn't know, and he came over to help us, which is really cool. I don't even know how he found out. He just came over. Does Phil Spector have any music in Forrest Gump ?

Q: No. But he's mentioned a lot by everybody as being an influence. But he didn't have anything in the movie, for some reason.

Young: Probably because he was Forrest Gump. [Laughs]

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: Maybe Phil Spector was Forrest Gump. He doesn't have any music in the movie? I never noticed what a huge drawback that is, because-

Q: Exactly.

Young: That's too bad.

Q: What kind of influence was he at that time for you guys?

Young: What kind of an influence was Phil Spector at that time?

Stills: Echo chambers. Yeah. That's about all I knew.

Young: Yeah. He had the wall of sound with Nitzsche and all those guys. That was really more pop kind of, rock and roll pop records, which were cool records, and they did some great records. But it was kind of like this other thing from what we did. But it was cool, had been cool, for about seven or eight years already, the Crystals and those-

Stills: Yeah.

Young: "He's a Rebel" and those kinds of records.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: They were cool records.

Q: You cut the single, "For What It's Worth", after the first album was already finished and turned in?

Stills: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That was the first of many times that we had the record done and then had to farm a song to make room for the single.

Young: That's right. "Neighbour, Don't You Worry" was the song that-

Stills: Which is a cool song, which is the first of my Latin thingies.

Young: We have a tape of "Neighbour, Don't You Worry."

Stills: I was hoping that you would say that. You, having stayed in the same place the longest, have the most stuff.

Young: Yeah. We have a tape that they did, for Don Steele or something. They did this for something. Charlie and Brian did this for American Bandstand or something, but there's this tape of us back then that I'll give to them and you can stick it in there and they can see what we're talking about.

Stills: Yeah. Okay.

Q: Cool.

Young: That might be nice. So "Neighbour, Don't You Worry," was the song we had to take off to put on "For What It's Worth." That's where that all comes from. Or was it "Baby, Don't Scold"?

Stills: I have-

Young: I can't remember.

Stills: I can't remember. "Neighbour, Don't You Worry" was a cool song.

Young: It was a really cool song.

Stills: "Baby, Don't Scold Me," was a good thought, but not particularly that cool of a song.

Young: Yeah. "Neighbour, Don't You Worry" was really cool.

Stills: Was a much better song. [Laughs]

Young: Yeah. We did it real good on this tape.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: It's very interesting. You'll see. I couldn't believe it. It's like not all in synch. Some of it's in synch and some of it isn't.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: But it's good.

Stills: The Japanese.

Young: [Laughs] A kind of Rodan quality to it.

Stills: Yeah. The quality. Yes, there you go. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs] I knew when you said Japanese you were going for something.

Stills: Yeah. [Laughs] Like a Samurai movie.

Young: Right. [Laughs]

Q: So "For What It's Worth" became a hit. Was that the biggest hit you guys had?

Stills: It was way cool hearing my song on the radio. And then one day I was trying to get from one end of the Strip to the other and my car broke or something, and I hitchhiked or I got a ride with a kid. It came on the radio and I said, "So what do you think of that song?" He said, "I'm sick of it already." [Laughter] "It's been on the ra-They don't play anything else." And I went, "Oh yeah. That's too bad."

Young: Change the station.

Stills: Yeah. [Laughter]

Q: So Stephen, what were the musical influences in your life?

Stills: Oh, lots of that salsa, Cuban stuff. That's down in the bottom of everything, And then before that were all these black people in the South, guys that played on street corners and stuff and were probably cousins of the guys that made the original blues records. There was this guy in Tampa, Florida who played bottleneck with a knife, a kitchen knife, and he was just as cool as anybody you ever heard. And my friend next door, Michael Garcia, that turned me on to all this stuff, and my high school band teacher, and my favourite marches and dancing and my sister and Jesus, all of it. [Laughs] And then Neil-

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: And everything that he got exposed to up there.

Young: Yeah. All the Eskimos and-[laughs]-remember that song I wrote, "A Place Called Snow" that-

Stills: Yes. [Laughs] Yeah, right.

Young: [Sings] "Let me tell you 'bout the birds and the bees-" Remember that? Yeah.

Stills: Yeah. And-

Young: [Sings] "A Penguin I know-"

Stills: [Singing] "In a place called Snow."

