Howard Smith, The Smith Tapes,
The Smith Tapes-Collection 2: Aquarian Theatre
John Lennon and Yoko Ono-December 17th 1969
Interviewed at legendary rockabilly musician Ronnie Hawkins' ranch outside Toronto, the couple details their new campaign for peace. They the Beatles' break up, Woodstock and falling in love. Just two days prior, posters had been put up in twelve cities around the world bearing the enduring, simple message, "WAR IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT Happy Christmas from John & Yoko."
Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda-June 1969
Following the release of Easy Rider, at Cannes Film Festival, Hopper and Fonda give their first American interview. Two weeks later, the film would open in theaters across the country to massive critical acclaim, receiving two Academy Award nominations, and eventually becoming the third highest grossing film of 1969.
Jim Morrison-November 6, 1969
Nearing the release of their fifth album, the Doors were at a difficult junction in their career. Morrison's drug abuse was threatening the band's survival. Promoters were canceling their tour dates following the lead singer's fractious tirade at a concert in Miami intended to kick off a major US tour that had resulted in arrest warrants and charges of indecent exposure. Morrison discusses performing and recording music, money, his sex symbol past, and attempts to avoid the issue of his court date, imminently looming three days after the interview.
Arlo Guthrie-August 1969
Though he was only 22 years of age, Guthrie had already released three albums, and had solidified his position as a staple of the East Coast folk scene. "Alice's Restaurant," the title track of his first album was a huge hit, but at 18 minutes long, it could not be released as a single. Earlier that year, however, Guthrie had starred in a film based off the song, which was soon to be released, and would propel the songwriter to mainstream success.
Jane Fonda-May 1969
After living in Europe for years with her husband Roger Vadim, Fonda had returned to the states to star in the film They Shoot Horses, Don't They? for which production had just wrapped. Smith meets Fonda at her father's Manhattan townhouse at a turning point in her career, as she is moving to sophisticate her image and will later that year be nominated for an Academy Award.
James Rado and Gerome Ragni-September 2nd, 1969
Rado and Ragni, writers of the iconic musical "HAIR," had worked fervently to move their show to Broadway. "HAIR" had been met with controversy for its anti-establishment themes, and infamous nude scene, but the pair had managed to find a theater, the Biltmore, that would stage the show. They discuss their plans for the musical, which has become a sensation, and would go down as the ultimate representation of the times.
Dick Gregory-November 24, 1969
Famous for both his stand-up comedy and his political lecture tours, Gregory had recently run, unsuccessfully, for President of the United States. He had since returned to comedy, recording the album, "Dick Gregory, The Light Side: The Dark Side." He discusses the societal problems facing the country with Smith, days before a performance at Carnegie Hall.