Ahead of the world premiere of his new album The Best of Thomas Rack and Matthew Hart, John Williams had some questions about what the singer-songwriter meant by his lyrics and whether his music was an appropriate venue for them.
Rhett and Hart were the stars of the first Rhett-Hart concert in 1968.
Their first hit song was “Ain’t Nobody Here”.
“It’s one of those songs that was written at the height of the Vietnam War, but there’s nothing to do but sit and sing it,” Williams told reporters after the concert.
“It was just the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Rhett’s and Hart’s albums have sold more than three million copies and racked up more than 100 million streams worldwide.
They’re the two biggest-selling rock acts in history.
They also were the first pair of pop stars to record a single in Britain, and the first duo to tour the US in a row.
Williams, a friend of Rhett who also produced and performed at the concert, was asked about the controversy on Thursday by ABC News’ Dan Harris.
“That was a great show, I think, and a very successful one,” Williams said.
“I don’t think it should be taken out of context.
But I do think that we can look at that as a great opportunity for young people to get to know the musicians, the musicians in the world.”
It’s something that was created by the artists, and we can talk about that.
“But it’s something we have to be mindful of, because I think that the way that the world is and the way we see it, it’s all about the music.”
He continued: “We’ve got to keep going forward and we’ve got some great artists who are coming up who are really, really talented, and they’re going to be the ones who keep pushing the music forward.”
But he also expressed regret that the concert was “taken out of the context of all of the other music that we’re doing”.
“I can’t say I regret that it was taken out, but I think it’s a great idea to be thinking about the world around us and the future of the music that’s going to come out of it,” he said.
The concert, the first of three concerts the pair will hold in the US and Europe over the next year, is being held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Rack, who died on Monday, has also recorded songs with the likes of Katy Perry and The Killers, as well as collaborations with artists such as Bob Dylan and Nick Cave.
Hart, who also died on Thursday, has released six albums and performed in the UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia.
“The show that they were playing in Las Vega is the same kind of music that they’ve always been playing,” Williams added.
We just wanted to go out and have a great time and bring the fans back to their favourite venues.”