Speaker So is beginning. Question. How did you meet David and what were your first impressions?

Speaker How did we meet? I think the first time, at least the first time I remember was in his office at William Morris.

Speaker I was part of a comedy team writing and performing then it's probably 1967 or 68. And I remember thinking that I remember I'm from Canada and so was the guy I was writing with. So needless to say, we were out. You know, on a slower pace. I remember. Thinking how much he sort of understood how things work and how little I understood how things work. And he was impressive. He was very forthright, very direct and funny and funny in a way that we didn't have in Canada because nothing moved that quickly.

Speaker So it was. I remember thinking he's in show business. Was he your agent? Yeah, I think he was. Yeah, I think there was somebody else in California. But I think he was. Yeah. I think yes. I think he was. Yes.

Speaker He could say yes. He was our agent. You did that. Did that cross.

Speaker Yeah, well, he was he because my partner would have made the arrangement.

Speaker I mean, I. And so I think that I don't remember a moment where we shook hands and he said, I am your agent. But we were. He was definitely we we were in his office. So we're more so I'm I'm assuming from that that he is my agent.

Speaker Yeah. Did he get you your first job?

Speaker No, we were already we done a bunch of work in Canada and we were at that point writing for standups, most notably Woody Allen, who was very gracious and supportive of us, and Joan Rivers and Dick Cavett, all of whom were managed by Jack Rollins. And so we we would write monologues, we would go back to Canada, come back down with whatever we'd written and spend time with whoever we were working with. And then we go back to Canada again. And we were doing the sort of performing and writing in Canadian television.

Speaker So. Why did you and dangers. Yes.

Speaker Who much better? Almost more moody smoke you like? Yeah, go ahead. There you go.

Speaker OK, listen. Yeah. Yeah. When did the crossover from him being your agent becoming famous?

Speaker I think that we re. I think I met him again with obviously with Elliot Roberts in the asylum days.

Speaker And because the show that I was doing in Canada for both Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, who are Canadian stars, once or twice a year, I would come to California and plead with Elliott to help me get Neil or help me get Joni to come back to Canada and work. But they were both always really nice to me and supportive and. And I went back and forth to California in 1968. I went out there and I worked on television shows. For about a year and a half and then went back to Canada. But in that in that period, that's that's the point at which David had left. Maurice and comedy and had gone to music.

Speaker And despite those those early days, I mean, what how did your friendship form?

Speaker I remember I remember very vividly Paul Simon and I and David having dinner at Elaine's. It would have been in the first season of SNL and we were always incredibly comfortable together. And sort of David and I got to renew our friendship.

Speaker Then the two year old and Carrie Fisher. No, I didn't care for sure. No. Well, that's what that's to come from.

Speaker That's definitely not me, Harry. No, no, no, no, no, no. I was. I was. No, not not. And never went on a date. With who. Yeah, I know. I know David did. I think Dan Akroyd is probably the Saturday night lost connection. No, I was. Have you seen your show? I haven't, but she was on the Jimmy Fallon show earlier yesterday.

Speaker That I was down there. Yeah. So. David was when he was first getting started. Yes. All of this. What was it like? Did you know?

Speaker As I said, he was like burst a you know, he was he was really funny. He was impatient. You know, in the way that New Yorkers are tremendous energy and, you know, a lot of fun to be around.

Speaker Do you have a hunger in him?

Speaker I don't think I was looking for hunger at that point of whether he he had hunger. I assume he had hunger because we were all at the beginning of our careers. And I think we were all. He didn't strike me as one of those people who would burst into flames if he didn't become successful. And what was what? My impression of him was not so much driven as someone who is at the center of things and had a really good instinct for where the most interesting thing was going on was going on.

Speaker Did you witness his relationship with artists and clients that he had?

Speaker No.

Speaker A little bit in the you know, the I was in the offices on Sunset and you could kind of it was a very you know, it was California and it couldn't have been more different than New York at that time. So that was you know, it was a more. It was the phrase they used to use was laid back. I'm not sure that that's what it was, but it was a time in which people were making it up as they went along. So that that period in the music business resonates for me with what happened with comedy when SNL came along, because we didn't know what we could do, we didn't know what couldn't be done, and we just kept pushing it and sort of seeing whether, I mean, it was all uncharted. So I think that was the music business got there first, you know, and there was. You know, fame and money and and and all the things that go along with that.

