Welcome to the Archives

This is my personal collection of classic interviews, favorite photos, and memorable moments in radio history. With over forty years on-the-air at WNEW-FM, WFUV and SiriusXM I’ve worked with an amazing group of musicians, artists and friends.

Take a look around, listen in and come back again to see what we’ve added.

Audio & video archives below. If you're interested in pictures only, click here to view the Gallery.

For more information regarding the complete interviews and/or use of the materials please contact archives@denniselsas.com

Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets is a live multimedia presentation of the archives. Click here for a preview and details on our next show.

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The Who – Pete Townshend

Dennis Elsas with Pete Townshend

Dennis Elsas with Pete Townshend

Meeting Pete Townshend in the 1970’s, I was pleasantly surprised when he told me he often listened to my nighttime show.  I wondered how that was possible, as he was living in England at the time. Pete explained that he had tapes of WNEW-FM sent to him regularly and that he often listened to my show while driving his daughter to school.

Being a huge Who fan, that was a great image to enjoy.

We’ve met up again several times since then and it was on his June 16, 1993 visit to promote his solo project Psychoderelict that he recalled his first NY appearance and the secret behind all those smashed guitars.

Ringo Starr

Dennis Elsas with Ringo starr

Dennis Elsas with Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr has just released his 20th solo studio album What’s My Name following a very successful 30th anniversary tour with his band The All Starrs. In October the Beatles classic album Abbey Road was reissued with a brand new 2019 mix crafted by Giles Martin, son of original Beatles producer George Martin.

The new package also contained bonus material of previously unreleased alternate session takes. I’ve spoken with Ringo several times over the years and it was great to talk with him again just recently to get his perspective on all of it, including his cover of John Lennon’s “Grow Old with Me” featuring Paul McCartney on bass.

Elvis Costello

Dennis Elsas with Elvis Costello

Dennis Elsas with Elvis Costello

When Elvis Costello visited with me at WFUV in April 2002, it was the day before the official release of his then latest album When I Was Cruel. It was already the nineteenth album of his career that began in the mid 1970’s; and in the years since he’s released six more.

In addition to his own work, he’s also participated in numerous other collaborative efforts and was commissioned to compose an opera and a ballet. He’s hosted a critically acclaimed television music interview show “Spectacle” and continued to tour extensively. His 2015 memoir Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink offers almost seven hundred pages discussing many of these subjects, and is a thoughtful perspective on his career. In this interview we talked about his return to an earlier “sound,” while still moving ever forward in exploring different stylistic approaches. He was charming and witty and related how appearing in a brief cameo in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” provided a new opportunity to attract fans.

Patti Smith

Dennis Elsas and Patti Smith

Dennis Elsas and Patti Smith

The first time I ever heard a Patti Smith record I didn’t know what to make of it. It was her cover of Van Morrison’s “Gloria”, a favorite AM hit of mine from the mid-60’s by the Chicago band The Shadows of Knight. Patti’s version was not just different, it was startling – mixing spoken word, religious references and her distinctive voice with a rock‘n’roll backbeat. When Arista Records released her debut album Horses in 1975 they asked me to provide the voice-over for the radio commercial that was aimed at letting the audience know just what this new artist was all about.. Almost 20 years later I got to ask Patti to explain it all to me when she came to WFUV for a live performance with her band to promote her then new album Trampin’. Here’s the original commercial from 1975 followed by highlights from my interview and her performance in 2004.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Graham Nash

Dennis with Graham Nash

Dennis with Graham Nash

I didn’t realize that I was listening to Graham Nash when I first heard his voice coming out of my AM radio as part of The Hollies.

It was the mid 1960’s and his group was yet another one of those hit-making English bands that was part of the British Invasion. Their songs, including “Bus Stop,” “Look Through Any Window,” and “On a Carousel” stood out with their soaring harmonies and crisp production. However, just a few years later in 1969, I would become very familiar with Graham’s name as he joined with David Crosby and Stephen Stills to create an amazing debut album – Crosby, Stills and Nash. Its unique sound from a magical blend of voices and a diverse collection of original songs helped to define the new FM radio sensibilty and the beginnings of a musical genre.

Graham and his mates were joined within a year by Neil Young and over the next forty years they would continue to perform, record, break-up, and re-unite as a quartet, trio, duo, or solo act. Embracing political activism and making social commentary became an important part of their musical statement, but their songs never lost their universal appeal and timeless quality. Though each of the group’s members created a separate and strong individual profile, a CSNY identity remained and it was Graham that made sure they never drifted too far apart.

