Transcript:

Speaker You ready? OK. When I first met David, I was with Elliot. Eliot and David Eliot was our agent. No, David was our agent. Eliot was my manager. Then later on, David was my manager with Eliot. They had a company together for a short period of time, maybe a year or something. And but he was my agent at first and everybody thought, oh, my disguise, an amazing agent.

Speaker You know, he can get to any he'll do any. You know, he does all kinds of things. He was like a magical kind of magic worker, you know.

Speaker How was he?

Speaker I don't know. You'd have to ask him. He's like that. He's the only one who could explain it. That he was a magic walker, buddy. You couldn't get it. You couldn't figure out why. But he did a lot of things. You got to the things he had a way of.

Speaker David can can can figure out what it is to say to anybody, to let them know that he remembers what it is about them, that they don't want anybody to know.

Speaker And he uses that and the dress drops it here and there, but it's not like. It's funny, though, it's not like malicious. And he enjoys it. He has fun with it and he ate it back then, he had more fun with it because it was so innocent, you know, and he wasn't as powerful. So when he did it, it was like he's a guy on the way up, he's like a rebel, you know, nobody could believe what he was doing. But he was brilliant, you know? And he just was able to remember all the little nuances about everybody. And he would bring them up at just the right time. And, you know, with that little glimmer in his eye, you know, very unique individual.

Speaker And that, Chris, was that China with his negotiating power.

Speaker Everything was tied in with his negotiating power. Or I don't know, I wouldn't call it negotiating power. I would call it negotiating.

Speaker Ambience. You just surrounded the negotiation with an ambulance. Much like Elliott does the same thing in his own way. There's always a time when when Elliott will crack some kind of a joke that just breaks the ice and everybody starts laughing and relaxes a little bit. But if you relax with David, that's when he's drunk. Throw in one of these things like, you know, you still there? You know, and it was it was, you know, not not maliciously. But dangerously low enough to let you know I said, you see them. No, I can't. You've got to be not malicious.

Speaker I can't go. I got to not step on you.

Speaker You have to artfully figure out a way to get me to say that again.

Speaker That's the way I don't know. That's the way it has to happen. Right? I know. I'm going to take one. Take one. Oh, what what did we do that already interviewing.

Speaker Oh, yeah. Did you. Right. And he was a genius.

Speaker He still is a genius, is a genius.

Speaker It's a loss to the to the industry that he's not doing it. But he is doing it. He's just not doing it like he was. But it's it's you know, there are a lot of things that could happen still if he was still doing.

Speaker Can you talk about that?

Speaker I don't know what they'd be. But he does, you know, it's just opportunities. He sees opportunities to put people together and do things that other people didn't see.

Speaker This kind of genius is.

Speaker The oil is definitely a genius.

Speaker You know, this is David, David Crosby. I'm sure you've heard him say this, he talks to him. He talks a lot about how he says often, you know, we knew we we we everybody said you needed a shark. We need our own shark. And that's how they did that. Why Crosby, Stills and Nash were interested in having David be their manager.

Speaker Well, I don't agree with any of, you know. Tell me why. Because I don't think David's a shark. I think that's a crass description of David. Much more artful in that.

Speaker Thanks for saying that. But one of the things he said that struck me is, is that they hadn't really expected. They thought it'd be great business, but they hadn't really expected him to have an ear for music and actually loved music until they saw him in Europe. Were you there? No. You never saw them before? No. When you think the picture with worry.

Speaker Well, maybe there. I don't remember. So we used to drop by his relationship with Laura, his love for her music.

Speaker Not really. I never really you know, I knew that was part of his beginnings.

Speaker And but I didn't really I wasn't really part of that.

Speaker Well, let me have Eliot here. Let's talk a little bit about the guest and Robert's office, but you feel like what was the atmosphere? What was the vibe when you went in there?

Speaker How did they interact with each other? How many different?

Speaker Well, you know, I was just like, you know, bang, bang, good cop, bad cop back and forth.

Speaker Funny, funny, funny. Everybody's laughing. Have a good time. Everything's going really fast.

Speaker Gaffin would love to get people on the phone and talk to them so that everybody could hear what he was saying to them. It was like there was never anything. You know, there was a lot of showmanship. It was all a big show. And he was always on stage and and was putting on a big show. It was all a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. That's what it was. But in doing that, he made a lot of people happy and he made a lot of deals that were great. And he manipulated a lot of people and played them like like a harp, you know? I mean, just you just did it. And it was a joyous thing the way he did it.