Speaker So mean, did you hang? I mean, were you part of the Sunset Strip? Jimmy Dorsey?

Speaker No, I mean, I was because I was working for. I was living in the Chateau Marmont from 1972. To 1975, and I was writing for Lily Tomlin and for four other television shows, and so I would have been at the Troubadour a lot. And sort of the comedy seems a little bit there to people like Albert Brooks would would perform there. And people like Dan Hicks and Hot Licks. There was a.. It was you know, there was the Troubadour. There was Maxwell Maxwell Blue, which was next door. And there was a certain life that for me, living at the Marmont, there was a certain set of. You know, of restaurants, experiences, clothing stores, you know, primarily restaurants, I think, where you would see the same people. And the comedy people, the writing comedy people performing comedy people would have been, you know, in the same sphere. Steve Martin was it was just starting to be standup then. And.

Speaker You know, you can go to.

Speaker Dan Tana's on a Friday night and pretty much be assured of the fact that you'd know everybody there was a cop right in the middle.

Speaker He might have just started doing standup. There was me. Yeah.

Speaker I mean, Steve performed at the Troubadour. There was a there was a scene, you know, when and whether the scene was at night or at breakfast, you'd recognize most of the people there because I lived at the moment. I'd have breakfast at Schwab's, but there was a sort of staggered times there, like working writers got there at a different time than nonworking writers and working actors were there at a time before non-working actors. So you kind of if you came alone, you could always find somebody else to sit with or join another group in a booth. Dukes on in the Tropicana Motel at the same thing, a very good breakfast in those days and at night. There was just, again, the same the the people everybody sort of knew. Not so much everybody else. But I think we were definitely a subculture of show business. There was established biz and particularly in television where I was working. There just wasn't. You know, there weren't that many people working who were in their 20s and I was one of them.

Speaker And that's that's a really good description since then them apart because they're what was described, David, in that scene.

Speaker Well, David, you know, was a leader, you know, so he was always just slightly ahead of both in success and in, you know, knowing where where the next thing was, you know, and without being. He's fiercely loyal guy. And this is, you know, for the number of people who've sat for interviews, he's done a lot of people for a long time. And he stayed in touch and and looked out for them. And I think. That in my case, because I don't think except for that brief moment of William Morris, the waiver actually worked together. But we were. He was somebody I always knew that someone I looked forward to having lunch with. Talking with. Spending time with. And so many of the other people that I was close to. You know, Mo and Evelyn Austin and Paul and Steve Ross and cording Ross. There were a lot of people, a lot of places where our lives intersected in Sandy and, you know, Kalvin, et cetera.

Speaker Studio 54. Can you tell us a little bit about that 70s?

Speaker Yeah, I. I was more in the. I was both early and late to Studio 54, probably went there very early. But I think I didn't I was probably on a music level. Is not one of the first to embrace disco I was still stuck in and, you know, the kind of music that I would be more likely to be listening to talking heads than than Donna Summer at the time. But I think that at the same time it was happening and then with with Studio 54 coalesced because it was both fun to be with it. Exciting. And you went somebody spent an enormous amount of money on a nightclub at a point when New York was at its at its bottom, you know. And and so there was just incredible excitement and, you know, and of course, a haunting sense of decadence as well.

Speaker Nicely put. Now, when David was hanging around a lot of studio, during the time that he had the answer scary he thought he had. Yes. Did you did you. Were you in touch with him during this time?

Speaker If I had no know if I did, it would have been in an oblique way. There was never any. I would see him. I would see Steve Rebelle, who. Who he knew really well. And and. And Paul would be around. You know, we would all see each other, but would be more likely at dinner than in the basement. Studio 54.

Speaker But did he talk to you about the cancer? Yeah, yeah, I mean, he talked to me.

Speaker Yeah, yeah, yeah. No I'm sure. Yeah, yeah. No, David is not shy. Yeah, it was. I mean, how does it affect. I mean, it's good to hear from you myself.