I sat down with Graham Nash in the summer of 2014 just shortly after he had overseen the production and release of CSNY 1974 – a beautiful audio/visual collection capturing the band during one of their most memorable tours. He had also recently completed his fascinating autobiography “Wild Tales” chronicling his historic musical and personal journey. We covered a lot of ground and began our conversation with the opening of his book.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

David Crosby

Dennis Elsas with David Crosby

Dennis Elsas and David Crosby

I sat down with David Crosby in early May 2015 during the final week of a spring tour with long-time band-mates Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. He was preparing to go out on a strictly solo tour: “no band” as he explained to me. It would be just him and his guitar without the “safety net” of CSN.

I had just seen Crosby Stills and Nash (CSN) a few nights earlier at a beautiful venue, the recently restored Kings Theatre in Brooklyn.  The group was in top form, and the audience totally engaged. David was very enthusiastic about how it had all unfolded.

We had a great conversation touching on a myriad of subjects including the legacy of CSN and their fans, the recent controversy centered on David’s criticism of long time bandmate Neil Young’s girlfriend, his positive feelings about his time in The Byrds and his relationship with Roger McGuinn, and how pleased he was with his most recent solo album Croz.   He was even quite open about giving up pot (at least for the time being) to meet the challenge of writing more new songs over the last few months as “the creative muse” was consistently paying him a visit.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Crosby, Stills and Nash

Crosby, Still & Nash


These days it’s seems unlikely that we’ll ever see another CSN or CSNY reunion or album. Longtime friends David Crosby and Graham Nash haven’t spoken to each other since 2016 and Crosby and Neil Young had a falling out several years before that.

However back in 2009 CSN were talking about doing their first “covers” album with premiere producer Rick Rubin. I asked them about it on Oct 29th, 2009 backstage at the first night of the two-night 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert at Madison Square Garden.

It turns out they plan on recording songs by everyone from Dylan to the Dead to the Stones.

Click on the video below to see them tell me all the details.

In early January 2o11 CSN announced they had parted ways with Rick Rubin (and Columbia Records) having grown impatient waiting for him to finish other projects and resume work with them. When I spoke with David Crosby in May 2015 he said it was still a possibility that they might release some of the songs they have since recorded, including a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country”.

I wonder if we’ll hear any of those recordings.

Related Archives:
David Crosby & Graham Nash

Joni Mitchell



For the generation that came of age during the emergence of the folk-rock singer-songwriters, Joni Mitchell has always been one of the most influential and admired performers. With legendary songs like “The Circle Game” and “Woodstock”, defining albums including Clouds, Blue, and Ladies of the Canyon, and genre breaking excursions into jazz and beyond, Joni has never stopped evolving as an artist.

We spoke in the fall of 1985 as she was promoting her latest album Dog Eat Dog. She was gracious and open and happily receptive to my questions regarding some earlier Joni classics including “Both Sides Now” and an obvious DJ favorite about the radio

Paul Simon

Dennis Elsas with Paul Simon

Dennis Elsas with Paul Simon

As a student at Queens College in the mid 1960’s, I started to hear rumors that one half of a new folk rock duo that was getting airplay, was a recent graduate of our school. The alum was Paul Simon who along with his partner, Art Garfunkel, had grown up in nearby Forest Hills and would soon become known worldwide.  By the time they split up in the early 70’s, I was on-the-air at WNEW-FM and introducing their solo projects to my listeners.  Paul especially was trying out new musical genres and he was my in-studio guest on September 8, 1986 to discuss his latest project, the groundbreaking album Graceland.

Seventeen years (and one day) later on September 9, 2003, Simon and Garfunkel announced their long awaited reunion.  It was called the Old Friends tour, based on a song title that was part of their classic Bookends album.  I arranged for a live radio broadcast of the event over WFUV live from The Bottom Line club and here are highlights from that press conference and performance.

Click here to listen to the full audio.

Ronnie Spector

Dennis Elsas with Ronnie Spector

Dennis Elsas with Ronnie Spector

She had that unmistakable voice and pioneered a rock ‘n’ roll style and look all her own.

Veronica Bennett burst onto the pop music scene in 1963 with one of the greatest pop records of all time, “Be My Baby.” As the lead singer of the Ronettes and a cornerstone of producer Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” their music leaped out of your transistor radio with hits like “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain.” She married Phil in 1968 and officially took the name Ronnie Spector, but that union almost ended her career because of Phil’s strange and often violent behavior.

Eventually she got out of the marriage and slowly made her way back to performing and recording. The 1980’s found her working with Bruce Springsteen, “Little Steven” Van Zandt, Southside Johnny and many other industry admirers. Her hard work cumulated in 1986 with the Top 5 hit “Take Me Home Tonight” – a duet with Eddie Money- which re-introduced her to a loving audience. She recently created a multi-media show “Beyond the Beehive” to tell her own story in words and music and vintage memories.

When we talked in December 2010 she was just beginning to plan that new show and told me of her earliest influence, Frankie Lymon. I finally had the opportunity to tell her how much the Ronettes appearance in an early 1960’s Murray the K holiday concert had meant to me as part of the experience of attending my first live Rock ‘N’ Roll show.