Jonathan Demme was one of the great music movie directors of all time.
Demme, who died on Wednesday after a long struggle with cancer at 73, had several music memorable documentaries to his name. The list started with the Talking Heads classic Stop Making Sense (1984), but also includes three Neil Young movies, Storefront Hitchcock (1998) about eccentric British songwriter Robyn Hitchcock — who also appeared in Demme's remake of The Manchurian Candidate (1994) and Rachel Getting Married (1998) — and Justin Timberlake + the Tennesseee Kids (2016), essentially a tour documentary from last year.
Demme also imaginatively directed the Spalding Gray 1987 performance film Swimming To Cambodia, as well as lots of music videos, including Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" in 1985 and the Little Steven-organized Artists United Against Apartheid's "Sun City" that same year. And his feature films, from Something Wild to The Truth About Charlie, typically had great, creative soundtracks.
The second of Demme's Young movies, Neil Young Trunk Show, was filmed over the course of two shows at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby in 2007, returning to the city where the director made Philadelphia and Beloved in the 1990s.
In 2010, I interviewed Demme when Neil Young Trunk Show was released, just three years after he shot Neil Young: Heart Of Gold in Nashville. An edited version of that conversation is below: