Meet John Lennon in 1969

Lisa Waugh

Imagine… the definitive interview with John Lennon at the height of his peace activism campaign with partner Yoko One. Only, you haven’t heard this one before. Until now. Undiscovered voices of rock’s greatest emerge from deep storage as a filmmaker and a son come together.

The Smith Tapes Box Set features custom artwork by Masaki Koike

Village Voice Columnist and radio personality (WPLJ 95.5) Howard Smith had a knack for being in the right place at the right time in rock history.

Between 1969 and 1972, Smith recorded interviews with the most popular musicians and artists of the time.

We now know them as icons. Smith saw them as accessible, human and surfing the tumultuous waves of an historic time while also sorting out their own fame and significance.

Jim Morrison doesn’t try to be cryptic or dodge questions with Smith. He clearly enjoys his time with Smith saying, “Listen, man, this is one of the most exciting interviews I’ve ever participated in.”

The Smith Tapes Box Set interviews include:

Janis Joplin
Mick Jagger
Jim Morrison
Andy Warhol
Eric Clapton
Buckminster Fuller
Hugh Hefner
Frank Zappa
Jerry Garcia
And the list goes on…

“Smith kept the original interview reels, hundreds of them, buried in a crate in the back of his New York City loft and they haven’t seen the light of day in over 40 years.” – The Smith Tapes

Filmmaker Ezra Bookstein has teamed up with Smith’s son, Cass, along with Grammy Award® winning art director Masaki Koike to release a limited edition, hand numbered box set of more than 12 CDs capturing the ‘cream of the crop.’”

George Harrison with Smith May 1, 1970 (Photo: Tim Boxer)

The Smith Tapes reveal the journalist’s gift for tapping into the person sitting before him, revealing inner thoughts, fears and humor before time and the industry made them cautious and jaded.

These artists knew they were talking to a peer, someone who got them so you get a very different interview than, say, one with The Establishment.

The artwork is nothing short of amazing. Koike hits just the right note with the colors and design. If you’re a music fan, especially of this era, this box set is a must have.

The Kickstarter campaign of $42,000 seems very modest for such a project and hopefully Bookstein and his team will blaze through that goal in no time. As of this posting, they have 23 days to go. If you would like to know more about their project, go here:

Note: For more rare photos by Tim Boxer, please visit his site, 15 Minutes Magazine.