New Phil Ochs Interview From 1973 Released To Celebrate His 75th Birthday

My name is Vic Sadot. It was in 1967 or 1968 when I was a student at the University of Delaware that I first heard of Phil Ochs. The campus debates led by SDS and the new wave of songs of the “folk revival” made historic sense and turned most of us against the war in Vietnam. Phil’s songs were the most incisive and insightful of them all. I got a social work job in the Washington, DC schools by day, and I volunteered at the Mobilization Against the War and at WGTB, Georgetown University student radio at nights and on weekends. In the first weeks of May 1973 WGTB’s Skip Pizzi and Rich Lang told me that they needed someone to interview a folk singer named Phil Ochs, who was coming to DC to do a week long engagement at The Cellar Door. I jumped at that, saying, “I love that guy! I know all of his work! I would love to have that honor.” I was 25 years old. I soon found myself meeting my hero in The Cellar Door kitchen in the back. Phil had just arrived in town and he said that he had not yet made arrangements for a place to stay. I offered him the option of staying in my apartment and saving his money for other things. He asked, “What did I do to deserve that?” I said, “Phil, you told the truth better than I have ever heard anyone tell it.” That way I got to spend time with Phil. In the short interview Phil Ochs talked about Nixon, Watergate, his TV appearance the day before, and his travels in South America. I lost the “Interface” show reel-to-reel tape when I moved back to Delaware in 1974. I never found it again until I was sorting through things to move to Berkeley, California in 2008. I was excited! I took the reel to Steven Leech and David Mackenzie at WVUD, the University of Delaware student station where I had been a folk DJ for over the years. They digitilized the 28 minute interview, and preserved it for me. It was only a few days ago that I thought of trying to bring that old tape alive by putting visuals over the sound track as a tribute to Phil’s 75th birthday coming up on Dec 19th. You can now hear the interview on my Vic Sadot YouTube or Truth Troubadour YouTube Channels. Sadly, I never saw Phil or talked with him again. Phil Ochs was the best anti-war and social commentary singer in the USA during his era. He fundamentally influenced my view of the world and my own efforts at being a topical songwriter to the point where I and my brother Joe Sadot (RIP 1978) submitted songs and got them published in the pages of “Broadside: The National Topical Song Magazine”. In 1977 I wrote a tribute song for Phil Ochs called “Broadside Balladeer”. Even later, I helped Sis Cunningham and Gordon Friesen put out issues of Broadside. In 1982 I was assigned to break the cover story on the 400 plus pages of “Phil Ochs FBI File” that Gordon had been sent using the Freedom of Information Act. I visited Phil’s sister, Sonny Ochs, in Far Rockaway to confirm that it was in fact a suicide, and she provided an excellent photo for us to use on the cover of Broadside. Phil Ochs deserves all manner of respectful tributes and recognition today. It’s wonderful to see that happening! Vic Sadot

“Phil Ochs May 1973 Interview by Vic Sadot & Rich Lang” (30:10) Truth Troubadour YouTube Channel.

Phil Ochs 1973 Interview on Nixon, Watergate, & Travels in S. America (30:10) Vic Sadot Broadside Balladeer YouTube Channel.

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