Neil Young Remembers Elliot Roberts as His ‘Best Friend’ and the ‘Greatest Manager of All Time’

Stephen Stills says late music manger’s “greatest gift was his soulful, open heart”

Last Updated: June 23, 2019 @ 1:16 PM

Tributes have begun to pour in for legendary music manager Elliot Roberts, who died Friday, with Neil Young calling him his “best friend” and the “greatest manger of all time.”

“My friend for over 50 years, Elliot Roberts, has passed away. We are all heartbroken, but want to share what a great human being Elliot has been,” Young wrote in a lengthy post on his website Saturday. “Never one to think about himself, he put 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.”

Roberts shepherded the careers of iconic artists including Young and Joni Mitchell, and became one of the most influential artist managers in music history. His cause of death has not been released.

“He was devoted to each of his kids from the very beginning,” Young said of Roberts, who was 76 at the time of his death. “He would fly half way around the world just to see his family for one day. That’s just the way he loved them. He was so happy with his soul-mate Dana. No matter where I was in the world, no matter his other obligations, he was always by the side of the stage as much as he could be.”

He continued: “Elliot was the funniest human being on earth with his uncanny wit and a heart filled with love. You never knew what he was going to say, but almost always a laugh was coming. Elliot never thought of himself, always someone else. He was my best friend in the world for so many years, and he was so happy for me and the life I had found.”

Young wasn’t the only one who put out a statement honoring “the greatest manager of all time.” Stephen Stills said that Roberts’ “greatest gift was his soulful, open heart.”

“Elliot Roberts was the probably the kindest, gentlest, and far and away the funniest man I ever worked with in show business. He was also tough as a barbed wire fence, fiercely loyal and keenly observant; guarding the best interests of his clients with uncommon tenacity and skill,” Stills said in a statement.

“But his greatest gift was his soulful, open heart. No doubt it was the source of his sensitivity and singular understanding of the courageous honesty with which a great artist willingly reveals their soul and transports us. He allowed himself to feel the vulnerability of being fully immersed in the moment, yet oddly untethered. It is a profound experience and not easily undertaken. I have seen him do it, and felt him with me, swimming in the ether.”

“Elliot Roberts possessed a unique ability to recognize a great artist when he saw one,” Stills continued. “His natural empathy was perfectly suited for his emergence as an enormously impactful personal manager to a collection of the most legendary artists of our time. I am honored to have been his friend, forever grateful that he chose to represent me. I truly loved Elliot Roberts and shall miss him beyond measure.”

Graham Nash remembered Roberts as “a funny, brilliant friend and devoted manager.”

“His life touched many people, and he brought forth the best in people,” Nash said in a statement. “He was the glue that kept CSNY together in our early years and I will certainly miss him with sadness in my heart.”

Among the others paying their respects are Slash, Flea and Jason Isbell.

The Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip also paid tribute. Elliot was one of the original partners in the club when it opened in the early ’70s.

Roxy Elliot Roberts

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