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09 January 2023

Neil Young Talks Early TV Appearances On Conan O’Brien’s Radio Show

Neil Young Crazy Horse Album Barn
Photo: SOPA Images Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
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Neil Young has given a new interview to Conan O’Brien’s radio show, which aired on the Team Coco SiriusXM channel.

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During the lengthy chat, Young — who has been a frequent guest on O’Brien’s late-night talk shows — talked about a range of subjects, including his early TV appearances. One of those was Buffalo Springfield’s slot on a 1967 episode of the CBS show Mannix: “Our managers thought this was a great opportunity to move into television,” Young noted. “I don’t think we even looked at it. We just kept going.”

Young went on to discuss his 1971 performance on The Johnny Cash Show. “You gotta realize, I’m 23 years old, and I’m going on a television show,” Young said. “I was petrified. I was thinking about the song I was going to sing and whether I was going to screw up or not. That’s all I thought about. I don’t really remember much else about it.”

The singer-songwriter also talked about his Saturday Night Live musical guest stint in 1989, when O’Brien was a staff writer on the show. “Lorne Michaels has a saying that ‘television is the worst way to experience music,’” Young said. “I think he’s usually right, except something happened that night. It was transcendent and punched through the television. I’m on the floor at 8-H. I’m a kid. I’m in my twenties. I’m watching you do that. The place, you just melted it. I think there was structural damage to 30 Rock. It’s never been quite repaired.”

Young had a busy 2022. He continued to share archival material, and marked the 50th anniversary of Harvest at the end of the year with a box set celebrating the classic album. He also finally issued Toast, an album he recorded with Crazy Horse in 2001, and released an all-new album, World Record, with Crazy Horse in October.

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