The Library of Congress is full of wonderful treasures, and today it released a new chestful: a collection of interviews on topics such as sex, drugs and rock and roll.
The interviews were done by Joe Smith, a record-label executive who had amazing access to music's stars. In June, he donated the collection of more than 200 interviews, and the library is making them available free to the public on its website. The first group of 25 includes the words of giants from
McCartney also notes that lyrics to the song Paperback Writer (a personal favorite of mine) were originally cast as a letter to the editor. He says it was another example of the group broadening its subject matter through the influence of illicit substances.
The interviews are fascinating, and worth a break from literary pursuits. You can also take a look at Smith's book, "Off the Record," which detailed some of the interviews. But hearing the voices is a great treat, even if the sound quality is sometimes muddied, and the noise of police sirens or jets can be heard in the background.
"One of the great things about the interviews is how relaxed many of them are," Matt Barton, the library's recorded sound curator, said in a statement. "They're not on camera and they're talking to someone who's very much a colleague and a peer, if not a musical artist. The tone is very different and the camera isn't on them."
Here are excerpts from other interviews:
Mick Jagger on the
’ 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.”
Yoko Ono on the breakup of