Interview with George Edward "G.E." Smith, 2007

Project: Morgan C. Atkinson Documentary Interviews: Live Music, A Tim Krekel Story

Interview Summary

This interview with George Edward "G.E." Smith was conducted at the Guitar Emporium in Louisville in 2007 during the making of the Tim Krekel documentary. Smith, from Saturday Night Live and many other high profile platforms, offers great insight into the serendipity of “making it” in the music business.

George Edward Smith (né Haddad; born January 27, 1952) is an American guitarist. He was the lead guitarist for the duo Hall & Oates during the band's heyday from 1979 to 1985. After Hall & Oates went into a hiatus in 1985, he then served as the musical director of the sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1995, where he was the leader of the Saturday Night Live Band.

As the lead guitarist of Hall & Oates, Smith scored five U.S. No. 1 singles, including "Private Eyes", "Kiss on My List", "Maneater", "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)", and "Out of Touch" as well as five consecutive multi-platinum albums- Voices, Private Eyes, H2O, Rock 'n Soul Part 1 and Big Bam Boom. Other U.S. Top 10 singles include "Family Man", "Say It Isn't So", "Did It in a Minute" and "Method of Modern Love."

Considered one of the most respected guitarists in the music business, Smith has recorded and performed with many artists, including David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Tina Turner, Tracy Chapman and Dan Hartman. He was the initial lead guitarist in Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour band 1988 to 1990 and also served as musical director and a guitarist of Dylan's The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration at Madison Square Garden in 1992. From 2010 to 2013, Smith was lead guitar in Roger Waters' The Wall Live tour, one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time.

He received a Grammy Award nomination along with Buddy Guy in 1997 for the album Live! The Real Deal along with the Saturday Night Live Band as well as an Emmy Award for the Saturday Night Live: The 25th Anniversary Special in 2000.[3][2] His albums as a solo artist include In The World(1981), Get A Little (with the Saturday Night Live Band, 1993), Incense, Herbs and Oils (1998) and Stony Hill (2020) with Leroy Bell. Smith was the lead guitarist for the band Moonalice from 2007 to 2009.

Interview Accession

2021oh0973_mcatk0001

Interviewee Name

George Edward "G.E." Smith

Interviewer Name

Morgan C. Atkinson

Interview Partial Date

2007

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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