Speaker I think that, you know, when David, you know, became head of production and Warner Brothers and all of that transition from, you know, music business to movie business. And at that point, it had been, you know, a sort of rocket ride straight up and. And on a certain level, the of the implant didn't take you know, there was a rejection by a more established culture of of this guy who'd on some level they felt. I didn't get there by the the the way that they would have preferred him to get there. You know, he hadn't waited his turn. And I think that that reversal, which was I think the first real big reversal in his life on a career level, was huge and it ended through him. And I think it was in that at that time that I think he turned not introspective because I never thought of him as being not introspective. But I think he began to reassess. And I remember. It's gonna be early 80s, I guess, when Mo was urging him to come back into the music business. And Paul and David and I were in Barbados and I think he talked a lot about it at that point. I was still searching for a name for the record company, but I think he knew he was coming back. But I think he felt he'd also had that star 80s thing. There'd been no storage. What was the Robert Towne personal personal best song? You know, that that sense, you know. It had been a period where things were were just, you know, not we're not connecting. And I think and for somebody who'd gone from thing, from success to success there, probably I mean, it happens to us all and clearly happens to the best of us. But I think it I think it was thrown for a loop.

Speaker And how does David manifest?

Speaker I think he had no. Well, first of all, he'd talk to you and he'd get very close to you as he was talking. But I think he. He never I never felt that he. That there that he was hiding anything. I always felt he was completely candid about what he was going through and if he was angry. You heard it. He was frustrated. You heard it. If he was excited about something, you heard that, too. I think he's. He has an incredible self-awareness. You know, in a way that he's looked very deep into himself. And I think isn't somebody who is likely to fool himself, you know, and doesn't go out of his way to fool others either. This is pretty straightforward, almost always.

Speaker Why do you think Why do you think the movie thing didn't take why the implant?

Speaker I wasn't there and I wasn't, you know, in in. I was in New York in the middle of a whole other movie. So I think. What I could what I could sense with it was that. That there was an established culture. And Steve Ross was changing that established culture and he had a strong sense of I know he had enormous faith in David. So it was, you know, they'd never do anything directly. So it was in some way. He was given. He was not given real power. And that in the movie business, people can walk past you and know whether you have real power or not. They don't need to hear you speak or or see what car you pull up in. It's it's everyone's business to know. In a world where only a handful of people are really in power, it's everyone's business to know who those few people are. And titles mean very little. And all the normal ways of identifying people don't don't really work. So I think I don't think David was misled. So he's too smart for that. But I think that there was probably something that was was maybe ambiguous.

Speaker When I think there's a little more to the Babita stories I just saw how. He was. You know, twists and turns about what to do.

Speaker Yeah, yeah.

Speaker No, it was a yeah yeah, yeah. You know.

Speaker Yeah. And also that it's a.. Well, you're good at it. It will give you time to regroup.

Speaker And also, you know, most of us get our sense of self from being busy and and feeling useful. And I think that for David to be back in action again and he is someone who is completely built for action and to be in the middle of the game again was you knew a, he'd he'd excel again and B, that he's that he missed it. And when you get lost in your own thoughts or spend too much time trying to to improve or fix yourself, it's not as. Also, listen, he'd taken a bit in the management and he'd been responsible and taking care of so many people that he was depleted when he left it. I know what that was like because in 1980, when I left SNL, I went through the same kind of withdrawal and your ear kind of lost because, you know, if you're in the business, I'll you I'll use the example of producing, you know, if producing is a pie. Well, then you divide the pie up and the writer wrote it and the director directed it and the star had the idea in high school. And when you when you're done, there's no pie left. So you look down and people say, well, what do you know? What was your part? And you go, well, I you know, he was he was always in the room and he was there kind of. But. But I think I was on the phone a lot. And so it's it's harder when you're in a world in which people are bery companies of both power and status and that. You can get lost. You get lost in terms of what it is you really do. And I thought with David for him to get back in it, that once he is back in the middle of it, he'd know exactly what to do. And that's what happened.

Speaker Well, he's you know, he's a guy made the wheels turn.

Speaker Yeah. And also that they beat him up, you know. And when you were when they beat you up, you know what? You have to get back in the game in the artist.

Speaker He was representing them.

