Neil Young was supposed to have a cameo appearance in Almost Famous, according to the film’s director and writer Cameron Crowe.
The cult classic, which tells the story of a young music journalist who has been sent out on his first assignment for Rolling Stone, is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month. In a reflective mood, director Crowe has been speaking in-depth about the film.
Fittingly, in conversation with Rolling Stone, Crowe explained how Young was due to play Harry Hammond in the film who is the estranged father of lead character Russell Hammond. “Neil was going to come backstage in Cleveland with a young wife,” he said.
“They’re complimenting the show, but the young bride is looking at Crudup and he’s looking at her; and he realises that the father is being played and is piggybacking on his [son’s] success. It’s a heartbreaking moment about what success does to an estranged parent.”
Adding: “It was a cool little scene. Betsy [Heimann] had outfitted Neil Young, and he had his clothes and everything and cancelled the morning of. But he was first in line to give us the acoustic ‘Cortez The Killer’, and he went through his archives to find the perfect take and mixed it and gave it to us. So he giveth and he taketh,” Crowe added.
What could have been, eh?