Speaker Did you hang out? Yeah, I was there quite a bit. Because we are trying to get a sense of what it's like, it's a bunch of hippies, you know, hippies and you know everybody.

Speaker Fast moving. You know, we were hip. Everybody was great.

Speaker And here we were full of ourselves. We thought we were the cat's meow. Did you play music all the time? No. I mean, not not all the time. I come in and have a new song. Somebody play it. You know, pick out a guitar player. Who would be there? People come in and out. You know, the bands, you know.

Speaker But it was a lot of that, was it? It was fun, but it was a lot of it was a surface thing, too.

Speaker It was like not it was kind of a Hollywood thing. You know, let's sense of what was right in the middle of it.

Speaker That's what it was when you entered it. You entered it. And David lived there. David was right in there.

Speaker And that he was an expert at it with his round shag carpet. I don't remember his brown shag carpet.

Speaker I don't remember that.

Speaker I remember Persian rugs on the floor thrown on top of other Persian rugs and everything like that.

Speaker And I was kind of like our stage used to be smart about a lot of things. I think he didn't want the offices to be fancy and he had the least fancy office play any good office because my office. Supersmart.

Speaker I think he just wanted to. I think he wanted people to relax. I don't think he's into impressing people that way. That's not you know, he saved that for his house.

Speaker I was his own place, but his place of work where he interacts with people, even when he wasn't a big chair, big desk. Your little line tall. My chair is taller than you. He's not that kind of a guy. He's like, I'm already inside your head. I know everything that you think I know and I know everything that you don't think I know. And I could be your friend or I could be your enemy.

Speaker That's why it's perfect. Absolutely. Do you play songs for you? Yeah, I play songs for them all the time. How did he respond to his favorite song was On the way on?

Speaker And he loved it as soon as he heard it any. And he remembered it. He remembered the first time he heard it. He talked about it. You could tell it. He was in his musical tastes was.

Speaker It wasn't like a connoisseur of music. He wasn't like a fish Minato music. But he loved music. Like like an innocent person loves music.

Speaker And he trusted those instincts.

Speaker He was a businessman in that respect. I don't think that, you know, he was like he heard great music and he said, I'm going to make this artist happen. I don't think that was it. I think if you liked the person, then he would make it happen. And he he knew the music was happening and some music he liked himself. But I don't think he was like a musical guy that went around finding genius music and then promoting it. That wasn't the way it happened. He was a social guy.

Speaker He's still at. I will always recluse. I think he had enough. You think he's a recluse today? Yeah, I think he is. Has he asked you?

Speaker I didn't even know he had a boat. I know he just bought somebody's boat. But you just bought that so you can have their boat and now he's going to sell a boat.

Speaker I mean, it doesn't matter if someone else is getting a boat. You know, if someone has their own building on pontoons, he would get that, you know, if he wanted it.

Speaker Not only to one up them, but he'd have to want it to end for a while. He'd experienced that whatever Paul Allen was experiencing. And then, you know, move on. It's not like it doesn't mean that much to him. But the art in his house means something to him.

Speaker That means something because it's great. And he knows what he's doing with art. And that's truly, you know, his taste in art is is amazing. And he and he knows the value of historic great art pieces. And his house is like an incredible art museum. Everything about his house and his grounds and everything is a piece of art. It's all a painting. And him in it is a painting. So he's a character. He's easy. It's like in a Batman movie.

Speaker You know, he's Batman's manager. That man can't make a move without David. You know, that's just the way it would be. You know, he thought Wayne Manor for you know, for what's his name.

Speaker That's who David is. He's the guy who get Gotz thing. He'd get it gets things happening and now he's decided, well, maybe there's nothing for him to do that. That's interesting to him except help people and do this. His support for, you know, his work with AIDS and things like that. That means something to him now. He's already you know, I think the thrill of making a fortune has kind of faded.

Speaker He already made a fortune.

Speaker I got all kinds of ideas. And if I if I could get him interested in it, I could definitely use his money.

Speaker Well, we'll tell you he said that. Yeah, well, no. He knows that.

Speaker I think you had a nice dinner with him not too long.

Speaker He loved that evening. That was a great night. We had a good chance. Yeah. Have a great night.

Speaker To see a film about, by the way, I don't know, directional. No. My services.

Speaker Oh, no direction home. Yes, I didn't see that. Yeah. Oh, great. Great. That's cool. Yeah. Yeah. I love Bob. I like the pending back home movie too, because his attitude in that was so good. I mean, that was a moment in time. A moment in time.

