Neil Young Remembers Elliot Roberts: ‘Greatest Manager of All Time’

Neil Young remembered his longtime manager Elliot Roberts, “the greatest manager of all time” and “my friend for over 50 years,” in a tribute the rocker penned on his Neil Young Archives site. Roberts, who also managed artists like Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, died Friday at the age of 76.

“Never one to think of himself, he puts everyone else first. That’s what he did for me for over fifty years of friendship, love and laughter, managing my life, protecting our art in the business of music. That’s what he did,” Young wrote.

“When it came to our business, Elliot guided me through every move. We talked every day. Often I would call him multiple times in a day, arguing, discussing, planning and sharing. He was there for me and protected my music with a fierceness. He loved music and managed over the years many greats: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, David Blue, Tracy Chapman, Tegan and Sara, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Tom Petty, the Eagles, among others.”


After working alongside David Geffen at William Morris Agency, Roberts established his Lookout Management in the Sixties after hearing a tape of Joni Mitchell. Roberts, then only 23, began managing Young in 1969 and, soon after, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Roberts’ working relationship with Young spanned 50 years, from the breakup of Buffalo Springfield to his death Friday.

“Because I tend to avoid the confrontations and delivering bad news, I am not good at doing any of that,” Young wrote in his first memoir, Waging Heavy Peace. “Elliot is. He knows how to communicate where I don’t … Just as I wake up every day with a new idea, he wakes up every day with a new approach to solving the problems that arise with the projects I am already immersed in. There are a lot of them. This is our pattern.”

“All the words in the world could not express my love and thanks to Elliot Rabinowitz and his family, who adored him. He was there for all of us,” Young continued on the Neil Young Archives Saturday.

“Elliot love making deals for all of us, saving our publishing rights, ensuring we were treated well, helping book our concerts, as well as booking the Bridge Concert with Marsha Vlasic from the very beginning for over 30 years. He made it happen. This world is forever changed for me, for all who knew him and loved him. His memory shines with love.”

Young’s CSNY band mates Stephen Stills and Graham Nash also previously paid tribute to Roberts following his death Friday.

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