"When I was a kid, I would look at pictures of all those old bands from the '20s and the '30s and the '40s and I'd go, 'that's what I want to be. I want to be one of the cats.' All of the sudden now here I am among them. It was a joy for me."
About This Interview
In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, G.E. Smith talks about his early life, how he first got into music, getting his first guitar, and joining his first band. He describes attending a broadcast of the show Hootenanny and then later, in 1969, attending Woodstock. He recounts playing guitar in Gilda Radner's one-woman Broadway show "Gilda Live," and joining the band Hall & Oates, with whom he first appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1982. He recalls being hired by Lorne Michaels to be music director on Saturday Night Live in 1985, assembling the band, and the sound of the band during his tenure. Smith discusses the many music luminaries he worked with on Saturday Night Live, including Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards, Al Green, Paul Simon, Mick Jagger, and Aerosmith (who performed the "Wayne's World" theme song on-air, which Smith himself had written). He speaks of famous incidents on the show such as Sinead O'Connor's infamous "Pope ripping," and details touring with Bob Dylan while still working on Saturday Night Live. Finally, he chronicles then-current projects, including collaborating on a wounded veteran charity project with Roger Waters. Adrienne Faillace conducted the interview on October 5, 2015 in New York City, New York.