Speaker Why films only about the first five years? It's about becoming Bob Dylan. That's great. And we actually used a lot that footage. Speaking of footage, we have this footage of you that you shot. What are you shooting just for fun?

Speaker You were making a movie, it was really in part a journey through the past or something. No, no. That's very funny. Oh, yeah. Good, right.

Speaker Yeah, we did that. That's shaky pictures. Footage. Ask David if he can make a good deal for us on that.

Speaker What was that? We are a special deal.

Speaker You'll have to deal with himself, which will be very interesting.

Speaker Well, that's one of the things a lot of people talk about when we have these blurred roles between manager, agent, publishing company, et cetera, that nobody was negotiating with anybody because, well, Glen Fry talks about that rather freely. A lot of interviews. Glenn actually said something he said. You have to have somebody in your corner who's really, really fight for you. They this guy, when he wanted something, he was going to get. Nothing's going to stop it. It took his charm. He turned on his charm. He took money. He'd use money if it took a ruthless approach. We had to use muscle and grit that he would do that, too.

Speaker You think that's a fair description? No. Tell me why. I think he had fun with everything he did. And that's why he did it. I think he did it because he wanted to do it.

Speaker And what is it he wanted to do? Whatever he felt like doing.

Speaker But as I don't know what he wanted to do. I know he did what he wanted to do, though, and he had to decide he wanted to do it. But I don't know the motivation.

Speaker I don't know necessarily that he made deals for the Eagles because he thought the Eagles were the best thing since Cam Beer came out or whether he thought that he was making the deals for the Eagles because he wanted to make the deal. And he won. He wanted to. To him, it may have been more like a move on a monopoly table. It might have been a gamble. It might have been some kind of manipulation.

Speaker It might have been some negotiation that you just wanted to do with somebody who you wanted to negotiate with, who he had, something that he could deal with. In the picture with that ambulance, with that guy. Or woman, whoever it was.

Speaker But I don't think it's. I don't agree with him being ruthless or being whatever he he needed to be to get it done.

Speaker I don't think that was it. I think he was just having a good time with it.

Speaker No matter how obscenely intense you seem to be about it at the end of the day, was laughing his ass off about this stuff, even if he was telling everybody else that he wasn't.

Speaker It was all part of the performance. You know, a performance artist. The art of the deal. Was his stage. It's not about those other things. He's a performer. He's like Charlie Chaplin. He's like one of those people. An artist.

Speaker That's a very interesting perspective and actually not one that I've heard in an. Journey.

Speaker Well, I think most people try to think and look at it was how is it related to them?

Speaker What he did for them and how much, you know, they benefited while he was there for them and everything was just.

Speaker I don't think that's a. I think it was about David's performance.

Speaker You know, I mean, you know, David, as David just has David. He's like a very unique artist and that he's like the Whodini managers. You know, you can't you know, it's just there. There are very few, you know, there weren't there. There aren't that many like him.

Speaker Can you think of a specific example of that? That particular story, not really just his life.

Speaker Well, he could be. He can be really tough on Jackson told us about one time he was standing in front of you, standing outside his office and he didn't. If David didn't notice there, he was yelling at somebody and he said, you know, if you don't Bob Jackson Browne, you'll never see Neil Young again. Jackson was like a schmuck. You know, he was he was a tough negotiator.

Speaker I don't buy it. You can't call it that. But he was playing his cards. He was acting.

Speaker He was saying he was doing what he knew he needed to do to get there and result, it wasn't a meaningful thing.

Speaker He wasn't talking about me and Jackson.

Speaker Who's talking about A and B? And the way the balance of the gold. You can have this, but you can't have that. If you take if you don't take this, you can have that. It's not about artists. You know, I don't think so. That's my perspective. You know, I don't know any more than anybody else. I just know differently.

Speaker And you were there, you observed you have your own.

Speaker I saw it up close. We saw it up close and personal.

Speaker Did you see them with Joel? Were you together together?

Speaker A little bit. You know, on and off. Yeah. I saw that was a ambience of what he was doing.

Speaker Do that, so I'm out that actually need this, but I'm just curious about your feeling about Jonie Song Frieman Paris. Did that speak to you in some way? Did that what? Did you find something tender in that?

Speaker Well, as I mull over the song in my in my head, you know, I knew first of all, I knew David loved that because the song was about David. And David had somehow that his life had had. They commingled with her life and that that that he was in her song. So was the guy with the you know, do you have to get out his cane? He was in the song, too. Was it a different song? Yeah, and, you know, it's just character in the song. You know, what's that song about the kid I could drink a case of, you'd still be on my feet.

