Neil Young's new release ""World Record" w/ Crazy Horse is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link or YOUR COUNTRY's FLAG. Thank you!!!)
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Mo Ostin Discusses Neil Young & David Geffen' | PBS American Masters Archive

Mo Ostin - October 7, 2009
Inventing David Geffen PBS | American Masters

As noted recently, 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. 


David Geffen, Elliot Roberts, & Neil Young
Frame from  'Inventing David Geffen': American Masters

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, David Crosby, Henry Diltz, Gary Burden, Mo Ostin and many others.

From the unaired interview with Mo "The Sleaze" Ostin, Warner Bros Executive, (listen to song "Surfer Joe And Moe the Sleaze") on working with Geffen and his clients, Neil Young and his manager Elliot Roberts. (Ed. note, unedited raw transcript @ ~2:43:00)

Mo Ostin:  [Geffen] sued Neil [Young] because he thought that Neil wasn't making commercial records.

[Geffen] was so intense and so passionate about having successful records. That he might have become myopic, you know? And Neil turned in a record that [Geffen] thought was not commercial. And he was paying him [Young] a huge advance. And [Geffen] thought "I shouldn't be paying that kind of advance for the records he's delivering."

And he told Neil to make another record. I don't know whether Neil made an effort at that or not. But Neil continued to record.

I guess he didn't feel Neil was making the change. And so he stopped funding the record. And sued him.

Interviewer: How do you think that a move like that affected his image in the music business?

Mo Ostin: You know, Neil was revered. And musically respected, not only on the critical level, but by all of his musical peers. [The lawsuit] could not have sat well with them.

Interviewer I mean, how do you think what David did affected his image? I'm dumbfounded he'd do that.

Mo Ostin: I guess he didn't think about it. I mean, I guess he was just so involved. Having realized that he had been losing money. He hated the idea of losing money, including other people's money. He never wanted to lose money.

And there was these jokes going on about the Titanic, who had a better band, you know, that kind of stuff.

And so, you know, I think he just was doing everything he possibly could to rectify and right the ship


Interviewer: A number of people have told us that there's one thing that David Geffen probably regrets most is suing Neil Young.

Mo Ostin: Yeah. And I believe that they made up.

That's also what's great about him [Geffen] is the fact that he owns up to his mistakes.

 Neil Young - November 29, 2011
'Inventing David Geffen'PBS | American Masters
Elliot Roberts - July 22, 2009
'Inventing David Geffen' PBS | American Masters
(Also, see Elliot Roberts Uncut, Never-Before-Seen Interview | 'Inventing David Geffen' | PBS American Masters Archive)

Labels: , , ,


At 2/18/2021 09:00:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

a full picture is emerging. I am not sure where all that intensity comes from and I am not sure I want to know. The story is fascinating. thanks for posting Thrasher.

At 2/18/2021 09:51:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Glad you're finding the Geffen outtakes of interest.

It really is a treasure trove for future researchers of the critical era.

And someone like Ostin stating that suing Neil Young was one thing that David Geffen probably regrets most on his career is quite an observation. Especially considering the number of regrettable moves Geffen made back in the day.

And how Elliot was the balancing equation really says something noble about Elliot and his style and approach.

At 2/18/2021 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Yes, great point. I knew nothing about the aftermath. Interesting question concerns the cause of his regret. Ostin states that Geffen hated to lose money, especially other people's money. It is hard to interpret this whole episode. I think it might be an important story for American culture generally.

At 2/18/2021 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I was thinking about it this way: Neil Young, a brilliant human being and musical artist, goes a bit off the rails for a period of time (although still makes some great music) and it initiates this particular causal pathway- it seems to me another accomplishment. Following his muse is actually the same thing as screwing with the system. I really appreciate these posts.

At 2/21/2021 04:22:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

I feel the recordings Neil made during the Geffen years were, (to me at least) wonderful albums. They seem to be aging quite well too. I tend to enjoy those times when Neil “goes off the rails for a period of time”. He tends to put everything he has in whatever he’s doing at any given time, and I admire his determination to create what suits him in the moment. I absolutely love Reactor, Trans, Everybody’s Rockin’ Old Ways, Landing on Water, and Life. Those last two took some time before I understood where Neil was coming from, but today they make perfect sense to me. And that period also produced A Treasure, which is amazing.

If it’s been awhile since you listed to any of these records, then take the time to revisit them, you might be surprised.

Peace 🙏

At 2/22/2021 01:10:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Dan, I could not agree more. I find Trans to be full of great melodies. Reactor is strangely brilliant.


Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - us.gif
Canada - canada.gif
United Kingdom - gb.gif
Germany - de.gif

Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat