The David Susskind Show

In what was no doubt one of Neil’s most unusual TV appearances, he was a guest on David Susskind’s public affairs talk show. I saw the show on a Saturday in January 1969, probably January 4 or January 11. I had read in a newspaper that this show had been made, so I was tuning in to the Susskind show every week to look for Neil’s appearance. The show had been taped several weeks earlier, probably in late 1968.

David Susskind interviewed several rock and pop musicians on their views of the issues of the day, including drug use. I’m sure that Neil said that he was opposed to drug use, while some of the other musicians may have been less opposed to it. I’m trying to remember who else was on the show. The only one I can think of is Steve Katz, the guitarist for the group Blood, Sweat, and Tears. One of the participants pointed out that all of the guests were white, and Susskind said that a black singer named Richie Havens was also supposed to be on but couldn’t make it because he was ill. Although no one commented on this, I believe that all of the participants were also male.

A similar roundtable of musicians, also including Neil, participated in a discussion that was printed in “Seventeen” magazine at the time.

— Regina Litman