Speaker That wasn't enough for a lot that that song.

Speaker That's two different songs, Casey. Casey. But the thing is, their songs and their characters in the songs, whoever they are, really doesn't matter.

Speaker But today, it made him feel good because he was actually in a song. I know that made him feel good to be in the song, to be in the music, to be in it. And so that that was cool thing because he you know, I'm sure he loved Joni and he and he loved being with Joni and working with Joni. And no, Joni was a great artist. But it was Elliott who found Joanie and got Joanie going. I mean, it was that that, you know, David was just. David was there. And David enjoyed being there. And David was a character. And he was you know, he was. You know, life is an open book that way. I mean, you know, he but he really was on a stage all the time.

Speaker I mean, you know, he's there. Yes. He has a lot of feelings. And he's an individual and he's a person and he's a friend and he's all those things.

Speaker But above all of that, he's a great artist.

Speaker He did reach a point in his life, which he talks about to me, that he he just felt like. He's given 300 percent of himself. Kind of like who's there for me?

Speaker And she said that's like it feels like when you go on a tour for two and a half years and you played every venue in the world and you just beat the hell out of yourself.

Speaker It's the same thing.

Speaker They need to take a step back.

Speaker Yes. Everybody has to realize and you get to that point where you've done it. You know, how many times can you do it over and over and over again?

Speaker The thing is, the art of the deal, you can still there's still deals to be made out there. And that's what that's what he still has that he's not using.

Speaker At least he may not be using it on the world stage like he was before. He may still be doing it and he may be doing it for, you know, for less fortunate people. And a quiet way.

Speaker You see the last part of the deal. How do you give it to Neil Young so that he can do all kinds of things with it?

Speaker It's obvious that's a dumb question. That's what you do. It's it's just, you know, give it somebody who still has really a lot of ideas.

Speaker I am going to put this idea definitely. You said.

Speaker So I don't think we need to talk about. And with so many people. David, how you were different, how you were, can you complement each other? I me. But I do know that you have had a very close, close, close, wonderful relationship with Elliot throughout 40 some years.

Speaker How are you? What are you talking about, Elliot? Oh, I. Oh yeah.

Speaker Now we've been we've been together for a really long time. Had a great time.

Speaker We're the best of friends and. I call them, like umpteen times a day to talk about nothing, just to keep the contact going.

Speaker Did you ever have that kind of relationship?

Speaker Not the same. No. But I'd call David. There was always a little different when he called David.

Speaker Dave and Elliott were partners for a while, you know? And then David just kept escalating and just kept going. Elliot's a manager. But, you know, and that's what he loved to do. He's dedicated his life to that so far. But but David was. So that's why he's an artist. That's why he obviously was an artist. Because at the stage didn't matter. He just kept changing elevations.

Speaker Do you have you had a good experience on the site, right?

Speaker I was on a.

Speaker You weren't on. So I did have a good experience.

Speaker You know your averages. I know that.

Speaker I know that. So what was your perception? How did the what did the artist say to you about. About David selling? So what was the reaction that people feel?

Speaker I don't know anything about it. So that wasn't just subject can make any difference. There was some offset.

Speaker Well, you know, he moved on. He was finished with asylum and the artist. You know, I got that. There you go. I have nothing to say about that. And the artists who got to take care of themselves, that's what David was doing. It's not like art. David is their mother.

Speaker Talk to you about it.

Speaker I mean, they were free to go wherever they wanted to go. As soon as their contract was out, they made a deal with a record company. They didn't make a deal with a person.

Speaker Well, they leave. Yes. Actually, many of them did.

Speaker They signed onto a small. Well, you know, they probably all did fine.

Speaker Yeah, yeah, it's just, you know, they didn't they didn't have David to talk to. Do you think they could still call him?

Speaker But it wasn't the same cause he really didn't have a stake in the game because he wasn't on that stage anymore, because he wasn't performing there.

Speaker Well, he was on a different stage, what was the new stage you think he chose?

Speaker Movies. Yeah, that was the next step up. You know, and after movies, what is it now as a world? World governments. Behind the scenes, world governments. I tried that for a while. Yeah, he still has a lot of influence in that. He had a lot of effort. Yeah. No, he does.

Speaker I mean, Obama, I think, benefited quite a bit from David.

Speaker I don't know about that.

Speaker Good, literate, and now it's time for everybody to benefit from Obama's actions.

Speaker Yes. Are you a fan, Obama fan?

Speaker Yes. Actually, you know, I think Obama is a great person and I think he has a high ideals when he wants to do so.

