The Smothers Brothers are coming to town, so Tommy Smothers was on my show this afternoon to promote the show and talk about the history of their legendary act. Among the topics we discussed:

  • how their act was really less about politics than about the witty banter between two clever siblings;
  • how they recorded one of their albums at the Crystal Palace in St. Louis in 1962;
  • how CBS, which fired the brothers in 1969, demanded more controversy from them when they returned to the network for another series in the 1980s;
  • the classic performance of “My Generation” by The Who, followed by some explosive pyrotechnics that caused Pete Townsend’s permanent hearing loss (as seen in the documentary “The Kids Are Alright”);
  • Tommy playing guitar with John Lennon on “Give Peace A Chance” in which one of them had to give the other one lessons in how to play it correctly;
  • why The Smothers Brothers have such a hard time getting booked on Letterman, Leno, etc.

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