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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Mo Ostin: 1927 - 2022 (UPDATED: Statement by Neil Young)

Mo Ostin: 1927 - 2022 
 via Inventing David Geffen (October 7, 2009) PBS | American Masters

Mo Ostin (1927 - 2022) has passed.

Mo Ostin, record executive for Reprise Records, Warner Bros. Records, was highly respected and had quite a few dealings with Neil Young over the years. 

UPDATED: Statement by Neil Young on T-C | NYA:

My old friend Mo Ostin has passed away.

I am so sad that he is gone from this earth, but so happy for our life-long friendship. Mo was a hero. Supporting artists and their work all the way through his long life, Mo, the giant among Record Business leaders, backed us all up and let us do what we wanted with our music. He was always there for me and I really appreciate that. Thanks Mo.

Without Mo, my life in music could never have been the same. Every time we put a record out, it started with me bringing it in to Mo and playing it for him and Lenny Warnoker. Playback for Mo and Lenny. This tradition continued right up to just last month when Rick Rubin and I played our latest Crazy Horse record for him at his home. We must have done that at least 40 times over the years. This last time was so special, as I sat between Mo and Lenny on his couch, listening to the new recording in his living room. Mo loved it, referring to ‘Harvest Moon’ and other records we had made together between songs while the record played. Michael Ostin, Mo’s wonderful son, was with us that day as always making sure everything was good.

Mo’s passing at 95 has touched me in a deep way, as I realize how fortunate i was to have him and Elliot Roberts at my side. They are both gone now, but their spirits will never be gone.

Thank you Mo. You are a champion for the creative artists who made music during your time. Now you can be with Evelyn and listen to Harvest Moon.


As noted previosly, a rather significant announcement, PBS American Masters Archive Releases 1,000+ Hours of Uncut, Never-Before-Seen Interviews: Patti Smith, David Bowie, Neil Young, Mo Ostin & more. 


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

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) (See PBS for full, raw unaired interview & transcript)

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.

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."

 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)

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At 8/03/2022 04:50:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Mo Ostin, Elliot Roberts, end of an era.


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