Speaker I be a fan of his. I think it's.

Speaker You know, I think the biggest the biggest problem that people see with him is that he doesn't live up to their expectations of taking of being an opportunist. He's not an opportunist. He doesn't take advantage of what people want to do. He doesn't. He doesn't. There's obvious things that he could do. That would be very aggressive. That anybody with any sense of cunning could do.

Speaker And he doesn't have that. He doesn't use it if he has it. It's below on. He's not playing on that field.

Speaker Flying on another ground. I don't know whether what it is, but most people don't understand it. But he's got a lot done. If you look at what he's done.

Speaker So, no, I wouldn't count them out. We don't have any.

Speaker Well, there's alternatives out there, but they're no good. We don't have any good alternatives.

Speaker We are in touch with David. When he was diagnosed with cancer. No. No, I wasn't. That whole experience you share with him. Not much now. So you can really talk about whether how that changes you or did not, you know.

Speaker No.

Speaker Anyway, when he came back, he realized he didn't have cancer and he. Didn't do all that well in the movie business, and he now realized he needed to.

Speaker To make a new stage.

Speaker What made you sign? Well, he did. Didn't go into the movie business after Geffen Records.

Speaker DreamWorks was after Geffen and Jeff. So all I think of DreamWorks is the music.

Speaker Later, he had a stint as an executive at Warner.

Speaker Oh, that was nothing. Yeah, that was it. That was a blip on the screen. That was enough. One day it just was the right time. He didn't have his rap down yet. Wasn't time for that? Oh, yes. He's not foolproof.

Speaker He's made mistakes. But, you know, in in the field of what he does. Yes. But there's pretty hard to pin down.

Speaker But that's one of.

Speaker Well, he wasn't even as he said, he never worked for anybody, he didn't know he was never a boy, he's never worked for anybody.

Speaker Just a story. What made you decide to side with Jeff?

Speaker You know, I think I was. I think Reprieves was just so you know, I felt like actually what it is, is only it was a mistaken conclusion that I came to that because I wasn't doing as well as I was doing before that. It was the record companies fault when actually it wasn't.

Speaker So that's why. And what were you hoping that.

Speaker Yes, whatever it was that we Prix's did when I was doing well.

Speaker Right. That's another mistake that I was thinking that I had something to do with them, has nothing to do with them.

Speaker So this is a time, musically, your experiment, I was veering into different things which I've done consistently throughout all of the record companies that I've been with, all two of them, and not in you know, I consistently do that. So there's nothing different about that.

Speaker That's just what I do.

Speaker Were you aware that David was having trouble with the company at that time? With which company? With Good Gethin that he had signed, you know, a bunch of artists to. Where the company was doing this in your lap?

Speaker Not really. I viewed Geffen Records, as you know, I viewed Geffen as a friend. I viewed Geffen Records as a collection of artists study that impressed him, much like his artist's collection, much like his art collection.

Speaker OK. Elton John did the mantelpiece. Everybody, everybody's up there. There are all these great artists. But they are you know, they're they're people. They're people. They have their ups and downs. You know, artists got artist like that. Picasso wasn't great. Every year. You know you know, there's still Picasso's, but there's periods, there's periods all artists cycle up and down. It's like waves on the sea. So it's the same thing. And it's just you can't.

Speaker So if you happen to buy an artist at a point where they're going on down a wave and then there's a huge trough and you're riding the trough with them.

Speaker I think any calls for change?

Speaker So obviously that's something that they artist for a long time.

Speaker So you must be pretty surprised if somebody is suing him or someone was suing him. So sue you.

Speaker Oh, that yeah, that was a surprise. But nah, you know, I didn't you know, I guess I was certainly not that surprised. But when it happened, I know I think I was not looking back on it. It was a surprise.

Speaker Actually, it was like one of the greatest.

Speaker It was like a windfall of a windfall of what can you call it, integrity.

Speaker It was a windfall of integrity on me for nothing.

Speaker Suddenly, I was sued for being myself, which made me myself. Which made everybody think, oh, God is so brave, you know. I mean, not everybody, but, you know, six or seven people who wrote about it. Never. You know, so that's that was, you know, my little moment of, wow, I have integrity, you know, because I'm sued for being an artist.

Speaker What do you think the lawsuit was about? Lawyers.

Speaker I think the lawsuit was about pissing contest between lawyers that didn't have anything to do with anything. Somebody my lawyer was a complete freak, just a complete. He would slow down molasses and make it more like a glacier. He would.

