A Man and His Music

A Man and His Music (10-28-75)

Neil: ??? New York was a good place to have those kind of dreams because it was a very exciting city. You were always exposed to life. The raw ends of it were always near you …ambulances going by and police and people and children and …it was there. All of life was within a few blocks and so it was very important. I feel it was very good, but I did dream about the mountains and trees and things like that.

Play: ” I Am…I Said”

Neil: I don’t know. I didn’t really have any ambitions until I realized I was a songwriter and then the only ambition I had then was to write.

Neil: ??? established and unchangeable. I think that…more than anything else…my desire to establish my own thing…whatever that turns out to be (in retrospect) and do it apart from everybody else had a tremendous impetus on what I’ve done.

Play: “Be”

Neil: Entertainers and performers and artists make a contribution in the work that they do and they go through a lot of changes and they pay a lot of dues in order to be able to do that and I think they all make a contribution in one way or another and in varying degrees of quantity and quality, but it is a contribution and I value it. I think life is important with it. It would be terrible to live without it. So I have to be grateful to the people who more me…who entertain me…and effect me and it is a gift that they give because they have a gift and I’m appreciative. I mean I’m really appreciative. That’s where it’s at.

Play: “Play Me”

Neil: For anything which I started with I guess I wanted to be a singer, too. I liked singing. I started singing when I was a kid in school.

Announcer: We’ll resume with the K-Earth Special of the Month in just one minute.

Neil: Money happens to be an outgrowth of it and you’d have to be a fool to turn down the best deal that someone can offer you. We’re not stupid just because we’re artists. At least somebody will tap us on the shoulder and say that guy’s going to pay you more to make the same music that you’re going to make anyway. Do it with them. You see what I’m saying? He doesn’t do it. His name is out there, and no artist who cares about anything that he does is gonna let the money take the precedence. If the company he made a deal for that money didn’t say, “Listen, we’ll pay you this much money, but you do what we tell you. You make the music we want. Then you write.” That wasn’t what the deal was. You just took the best offer, I guess, and so would anyone else. The point is…and the question is…does he or the other artists or any artist that you see have any self respect? Do they care about what they do? Do they give it their best shot? Are they serious about their work? Do they offer something to people? That’s really what the question is.

Play: “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”

Neil: I wrote a song which…ooh, it was something special. I knew it was something special. It struck a very sympathetic chord inside. I finished it and really loved it and I got together with some people who were record producers who knew how to make records. That was Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. We went into the studio and recorded that and two other songs that I had written off the excitement of the first one. The first song was called “Solitary Man” and I loved it so much that I had to record it.

Play: “Solitary Man”

Neil: The other song on that session was a song called “Cherry, Cherry.” While I was so excited about “Solitary Man,” I wrote “Cherry, Cherry.” I was a real happy ???

Play: “Cherry, Cherry”

Neil: Some of my strongest songs, most powerful songs, are songs that are related to me, and yet they’re universal things ??? of my identity. “I Am…Said” is the quest of some kind of truth in yourself which is ??? These songs and “Brooklyn Roads” and maybe a couple of others stick out, but they’re not all personal. They all reflect my feelings, but not necessarily my personal life or … they’re just true to my feelings.

Play: “Thank The Lord For The Night Time”

Neil: Love and tap dancing are two favorite things.

Announcer: The K-Earth …

Neil: People who listen to my music know me. There’s no question about it. That’s one of the great things that I come to concerts with because when I come in front of an audience, I know that they know me already. I don’t have to teach them anything about me. I don’t have to prove anything to them. They know me and they’re there because they accept me for what I am and it’s a tremendous burden off my shoulders because then I can just be what I am.

Play: “Song Sung Blue”

Neil: Over the last seven years there have been enormous trends…all kinds of things…The Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, you know. But I’ve done my thing through that only because it’s the way that’s right for me. It’s comfortable for me. It’s the way that I want to go.

Play: “Holly Holy”

Neil: I’m beginning to understand what my responsibility is. I’m beginning to believe, that …hey, maybe I have a small contribution to make and I want to do it.

Announcer: More of the K-Earth Special …

Neil: Work and be happy…whatever happens, whatever I have. With what little I have and what great I have. Happy inside as a person. Then whatever happens, it’ll be fine.

Play: “Sweet Caroline”

Neil: When I stopped doing concerts, I wanted to take some time out to do some serious musical study…only because of the extended things that I wanted to get into and I wanted to get involved in. It required more technical knowledge than you need for the transcribing of a song which is the basic melody. What happened was that I got involved in this Jonathan Seagull thing very shortly after I returned from the Winter Garden Theatre when I finished the concerts. I hadn’t planned on that. I planned for a year off or two years off and studying. I got involved in this thing and I wanted to do it. And so I had to postpone that. This year I expect that I’ll get involved in some of that, but really most of all I want to be by myself. I have the feeling that when I get to be about fifty years old I’m going to take four years off my life…go some where and study…only because I enjoy it. It’s not necessary now for the things that I’m doing.

Play: “Soolaimon”

Neil: I perform for one person. The television audience is one person. The theatre audience is one person. The person listening to the record is one person. So it doesn’t matter, really, one way or the other. It’s still one person that I’m performing for.

Play: “Kentucky Woman”

Neil: Music is an expansion of myself. And so what I feel comes out in the form of music.

Announcer: The K-Earth Special of the Month continues in sixty seconds.

Neil: I can’t make that statement as to what I want to present. Listen to the music and you’ll know. It’s there!

Play: “Stones”

Neil: Mostly I’m concerned with exploring myself as a person, growing as a person, and contributing what I want to contribute and can contribute, and enjoying myself.

Play: “He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother”

Neil: When the time runs out that I don’t have any need to write any more or perform or do any of that kind of fun stuff…cuts off.

Does anyone have the rest of this special????

E-mail me at iais@comcast.net. THANKS!

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