Young: [Singing] "Yeah, and a thing-"
Stills and
Young: [Singing] "Called Snow-oh." [Laughter]

Stills: That's right. He'd just come from where up there? Hudson's Bay.

Young: Hudson Bay. Churchill, Manitoba. I'd just done a gig up there and then I came down to this place in Fort William-Thunder Bay it's called now-where the Fourth Dimension was playing. That's where Stephen was playing with his group The Company.

Stills: Is that what we called ourselves? [Laughs]

Young: Yeah, The Company. That was after you were in the Au Go Go Singers.

Stills: Right. Well, it was like a company. It was a company of players and these four were free to go on the road.

Young: Yeah. It was cool.

Stills: Basically, we just played what we knew and laughed a lot.

Young: [Laughs] You guys were really good.

Stills: I guess in Churchill, Ontario where they had the bears come all of the time now?

Young: Yeah. They'd come under the hotel.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: We'd play in the hotel and people would go home from up there and they'd get drunk and they'd find them the next day, stone dead, leaning on a telephone post, frozen solid. They just kind of got laid back and kind of fell out, standing up, because they knew if they laid down, they'd be dead, because they'd just pass out. So they'd lean on the post and fall asleep and die. That's how cold it was out there. That was our audience.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: So-[laughs]

Stills: That and a couple of polar bears in Finland.

Young: That's right. So one time we were playing and the whole place starts moving, and everybody runs outside and I figured, what's going on? The building's moving, and underneath the building, right underneath where we were, there was a bear under there, a polar bear.

Stills: Going like this [Motions].

Young: Yeah.

Stills: I know there's food in here. [Laughter]

Stills: We digress, though.

Young: Yeah.

Q: That's where you guys met?

Young: No, that's where I was right before we met, and I wrote this song-

Stills: And it was his way to introduce me to the setting.

Young: To the place, yeah. [Laughs]

Stills: And these were our first war stories that we had to tell each other when we met.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And I got to tell him all about Panama.

Young: Right. How we'd been around.

Stills: And playing on the little place that looks kind of like the stage over there. It was just a thatched roof and a juke box and a bar and a concrete slab on the beach, with sand on it, so you could dance really cool.

Young: Wow.

Stills: [Laughs] You could slide and stuff. [Laughs]

Young: And you should get that back. There's nowhere to put it now, though. You know, the whole scene sounds [laughs] great to me.

Stills: Yeah. Exactly.

Young: I would take the whole thing. So anyway, he came from there and I came from the other place, and we got together in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Stills: This was new world music.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: We've got it all covered. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs] Yeah.

Stills: And then I went back to New York and he went to Toronto. [Laughs] It was a year-and-a-half?

Young: Yeah. A year went by.

Stills: "I'll be there in a couple of weeks." [Laughs] "Where's Neil?" "Well, I heard that he was"-he had fired the band-

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: And he was singing folk songs in Yorkville.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And you'd fallen in love with this folk singer, I think.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Which happened to us regularly. We fell in love with folk singers-

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: With some regularity. [Laughs]

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Girl singers were cool.

Q: Lots of people we've talked to have spoken about folk music being a big influence at the time. Obviously folk chicks were very popular.

Stills: Well see, it's all folk music. All that Latin stuff, all those rhythms have names, like songs, all those Afro-Cuban things. Each one of those-and they either name the dances after them and they evolve into different songs. So that stuff's as old as anything from our Appalachia. So it's all folk music.

Young: They used to call those contemporary new songs sung by-just sort of sung and played-they used to call that folk music for some reason. It was folk music, but it was kind of like only that was folk music. You know what I mean?

Stills: Yeah. And for a while there I began to think that they thought folk music stood for amateur, because all you had to do was pick up a guitar and saw on it and sing a melody that had cool words, and you were a folk singer.

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: I guess they had to call it something. Here's this kid that just learned how to play the guitar. [Laughs] But luckily, there are still places for those kids to go to. I know my son hangs out at them now.

Young: It's really simple, the way it all was back then. It was pretty simple. There were just these little clubs.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: And we'd go from one club to another and the bands would all be like-some of them were acoustic. Not many were even electric, hardly.

Stills: Not because they didn't want to.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: It's because nobody could afford the equipment.

Young: [Laughs] And then, slowly, the money was raised.

Stills: Yes.

Young: And we got our stuff and our amps.