Speaker It's moving, but you have to really, really speed things up to watch it move. That's what he would do to a negotiation. So if we weren't getting what we wanted, my lawyer would do that. And David's lawyer had to deliver for David. So David's lawyer looked like a complete DIPP. Because he was, you know, trying to make snowballs out of a glacier. It wasn't working. And so, you know, fall out was in saw. And I'm just drawing a bunch of metaphors here because there's no real you know, I really it there was a distasteful experience, but it was a very good experience.

Speaker And as much as it gave me the motivation to do things even more than I would have done.

Speaker And then we had we had a president there at our record company who was also, you know, talking to the lawyers too much, trying to tell me what to do. It got all screwed up. It had nothing to do with David. I never had one conversation with David during the entire time that that happened.

Speaker Well, Davis said he's 72. He regrets it.

Speaker Well, I'm sure he does. You know, it didn't work. That's one of the other mistakes he made. There are very few of them. The fact that he did one with me, who was really good friend of his, that really blew his mind because I'm a friend, you know, like I'm always going to be his friend.

Speaker So and it's not because he went to bat for me because he liked one of my songs a long time ago and it didn't make any difference. And he was truly moved by it. And I liked his innocence about it. That's why. And because he was my friend and my friend's friend and we had a lot of fun together and it was fun. Everything we did was fun. Even that heartache, even the crying was like because we were so into it. So what's to lose? Nothing to lose. So he feels bad about it because he made a big mistake. But everybody makes mistakes. So, you know, like, it's a good thing. He's lucky he made a few mistakes because they're very rare. We've only been able to uncover two mistakes. Maybe you can done more in your research. If you have, you have to tell David. Don't tell me I don't want to know about them. But. But it's true. He is like, you know. That had nothing to do with David NIJ.

Speaker Except that you have said that he did. Take it personally.

Speaker I took it personally while he took it personally. Yeah, he took it personally. I think he did, because because. But but it wasn't me who took it personally upon himself that he'd made a mistake.

Speaker He had a bad night.

Speaker In front of a lot of people, it's like a bad performance. You know, Judy Garland had some awful performances and maybe she was drunk on her ass. But for whatever reason, the greatest artists of all time of all had bad nights. So this was a bad night. And he added, you know, and that's just and that's why he feels that's why he took it personally.

Speaker So you don't think that he that he actually in any way felt like. He needed. You to make more?

Speaker No, he really he needed anybody to do anything.

Speaker He needed the artists that he bought to perform up to their maximum where he thought they could get to. And unluckily for him, that never happened. Even though the artists were performing up to their maximum, delivering everything that they had, it wasn't what the public was looking for. So David was not. Successful.

Speaker In that respect and perhaps his mistake is not seeing that he was guiding artists through different periods and doing a good job of it. And he was more concerned with the fact that in the public eye that he seemed to be failing. But it wasn't because of anything else. It was because he had some bad lines on stage. He flubbed his opening. He flubbed his closing. He forgot the words. He really forgot what he was doing. And he screwed up. He was so full of. I'm great that he didn't think it through.

Speaker Which any great artist will do. Anybody that that goes through this is gonna is gonna make these ugly mistakes and then they never forget it. So, yeah, he took it personally, but not against me.

Speaker Not me, Neil.

Speaker The artist didn't perform, but he did performance. He didn't realize it.

Speaker Do you think the fact that he did file this lawsuit?

Speaker How do you think that affected his standing with other artists in the musical community?

Speaker I don't think it helped him. And that really hurt. Because, you know, he wanted to be. Who the guy that Jackson was talking about. He wanted to be the guy that Glen Frye was talking about. He wanted to be the hero to all these guys. And this was ugly.

Speaker Because he didn't see what he was doing. He made a big mistake in front of everybody.

Speaker He changed the way he did business as a record executive. He brought in our guys, stepped back. He, as he says, he he really wanted it to be less personal. He was ready for that kind of change. Also felt that he'd have something completely changed. Geffen Records went from being this far away from John. It was moving with its time.

Speaker Yeah, well, I should have been. I think when I went to government Eichmanns, I should have gone to asylum markets, but it was gone. You know, salamu didn't exist anymore. I needed a place to go. But I really I was wrong, too. I didn't need a place to go. I already had a place. They were taking care of me.

Speaker I was doing what I do. And it wasn't successful. And in a commercial way. And I didn't. That doesn't matter. That means nothing. That's one more step down the road every once in a while. Things are gonna work great and people are gonna love it. And fantastic. Everybody buys it. You're a great man. Couple of days later, you're you know, you've had it again, you know, and it just goes up and down. You can't worry about that.

Speaker It's all an accident. If you're truly doing what you want to do. Then you don't care about that. And if you're truly a manager managing somebody who wants to do an artist that that is truly creative, then you don't care either. You just want to make sure that each piece is is presented in a way that is apropos to that piece. You know, it got to be presented in a way that makes sense, that respects the piece for what it is, doesn't try to sell it as something it isn't. Kissing and and just respects it for what it is. Don't try to make everything, you know, be the same and be a big hit. That's not going to happen. Longevity doesn't work that way.

Speaker All right. I totally agree with you. And I think all of us need that. Well, they do when they need that safe place. Yeah, they can do that.

Speaker Listen, I can tell that you are getting anxious here, but.

Speaker How can you tell? What is it about me? I thought I was weird. I thought I was being very cool. I mean, I could feel my anxious looking at me. I'm getting antsy. What is I my needs changing? What's going on?

Speaker Try to get a little insight. Your boss told us that David once said he would rather die than fail. This falls in that camp. Do you think the fact that David tape was so intense in some ways, made it made life in this business or not?

Speaker I think you're saying the opposite actually wasn't he was having a good time. Then he had a slip like a lot of people.

Speaker That's what bothered him more than anything is the slurps. They were very he wasn't used to them. So they really bothered him. Those were the things that bothered them. I don't think any else have really bothered them. You know, he had relationships. He had you know, he was an artist. He was a very successful artist. Very creative. At the top of his game, ninety five percent of the time. But when he made a mistake, you know, it blew his mind.

Speaker So that's, you know, I think.

Speaker Just like anybody else. There's really no different. I don't think.

Speaker Except he was exceptionally great and he needed time to recover and think of his next move. His next move was that he really created a very different kind of record company. He was not that hands up.

Speaker That's when he really didn't even do that. That wasn't David. I was David leaving the record business.

Speaker Geffen Records and went on to become the most successful independent record company in history. Did David tell you?

Speaker I don't.

Speaker I don't think so. Yeah. No. There you go. That's better. That's better. What about Atlantic? What about Atlantic Records?

Speaker Yeah, well, that's OK.

Speaker OK. That's a different criteria. No Atlantic Records.

Speaker Now there's a successful recording company and Ahmed Ertegun. There is a success. There is an artist at the top with artists throughout the company scoring big, making a huge difference in American history. You can't say that about Geffen Records.

Speaker An point at a point in time, yeah.

Speaker Yeah, yeah. Now, that wasn't different markets. Is Dubarry put his name on it? That's the only thing that he put his name on that he shouldn't have. All the other things that he put his name on. He can be very proud of.

Speaker So very friendly with Nico, by the way, she has to say hello. Oh, great. Say hi to her for me and my great, great, good friends with film. Yeah, all of that for you is doing it. I really got to go.

Speaker And I love everybody. Yeah. It was the real deal.

Speaker So what's the difference when David like.

Speaker You know, there's no there's no comparison. They're two completely different animals. In what way? Ahmed was a music guy.

Speaker David was a performer. Two completely different people. Completely different.

Speaker You think they might have you look at the totality of David's work, that he's had a lasting impact on the culture?

Speaker Yes, absolutely. The art of the deal. He's had a lasting effect, he's legendary dealmaker. But really a performer. A performance artist, a performer and a deal as a performance. That's what it is. That's the whole thing. You could make a movie about David Geffen.

Speaker Where somebody played David Geffen making these deals and you'd see when you got finished with your movie that this was one great performance.

Speaker How do you take that which we all understand to be David's great strength and sort of.

Speaker Define that in terms of cultural impact.

Speaker I know them personally.

Speaker Well, that's because the cultural impact has to do with the music and David's impact had to do with the art of making the deals. So the cultural impact of a dealmaker is a different thing. And it's not nearly as romantic and as easy to get your wrap your arms around as the cultural impact of music.

Speaker It's kind of like the man behind the curtain making things happen.

Speaker Yeah, I like that. Why do you think people care about what David thinks? Why do so many people go to David Nazareth's?

Speaker Why does he have that?

Speaker It's interesting.

Speaker That's just interesting. He has like he always still has all of this knowledge about everybody involved, the way things work and who's walked and where they sit compared to who and what good, who's got what on who and who wants to be who and all of these interrelated, you know, like, I want this and I can't get that, but. So and so has this. And these are this is its strengths and this is the weaknesses. But if this guy over here and that guy you put them together, there's gonna be like fireworks with these two people over here. You put them together. It's going to be a success. All that stuff, he's got that dialed. That's why people want to talk to.