Speaker Well, you know, I think. Well, talented people move on. That's the rule of life. And I think that very often the least talented choose to be the most loyal. And the restlessness that's there in an artist is they have an obligation to that and people. And it's a you know, a sort of it's axiomatic to me that talent and character seldom, you know, reside in the same place. So to expect it. It is natural and and not. An odd thing to be doing, but it is seldom the case. And when you find it. Steve Martin is a perfect example of it. It's a joy, but most of the time of the talent, it's enough. You don't and all of those old Hollywood cliches. If you want a friend, get a dog. All of that stuff was there long before we got there. So I think for David, because particularly in the late 60s, early 70s, and because there was a lot of pot involved, most things got blurred. So it was the artist. Just everybody was friends, you know. And there was enough money and success to go round. And then when when that when the, you know, the band moved on. I mean, literally in this case, I think it was you. You're left with. So what. What was what actually did happen. And. And after you get over. Oh, wait. So and so did that. And I thought we were gonna be doing this for a long time or whatever it is you thought once you remove yourself from that and realize that it's not personal, that it just it's just the nature of the game, then it's easier to come back. And I think he got very clear his time off.

Speaker I think it was a lot of the artist, David.

Speaker I think that the artist felt that. I think that it is. You know, when you're there in support. People can only see you there in support. So the way they see you is as an extension of themselves. So when you say, well, that's actually I was kind of thinking I was going, you know, because everyone's lead in their own movie, you know, nobody nobody has the Sprink part of their own movie. They think of themselves as the lead. And and when you're in someone else's movie, you have to accept that they are the lead of that. And so a lot of those things have to be adjusted. And I'm sure there were.

Speaker Very nice, very easy. Really good. Yes. Yes, you said and some of them stood up for it. I know. I'm OK. I'm good.

Speaker So.

Speaker When he came back to the hall at your urging and started the right I at Warner with Steve Ross.

Speaker Yeah. Ask him if at one point he was going to call it integrity.

Speaker OK. What was he going to call it?

Speaker One point, I think integrity. You're going to call? No, I'm not going to tell the story because I want you to ask him about it.

Speaker Oh, he does. Yeah, OK. Integrity. Because I always wanted the guy I love. Yeah, he wanted it. Well, I think that would've been a tough one to live. Exactly right.

Speaker But was David worried at all when he came back with me?

Speaker Oh, yeah.

Speaker I mean, you know, he had it wasn't in any way, in my opinion, like a comeback or anything. Mo was a person who was at that point of rock and David's life and. And Mo knew his value. And Mo, in my opinion, was the smartest person working in the record business. And he saw in David O somebody. And I won't go to Kindred Spirit because I don't think that's what it is. I think that he's sensed and knew David's talent and added at a point when you're confused about that, somebody having that level of faith in you is very it's a very good feeling. And I think, you know, Mo knew that it would be successful. You know, it might take time, but it would be successful. And he was betting on David. And, you know, at a point in which David's reputation, as you know, Boy Wonder had changed, you know. So in what way? Well, I mean, you're only a boy wonder for a little while. Particularly if you're a boy, you could only be, you know, a phenomenon once you get that's you know, and it's more interesting to not so much prove it again as as people can go. Hey. Oh, yeah. Who did. Oh, I see. So he did that. Well, I thought he was. And perception changes.

Speaker Yeah, I mean, particularly after what happened in this mindset, it's kind of over.

Speaker I don't think it was out of the anybody would have counted David out. But also, remember, in the movie business, no one's thinking about anybody else. So when you have that, I think if he was not at the game that week, nobody went. Somebody else sat in his seat, you know. So it wasn't like he wasn't, you know, a wall. You know, there wasn't what. Whatever happened to or whatever he was around.

Speaker He was just redefining himself was how did you perceive or did you perceive that there was a different David after the start to give him that? He knew that he was close to me.

Speaker Yeah.

Speaker Yeah. You know, there's a moment where David Marci Klein has been with me for 150 years.

Speaker David called me and said, there's this girl, she just loves the show, would you just you know, we you see her she her life's dream is to work at SNL. So she came in and I saw and I liked what I saw and I hired her. And I remember when. If she hadn't been there very long, she said, David. David's going to call you. He talked to me about this band, Nirvana, and. And David called and he said, there's this band and it's just exploding everywhere. And I think you should have. Now, I don't think he'd ever done that before. You know what? Most people from record companies call and say, we have so-and-so. Can you find a date for. You know, it's just normal because we we do 20 shows a year and and we sell records. So but this was spoken with real passion and it was huge for us because we were there right at the beginning with it. And which isn't unusual for us. That's sort of what we do. But it was. David was on it, if you know what I mean. It wasn't like he was back at, you know, completely back in, you know, center stage again.