Stills: We got our stuff. And then the first batch got stolen, because we were stupid and left it someplace.

Young: Yeah. And I sold the second batch to get the transportation together to get to L.A.

Stills: Oh, that's right.

Young: So then I had to get the next-remember when I got down there, I didn't have an electric guitar? We had to buy that guitar from Steve Gillette, my orange Gretsch. We had to find the guitar like the guitar that I used to play when you met me.

Stills: Yeah. And it took us-we thought it was gonna be easy, and it took us forever.

Young: Took us a long time to find it.

Stills: Yeah. And then I found the guitar that I got from the Dillards.

Young: Yeah. So that was our first big hit. "For What It's Worth" was our first, and really, probably, the biggest hit that Springfield ever had.

Stills: So that kind of scruffling and kind of all, big, wide-eyed and, "Oh boy," and

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: "Oh, we're gonna-this is gonna be so fun," and, "Oh boy, look at all these-oh boy, oh boy." And that's the backdrop of who wrote that song, and we're walking down the street, "Oh boy, oh boy," and there's all these people wailing and it's like, "What is up with you?"

Young: "What's happening?"

Stills: "Step back here."

Young: What a bummer.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: That was really a bummer, to put it bluntly. It kind of popped our bubble, didn't it?

Stills: Yes, it sure did.

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: Well, I think your experience with the West Hollywood sheriffs kind of set the stage, and then I saw that and then that was it.

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: We had to have a piece of them.

Young: Yeah. Yeah.

Stills: [Laughs] Because they were out of line.

Young: Yeah, they were.

Stills: From an old soldier, a military school boy, I can tell you they were out of line. Still are. It ain't done, old boy. That's not the way to do it. So there's that anger and rage and then there's all the kids coming back from the Nam, going, "Oh jimminey, wow."

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And so it's all kind of in that song.

Q: It's surprising the impact that has in the movie.

Young: Oh, yeah.

Q: It means a different thing, but it means the same.

Young: It's vital. That whole part of the movie-it just blew my mind when that song came on. First of all, Pegi [Neil's wife] was crying, because people were getting killed, and whenever anybody gets killed in a movie, she takes it very emotionally. Or not when they get killed-

Stills: She allows her beliefs to suspend, believing that they're not going to get up.

Young: She doesn't like-yeah. She doesn't like to hear about Vietnam and about all of the kids that died and about what a useless war it was. Every time she hears about it she starts crying. So when this scene came, which we weren't expecting-

Stills: Yeah.

Young: We were moving along going, "Oh, isn't this cool?" And then-but it was all real. And then, of course, we had to have that war, because it was real too. So when it came on in the movie and-bummer.

Stills: I'll tell you what. That was a damned authentic portrayal, though, the way it was filmed.

Young: Yeah, it was. Yeah. I can remember-it seems like movies have got to shape your memories in some ways, because when I think of Vietnam now, I have more of an understanding of it because of what I saw in that film, and I'm sure that it was not exactly like that, but at least, in my mind, I have a picture of it.

Stills: Closer than a lot of them, because they really left it silent and quiet and not a lot of music, except for when there was stuff going on, and you got that whole feeling of somebody step on a twig and three guys going "Hey, numb nuts." [Laughs]

Young: Yeah, right. "You want to get us killed?"

Young: Turn your earphones down.

Stills: [Laughs] What the hell are you listening to? [Laughs] Today it's turn your earphones down. You should see the-

Young: That's right. That's right. The other one was, you know, a ghetto blaster.

Stills: Yeah. I'm afraid that Paulie Shore's entirely too close to the modern Army.

Young: But they didn't have ghetto blasters even.

Stills: Yeah, they-

Young: They didn't.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: Remember when we were in CSNY, which is three years after that, or two years after that? We first got those Sony things that came and you could take the speakers out and put that little black thing-and I'd set it up in my room and listen to John Coltrane.
Stills: Yeah. Yeah.

Young: That was the first portable. Remember?

Stills: Yeah.

Young: You got a portable cassette. You could go around with it. So I don't know what the hell they were listening to. [Laughs] Radios.

Stills: Before then they had to have-

Young: Radios.

Stills: That Chevy Belaire-

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Because that's how much stuff you had to have to make it sound good.

Young: Right.

Stills: Remember?

Young: Yeah.

Q: Can you talk about The Byrds and how you met them, and about The Doors?

