Joe Smith’s Recorded Interviews with Music Icons Featured on Library of Congress Website
Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones' outlaw image:
"I think there was a lot of time wasted with this band with all that image stuff. And eventually, of course, I think it contributed to Brian (Jones) cracking up completely and to a certain extent Keith (Richards) becoming a junkie."
Mick Jagger on The Beatles' early influence:
"Both Keith and Brian were very much influenced by The Beatles – everyone was at that
point. I must say I don't think I was as much as they were. One envied their success, but I never really liked their music as much."
Yoko Ono on the breakup of The Beatles:
"Paul was the only one trying to hold The Beatles together. But, then again, the other three felt that Paul was trying to hold The Beatles together as HIS band. They were getting to be like Paul's band, which they didn't like….There was an incredible period of unpleasantness for John, so he was in fact delighted that he was out of it."
Yoko Ono on the possibility of a Beatles reunion:
"John's feeling was that there was such a myth about The Beatles, and if they did get back together again it wouldn't have been the same."
Tony Bennett on Louis Armstrong:
"He invented jazz. He invented the whole art of popular music. He actually invented it. … He was the fountainhead. There isn't any note or anything in popular music that's ever been done that Louis Armstrong didn't do before anybody else. He did everything."
Bo Diddley on Elvis:
"Elvis Presley copied me and Jackie Wilson – he combined the two acts together. At the time, he had a good thing going. I thank God that he did. I take my hat off to him. The name of the game is make money, and that's what he did. He was a lucky man. I haven't seen anybody else come behind him and do that same thing except Michael Jackson and Prince. I still don't think they've stepped in Elvis's shoes."
Paul McCartney on drugs:
"That was one hell of a period – completely different, like another lifetime. We were like different people by then because of the drugs thing. … We'd just become introduced to it. Sgt. Pepper owes a lot to drugs, to pot. That was us getting into that. It was rather innocent compared to what you talk about these days. It was very innocent. It was never seriously heavy stuff. Things got heavy later with one or two of us. Then, it was quite mild. It was like a drink. It was nothing. It was never lethal. It was never that crazy. We were never sort of out on the floor like you'd hear about Stones sessions where you couldn't wake the guitarist up. … Possibilities started to come in like mad. So that was a very rich period."
"The public supported me even when I was nobody, and they still do it today. They supported me even through all the trials and tribulations and sufferings I went through, hassles I had. They still stuck by me. That's why I believe in giving the public the best I got every night. All I got. So when you see me on stage, man, that's what you see – is everything I got….I never go out there and half do it."
"I'm more of a sucker. I'm more of a fan. If it's wearing a pink hat and a red nose and he plays a guitar upside down, I'll go look at it. I love to see people being dangerous."
"Music is just dreaming in sound."
The recordings in the Joe Smith Collection are housed in the Library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., a state-of-the-art facility. The Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division's collections include nearly 3 million sound recordings.
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More On: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Joe Smith, Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Frank Sinatra.