Speaker So we had actually sort of skipped over. Yeah. Yeah, we did.

Speaker The Passion a ha that David had the ideas when he had asylum. It was really I mean, if this was not just a record label. No.

Speaker Yes. Then he had decide to talk to you about what he loved about David was, you know.

Speaker You know, David was and and can be fierce, you know what I mean? In defense of what he believes in, defensive of the things he's working on, you know, he has and doesn't mind having enemies in a business in which people don't have enemies. They just have friends that they're closer or less close to. And there isn't anybody who doesn't say, of course I know. I've known him for years. David will go. I hate him, you know, or he's you know, he's a complete lie or or. You know, women. You've heard him talk so he doesn't. There's nothing politic about the way he behaves to the way he thinks. And for artists who are often about pleasing, that is a huge thing for him. I cut myself shaving. That's after that surgery and.

Speaker So we were talking about. But I actually want to know. If he ever really talk to you about the music.

Speaker Oh, yeah. I think. Well, you know, when it began to change, I mean, I.

Speaker He never called me in and poured his heart out. But Whitesnake, you know, I think David has his own taste. And you knew what that was. And then there's other things in the same way that I have music on SNL that, you know, was not my taste, but that is of the moment and is great in its own way. So I think it wasn't. I think David became a much more interesting person after he came through that period. He was somebody you could talk about anything to, passionate about what he was interested in. New. Always do. Just a little more than I knew. But I think he was and is always the thing that doesn't get said about him much is he's really funny and he couldn't be as disarming as he is without that. If it was just a frontal assault or and and, you know, again, you don't want him as an enemy and you don't want to lie to him and you don't want him again, you don't. He's not afraid to have enemies.

Speaker Oh, Warren, go. Yes. If you were there the night he received this, I'm seldom there when the when those things happened.

Speaker But go ahead with you. Yes. It's perfectly safe. Yeah. Young. It was just an idea. Yeah.

Speaker Is that for AIDS or against it. I was getting an award for all the work done for AIDS awareness. Absolutely. And we're it's a. And he said two things I'm interested in. You know, this one, I'm interested in their motive. David, is somebody one on your side? I think that, you know, Brian, you don't want him. Not on your side. Right. Which you kind of address.

Speaker But he also said that he was a captain of industry with the soul of an artist. Would you?

Speaker I think he is totally empathetic to the artist. I think he also has a bias towards good work. He would rather I think he knows what what we sort of all know, which is it has to be a hit. But the idea that it could be a hit with honor or that it could be something you're proud of. And also a hit is the goal. I don't think he wants to make things that that he believes in, that he didn't feel will will connect, you know. And I think it's the artist's job, at least in my end of it, to figure out the way to make it connect. So I think he's you'd want there are lots of people in his and the business whose opinion about what your work is irrelevant, their opinion about your career would matter here or their opinion, you know, about whether you should be given more freedom, more given more money or whatever would be of great interest. But, David, you want to hear what he thinks about the movie and you never get the sense of him being, quote, unquote, out of touch. He's always on the edge of it. He knows that. Yeah. And I could give you countless examples. That one just stood out because it was such a, you know, from nowhere, because it was happening more in another part of the country. And it wasn't sort of on anyone's radar yet.

Speaker Did you know it, did you were you hanging out with David when he was spending a lot of time with John and Yoko?

Speaker Yeah, but not with them. No. The night that John Lennon was shot, I was with Gilda Radner and Joe Smith and Mo Neville, everyone at Mr. Chow's. And we'd been in the Dakota. That. Earlier that night to pick up Gilda because she lived there.

Speaker And and then at the restaurant, we were told that he was. He'd been shot at, I think. David and Mo talked. It's sort of impossible now to remember a time without cell phones. So I'm not actually sure how that happened, but I remember how much he was took charge then and saw everybody through it.