Young: You knew The Byrds before I knew them.

Stills: Well, only because, I don't know-I kind of did, but I think we met them at the same time, because remember we got hired as their opening act.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And then David Crosby saw us and got us fired immediately. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs] "Get those guys out of here! They're too good."

Stills: "Get them guys out. We don't wanna follow that." [Laughs] We made it tough for some people. [Laughs]

Young: Yeah. [Laughs]

Stills: We used to take pride. Let's make it a little tough for them. We want to see them at their best.

Young: Let's see them.

Stills: If we know The Byrds, they're gonna play that first song, and if they're not awake they're gonna, "Oh, what's up?-

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: "Maybe we gotta try a little harder." Gettin' a little lazy.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Let's crank them up a step or two.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: [Laughs] Real friendly stuff. But Cros didn't quite see it that way. [Laughs]

Young: But they got us-they had us for five or six shows didn't they?

Stills: Yeah, actually.

Young: And then after then-

Stills: That's all a complete lie.

Young: Yeah. Yeah.

Stills: But Chris Hillman was like family.

Young: They never hired us again, though. [Laughs]

Stills: No, they never did. It's like finding the truth of it. Maybe it's because Cros is such a great liar that he says, "Oh no, that was never true. That was the reason that-"

Young: No, right.

Stills: Yeah. Okay.

Young: "I was the reason why you guys were there."

Stills: Yeah. [Laughs] Actually it was Chris Hillman.

Young: That's right. It was.

Stills: It was always Chris Hillman.

Young: That's right. So we played with The Byrds on a few gigs and these group shows, they used to have three or four bands in those days. Right?

Stills: It was like Lollapalooza without the-

Young: Without the hype. Without the Lollapalooza. [Laughs]

Stills: Without the-yeah. Without the jugglers and the-

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And the rest of the Ed Sullivan Show. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Q: Can you talk about your first gig at the Whisky and how that came to be, because you guys had a regular gig.

Stills: Well, that's the place that was-[laughs]-is this your feeling on the Whisky A Go Go? [Laughter]

Young: [Picking up cow pie] Do you got any papers? [Laughs]

Stills: [Laughs] I thought that was timely.

Young: Yeah, it was. The Whisky A Go Go. I can't remember any of that. [Laughs]

Stills: [Laughs] I've always loved his subtlety. Yeah. But it had the coolest waitresses, was the main reason you wanna work there. Because basically, the headline acts were kind of like they were-they went from jive to Vegas to a little upscale. But we wanted to-they would always hire some kid band and they had the absolute, just squibulous [???] waitresses.

Young: Yeah, that was fun.

Stills: So we just got-we wormed our way in there and then took the place over.

Young: Yeah. We started as opening on one of those nights. There's the opening act that worked six nights and then take a night off. That was our night when we came in. Then we became the opening act and we were there for months. Once we started we never left. Of course, I think, knowing how we got in, we never did take a night off. [Laughs]

Stills: [Laughs] Well, and plus, well, it was Mario.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And you'd go be friendly to Mario-

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And act like a gent and do what he asked you and play the extra time and respond to him. He would take care of you.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: He's one of them club owner guys that just would take care of his kids. He still does it.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: He still does it. He watches out for them.

Young: Yeah, and he'd have, on Christmas night, he had turkey dinner with a couple of the waitresses that didn't have-so they were in the Whisky having turkey dinner. They made it in the kitchen and everything. That was pretty trippy. One year I heard about Donna and one of the other girls was in there with her for Christmas dinner. That's the kind of people. It was like a real tight thing. They knew that we were as green as you could be. This guy knew that. And he saw everything on the street, because that's where he was, right in the doorway, watching it all go by. And he'd seen the trips and the people get famous and get drugged out and all these things that happened. He saw it all happen and he just saw us coming along down on the pipeline.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: They kind of just picked us up.

Stills: And he never really gave overbearing advice, but he knew where he stood.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: And if you were sensible enough to pay attention.

Young: Yeah. He heard them. He always had a little word-Skinny. He used to call me Skinny.

Stills: [Laughs]

Young: Hey, Skinny. [Laughs]

Stills: Well, considering the fact you disappear if you turn sideways.

Young: [Laughs] Yeah. So it was like a family, Whisky A Go Go was like a family to us, because we were away from home, not that long, and it really was the first place for me where we actually stayed for a while. You stayed in New York for a while, so you'd sort of done it once and then this was the second time.

