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Monday, February 01, 2021

Elliot Roberts Uncut, Never-Before-Seen Interview | 'Inventing David Geffen' | PBS American Masters Archive

Elliot Roberts - July 22, 2009
Inventing David Geffen PBS | American Masters

As noted last week, a rather significant announcement, PBS American Masters Archive Releases 1,000+ Hours of Uncut, Never-Before-Seen Interviews: Patti Smith, David Bowie, Neil Young & More. (Thanks HarryO, Richard T., & HtH!)


In December 2012, PBS | American Masters broadcast the documentary film "Inventing David Geffen. American Masters: Inventing David Geffen is "an unflinching portrait of Geffen, who narrates his unorthodox rise from working class Brooklyn boy to billionaire entertainment power broker in extensive interviews." 

Interviewees include Neil Young. Elliot Roberts. Gary Burden. 

David Geffen, Elliot Roberts, & Neil Young
Frame from  'Inventing David Geffen': American Masters
Elliot Roberts, Neil Young's -- and many other artists -- manager passed away in 2019 (See Elliot Roberts: 1943 - 2019).  Roberts formed Lookout Management with David Geffen and founded Geffen’s Asylum Records in 1970. (Also, see "The greatest manager of all time": Neil Young’s Statement on Elliot Roberts .)
From the unaired interview on working with Geffen and his clients, such as Neil Young: (Ed. note, unedited raw transcript; see comments below)
Elliot Roberts: From the very word go, and so we thought we were very lucky and again, meeting those two girls first as the first two clients we both had that David had and that I had it, when people ask me, even though I've been with Neil Young now 41 years, who's the biggest influence and what's the biggest influence in your career and how you forged a company and why you fought for artist rights and why you've never had contracts with people.

And and it was Laura and Joni, and they actually shaped how we thought the business should be run and how we thought artists should be treated.
That whole music scene right after I went out with Joan the very first day in the studio, and David Crosby was producing Joan's first album, the very literally the very first day in the studio. John and I are in the studio and an engineer casually mentioned the Buffalo Springfield are in the room next door.  
And Joan says, Oh, Eliot, you've got to come with me and meet Neil. You're going to love this guy. She knew him from Toronto and they had been friends from the folk circuit and they'd spent a lot of time together. So we went that after jam session, we went into room B. Knock on the door and the Springfield are in there and Neil's in there and. We go out to dinner that night and I'm living on the floor at B Mitchell Reid's house at this time, and Neil had just taken a house with this woman and QIO for rent and he says, hey, you can rent the room at my place if you know you're sleeping on the floor. 
 Anyway, within like three weeks, I was working with the Springfield and I could tell they were breaking up. And I had already started a. Felt that Neil and I were really in sync on just about everything that we thought and we thought we were starting to have a very, very close relationship. And I'm talking to David all the time and their break, you know, and then Crosby and Stills, Stills and I have a good relationship and they're starting and then Graham comes into town one day. We all go to the to the whisky and he comes over to Joan's house. By now, we're all living in Laurel Canyon. And and I'm telling David, you got to get your ass out here because there's all these amazing, not good but amazing artists. And I can only do so much. And I need your help. Come on out here. And over a period of time, he did. He came out and over a period of time, weeks and months, it wasn't very, very long. 
But by that time, Crosby, Stills and Nash had been formed. I had formed it with David and David had to do all the negotiating for us. And it was a very hard thing to do. And I had called David and I said, listen, I've got the Buffalo Springfield on Atlantic. I've got Crosby on the birds, I have Graham Nash on a Universal. I'm dealing with the people and I don't know how to get them off of all these labels. David said, you deal the band, I'll leave this to me and I'll come up with something. And he did. He came out, we barnstormed and he came up with all these trades and he negotiated with Ahmed and with Clive. I think it was Walter Yetnikoff. Yeah, I think it was actually Walter and then Clive. Yeah. 
Because I think Walter was still there when Crosby was a bird, so he needed the birds released. Then Walter left. Clive came in and that's when Pocho he made the rest of the of this of these deals to actually free these artists. And we got Stephen off, Stephen and Graham and David on Atlantic. We got David offered Neil off Atlantic on to Warner Brothers, where I was able to make a solo deal with Jerry Wexler. Story with Jerry was again was an important to David. He dealt with David much more than I did. Jerry was a friend, but he he did a lot more business with Neil. 

Neil Young & Joni Mitchell w/ Elliot Roberts- ~1985
Recording Session for "Tears Are Not Enough"

 Neil Young - November 29, 2011
Inventing David Geffen PBS | American Masters

Labels: , ,


At 2/01/2021 12:26:00 PM, Blogger Acoustic FeedBack said...

How did Elliot pass? It wasn't drugs was it?
I actually met Elliot once. Great dude.

At 2/01/2021 12:57:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@: Thrashers: you may want to re-read this interview. There seems to be a lot of grammar errors which made it really hard to read. Lots of miss placed and repeated words together. I’m convinced that Elliot didn’t talk like that.

Peace 🙏

At 2/01/2021 01:09:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Dan. Agree. As noted above: (note, unedited raw transcript).

In the interest of sharing this important interview, thought best to get shared as priority.

The transcripts are a mess. Actually, very surprised this happened. very unusual.

if anyone can volunteer to clean up these transcripts, that would be great. pls drop a comment and your email

At 2/02/2021 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Cat said...

All due respect.
I much appreciate the raw transcript.
Kinda like your in the room while this
interview was happening.

At 2/02/2021 01:44:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@ Cat : All due respect, if you were actually in the room it wouldn’t have sounded anything like this transcription.

Peace 🙏


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