Speaker I think he was the only person. Yeah. So, I mean, he was the only one who went to the hospital. He had an interview with her the other day, and it was. I was sort of dreading it because I knew I'd go through this painful yeah. But we kind of got through it.

Speaker Let's do interview. It's a long time ago now, but still.

Speaker No, no wrong with you. It'll always hurt. Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, no. I'm just been in the sense that it is. And you think about it.

Speaker So did you know that was my only by description?

Speaker I think I must have met her, but I had I was with David on Steve Ross's boat with.

Speaker Just after after she died and and Mona were there and Quincy Jones was there. And he was.

Speaker He was dealing with it in such a.

Speaker I'll be obviously sad, but he had she'd been such a huge presence and such a big part of his life, that just to integrate that to to be able to. And I think he was one of the first of my friends to go through that. And I lost my father when I was 14. So I I'd I'd gone through that and, you know, and when at 14, it's an earthquake. But you could sense with David how. But just how emotionally was and how deeply felt.

Speaker The things he was talking about were taken. Can you give an example?

Speaker I think there was a most of the things he talked about. She was pretty funny, you know, and so you could see the direct light of the sense of humor, but also tough.

Speaker And you could you could you know, that that's for the toughness also came from. And clearly, he was the center of her world. You know, so. A Jewish boy and his mother. King David. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker Well, they're have told me today. They said it was terrible statement. They had attention deficit. I was slightly dyslexic. One time they even called me mother.

Speaker And those days I just called slow.

Speaker I doubt they would call it. I don't think it sounds very simple. Yeah. And she said, oh, he's very smart. He's just not a good student. Yeah. That's great area. That's great. Very clearly understood. Yeah. She understood her side.

Speaker Yeah. So what about David Scabrous, who mentioned.

Speaker Well, did David ever tell you the story of how he was finally closed, this whole markets thing?

Speaker Well, he sold it.

Speaker Yeah. When he sold it, you know, to Steve, there were alone in the in the office, I think. And David was smoking then. And every time whatever he was saying that was Khambatta or whatever, every time he picked up a cigarette. Steve Ross lit it this lighter, you know, part of which is the sort of background of the funeral home and coming out of that, but also that kind of manners. And he was. More sophisticated. You know, David had built this thing that he cared about, that he'd built it. It wasn't there. And then it was there. And now it had value. What the value was, was the thing that was kind of impossible. It was whatever somebody would pay for it, I suppose. But it was. You know, he was building record companies. He was buying record companies. David's was, you know, a very hot record company. And. And I think they were in two different games. And I think for. David, Steve was probably. You know, somebody who was playing in a bigger game. And although it turned out really well for David at the end of it, not only do you sell your company, you sold a big chunk your identity. So I think. And Steve had that paternal side. And I think he recognized David's talent. So he wanted to draw him in. But it was now Steve's. So, you know, when you sell your house, the people who buy it, they can paint any color they want. And that's that's what happens if you go. Why would you? You know, we spend a lot of money on that woodwork. You know, why would you want to paint it? But. Not yours anymore.

Speaker And with affected. I mean, how did that affect the relations?

Speaker Well, I think there was the movie business part and then there was the coming back into the music business part, and then there was how David sold his record company. You know, when you. So he did not sell Steve Ross. No, he sold. Yeah. Which I think came as a surprise to that.

Speaker So I stepped on. Yeah. Say that again. Yeah.

Speaker It's just that I think that they had long. You know, I was with them in my first vault. Again, I never worked with any of them. So it's easier for me because I was just off. I was just round. And when we would travel with Steve again, I was working at NBC and and of course, still am working at NBC. But they were, you know, with both Steven and and and David and I suppose to a certain extent with Dustin Hoffman as well. Steve was a paternal figure, you know, adoring and supportive, but still in in business, you know, and and in business you don't on which get what would you know, you don't get everything you were hoping you really get. And I think.

Speaker David, you remember, I'm on the East Coast, so I only, you know, dimly perceived what was going on on the West Coast.

Speaker But my sense with it was, David, more than any other person I talked to in that period, knew what was going on.

Speaker And I think that's pretty much true in almost any period.

Speaker OK, so you ask out there, but the person who's come to see me has arrived or whatever.

Speaker Thanks. So what did David have an interview with the designer dress up, more confident? Oh, yeah. Yeah. It is also.