Stills: Yeah. But we were still green in Hollywood.

Young: Oh, we were. [Whistles]

Stills: Hollywood is Hollywood.

Young: Boy.

Stills: It's like you'd learn one set of rules and then, "Oh, that doesn't count here." [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs] Those don't matter.

Stills: Yeah. It's sort of like the law. [Laughs] Let's screw reality. What's the case you can prosecute? [Laughs] We got through it, and the Whisky made us tough, though, and it made us good. It made us where we could really play good. It was one of the reasons why we were always frustrated with our records, because we really burned hard and in those days, getting that bass sound, there was only a couple record companies that could do it. The guys at Motown could, and I didn't find out for fifteen years how they did it. But we never got that bass right, yeah.

Young: They never got the sound the way it was on stage. It was always disappointing. Every Buffalo Springfield record, from that standpoint, I know we played the shit much cooler.

Stills: Oh, three times. You know, really burn.

Young: Yeah.

Q: We heard that.

Young: We tried to do it ourselves, and we didn't know what we were doing, but we knew more than the guys that we replaced. But if we'd have had somebody who knew how to do all that stuff, that would have been real nice.

Stills: Yeah, wouldn't it make us-yeah.

Young: So we learned how, because there wasn't anybody around us who knew how, and our managers thought that they were producers.

Stills: Our managers thought lots of things. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: Funny. Yeah, it still seems the same, doesn't it?

Young: It's good stuff.

Stills: Yeah. [Laughs]

Q: But "For What It's Worth," you guys produced it on your own, right?

Young: Yeah, we were there. That was us. It was his songs. Mostly him. "For What It's Worth." We did that.

Stills: Yeah. There were no studio musicians.

Young: The engineer was Tom May.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: I remember him. And Stan came in and helped us. That was us.

Stills: Yeah. We never used any studio musicians, except if it was for a specialized thing like a violin or some kind of thing like that.

Young: Yeah.

Stills: We always used the drummer that was playing with us on stage.

Young: That was good. That was a good record.

Stills: It was lots of fun, wasn't it, bud?

Young: Yeah. And I still hear it.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: You hear it all the time. You hear it and I go-it was. It was a gas. It's great.

Stills: Yeah.

Young: We got that. And always remember each other and that time whenever we hear that song. And now, you know, all the other things that go with it, too.

Stills: Everything was a lot funnier then.

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: It actually is finally getting that funny again. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Q: Did you have a favourite line, quotation or scene in Forrest Gump, something that sticks with you from the movie?

Stills: Oh, let me think a minute. Well, my favourite line is, "Stupid is as stupid does, sir." [Laughs]

Young: Yeah.

Stills: Having been one of those children that had a father who had to remind his child how stupid he was every day. "Stupid is as stupid does, sir." [Laughs]

Young: Yeah. "My momma always says, 'Stupid is as stupid does'."

Stills: Yeah.

Young: That's really, to me, that's it, first time he said that. But I think, for me, just personally, the best part of the movie that I remember, or the most striking thing visually was the chase, where he's being chased by the guys on bicycles and he's wearing his braces.

Stills: Oh.

Young: And the braces are going-

Stills: Yeah.

Young: And he's running and you're going, "My God, he's running with braces on." And then the braces start to break. They start giving off, he's got so much strength.

Stills: Freedom.

Young: [Makes cracking up noise] And you hear this, and that was great. That was just truly great.

Stills: And my other favourite was Robin Wright singing "Blowin' in the Wind" with not a stitch on. [Laughs]

Young: [Laughs]

Stills: And totally deadpan. I thought that was wonderful. [Laughs] I laughed harder-I laughed so hard. [Laughs]

Young: It is getting funny.

Stills: Yeah.

Q: Absolutely great. Thank you guys.

Happy 2023 ARC Day!

Labels: , , ,


At 4/01/2023 05:33:00 PM, Blogger Tomatron said...

Very entertaining stuff. We all got a big kick outta Forrest Gump back in the day and sounds like Stills & Young had a great experience with it too. Speaking of 90s, I’m getting kind of a Dreamin Man Live vibe off the first version of Song Of The Seasons just released. Without the album instrumentation and different picking style, it brings a much more classic vibe. This hometown edition is my favorite now!


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