Speaker President's absolutely particular president, so I would hope that they would want to talk to him. If Gaffin had a job helping the government get itself straightened out. And put the different areas together and get things more and more in sync.

Speaker Then we'd probably be in better shape today as a country.

Speaker Yeah, that's still a lot for him to do. If he wanted to do it.

Speaker You know, he did try to buy the L.A. Times and then made some overtures to buy The New York Times, not because he wants to be a publisher and editor, but because he wants to say free press in America. But that was an extraordinary. Moment.

Speaker Well, you know, there's a better way to save the free press in America than trying to buying one of the big newspapers. It's the legislation and the laws. That's where he should be.

Speaker I think there was some talk about that. I can't tell where David.

Speaker He could be managing lawyers, but should be managing lawyers, should be managing lawyers for the United States government.

Speaker Can you imagine if David turned his attention to the depths of the financial crisis of.

Speaker I could be a very creative solution.

Speaker I'll bet you he started it.

Speaker I'm sure he does. You know, and not enough time on his boat.

Speaker I went there for Thanksgiving, give a funny story about David.

Speaker Well, they're all funny in specifics.

Speaker No, not really. His wife. It's just a big you know, it's all just a big. He had so much fun doing these things.

Speaker Even when he was crying and even when he was performing, that he was so upset and so pissed off and yelling and screaming and hanging up the phone and throwing things and yelling at people, I'll never talk to you again. I'll never. Then he hang up the phone and.

Speaker That worked. You know, I got that adjusted.

Speaker You know, but the emotion were just not there. Soon as he turned it off, you know. But it wasn't like he manipulated it. It just was natural. He knew how to perform. To get things done and to do it. That's the way I view him. I'm only one guy, but I don't think it has anything to do with me.

Speaker And I don't think that he saved my ass. I don't think he's saved any artist's ass. I don't think you know anybody.

Speaker A lot of people will think when they look at it from their perspective, it was very important to their success, but they were incidental.

Speaker They just happened to be there when he was doing what he did. And they played their parts. So, you know, we all have our parts to play. Know? I just I I think is a real character and a real artist. And he's the kind of performance artist.

Speaker You going to make a move because you're a filmmaker if you can make a movie that day. Just started.

Speaker Where I started, I started in the mailroom. William was.

Speaker First day at work.

Speaker Who the hell is that kid? What is he doing? What did he say?

Speaker Scheming.

Speaker What a mixer. You know, unbelievable. But still, everything's fine. No problem, nobody got upset. Who is that guy? Let's get him up here. Now, let's talk to him. Let's put him here.

Speaker We'll do something for us here. And then finally, he was saying, those guys that hired me, they were good guys. Let's use them for this. You know, suddenly he's on top and then he's on top of that and he's on top of that, and it's just like a stairway easily from one step to another to get to the top or as close to the top. And he lost interest in the top. He had so much success, he lost interest.

Speaker Know, when you first see that, did you see that that was that?

Speaker No, I had no idea. Are you kidding? I had no idea of anything. I was like, what, 22, 23 years old. I had no idea what I was going. He was an interesting character. I heard what Crosby and Nash said about him. And it's always struck me.

Speaker I didn't I didn't I didn't I didn't relate to the to that whole thing.

Speaker He's a genius. He's a hero. He's a he can do this. He's magic. He does all this. It's just, you know, it's just the guy is interesting to watch. He's in the right place at the right time.

Speaker But you didn't see it. You could say, oh, that's better.

Speaker I didn't care. Did it make any difference to me? I was writing after the gold rush. I think it should. I didn't care. I was doing what I do not. And, you know, I that's what I did.

Speaker I didn't have a perspective on that on anybody else. And thank God.

Speaker Well, you know, I was just doing what I did.

Speaker You know, whatever it's worth. They're just David getting in three words. What would they be?

Speaker Three words for David Geffen.

Speaker In the sky. That's David Geffen.

Neil Young
Interview Date:
2011-11-29
Runtime:
0:51:06
Keywords:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-w950g3hv6f, cpb-aacip-504-f76639kt51
MLA CITATIONS:
"Neil Young, Inventing David Geffen." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 29 Nov. 2011, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/709
APA CITATIONS:
(2011, November 29). Neil Young, Inventing David Geffen. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/709
CHICAGO CITATIONS:
"Neil Young, Inventing David Geffen." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). November 29, 2011. Accessed February 27, 2021 https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/709