Speaker Yes, I know. There was little disagreement, yes, there was more than a little disagreement that played out again. We're down at what was 81.

Speaker So what the person is OK. How much longer is he? Is he OK? Sorry, I just sat down. How long has he been here? Seven minutes. OK, can you wait another five?

Speaker OK, five. Yeah. OK. It's better than we thought, you know. Yes.

Speaker Would you do another one. Yeah, I got it.

Speaker Just he's from England and I never infosphere so exciting.

Speaker So tell us about it because it's something similar.

Speaker Yeah. I think Paul was it.

Speaker There was a man named Walter Yetnikoff who was not a. Was giving Paul a really hard time about the fact that Paul had left CBS Records and gone to Warner Brothers to work with MA, which seemed to me the more, you know, a much better place for him to be at that time. But Walter controlled Simon Garfunkel, which Paul wasn't doing anymore. But when we did the concert in Central Park. I think David sense that there could be an album with it, but that meant that you'd have to give between Walter and Mo. You know, both of whom would would love to have the album because it was going to be a double album. And of course, it was a huge event with, you know, hundreds of thousands of people in four. I was doing the the television of it and and working with Paul and Artie on it. And I think that David offered to go to Walter and see if he could figure out a way in which the album could be released. CBS would get foreign. I think and and Warner Bros. Would get domestic. And since Paul and Walter were not talking or if there were, there was mostly in very short sentences, I think David got in the middle of it. And I think the understanding between him and Paul got a little blurry.

Speaker Consult.

Speaker No, he consulted Paul. I think that it was. It was what label it was going to come out on own.

Speaker What? Eventually.

Speaker Album was a huge success. Honestly, I don't remember because it's a long time ago, but I think I think Warner's had it here. I can't remember. I don't I. Yeah. Not my end of it, but. But it was a very successful album.

Speaker How do you how much do you think David's coming out publicly changed his life?

Speaker I.

Speaker This is going to sound odd, but I don't think that much. I think David never hid. Never pretended to be anything else but who he was. And he was. So there wasn't this enormous facade that that crumbled. You know. Or the. Oh, my God. It was like I thought it was brave of him. And but also, he does brave things. So I didn't. It didn't seem. Again, I I live in you know, in show business, you know, reality is. Is what I pass through on my way to the studio, so I don't really know the the outside effects of it, but I know that. In my world, that was you don't. Barely ripple. You know, David is one of those people that you're seldom shocked that you didn't know that he. David is very much a presence and very clear about who he is. And. And there's not much hidden, you know. And I've known about, you know, a long time.

Speaker Given that you're young, you're a. Your time is short. Yes. One last question. I don't want to ask you. Yeah. Ask you if you want what you want to say. But David, I haven't asked you that. I want you to tell me what you think he's proudest of. And I want you to spell it out.

Speaker I think what he's proudest of is that he built as many things as he built. I think he is. As long as I've known him, both he and Paul are always getting out of show business. You know, I've already committed to, you know, a lifetime. So. But there you go, David. I have no interest in anymore. Really. No interest. You know, when I go. Well, there's a thing about that. We know that. I know as a producer, which is you have to get off the stage in order to make another entrance. And there's also an old blues song, Huckerby Michu, if you won't go away. So David, I think never spends too much time on stage. And then he disappears. And my my expectation is that though he'll come back with something new. I don't know what it'll be, but whatever it is, it will be. I'll be home. So that's what he's doing. It'll be interesting. And in three words.

Speaker You know, it depends on which side of him you want to emphasize. I would say funny. I would say smart. I would say loyal. But I'm already at three and say fierce. Outspoken.

Speaker Just. Direct.

Speaker He's got very good judgment, and he's he's a very strong advocate for his way of looking at things. And sometimes when I disagree with him, I the resistance is futile. Science starts to flash from my brain. So I just hope we can change topics and move on because that's my natural defense.

Lorne Michaels
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-ms3jw87976, cpb-aacip-504-rv0cv4cj34
"Lorne Michaels, Inventing David Geffen." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 30 Oct. 2009,
(2009, October 30). Lorne Michaels, Inventing David Geffen. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"Lorne Michaels, Inventing David Geffen." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). October 30, 2009. Accessed May 20, 2022


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