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Gary Smith is an entrepreneur, record producer, and artist's manager known for his work recording albums by alternative rock musicians since the mid-1980s at Fort Apache Studios. Smith, who is sole owner of the studio, first became a partner co-owning the studio business in the late 1980s, moving it from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Bellows Falls, Vermont, in 2002.
A Rhode Island native, Smith gave supportive early guidance to Newport, Rhode Island's Throwing Muses group, advising them to move to Boston's burgeoning alternative music scene in 1986. That year he saw a new band called the Pixies opening for Throwing Muses at The Rat in Boston and convinced them to let him produce their first demos, known as The Purple Tape, in spring 1987 at an early incarnation of Fort Apache's studio digs, then a "ramshackle" building in a dangerous neighborhood. Since joining Fort Apache in the mid-1980s, Smith has produced dozens of influential recordings, including the Pixies' Come On Pilgrim EP on the 4AD and Rough Trade Records labels. Other artists he has produced include Throwing Muses, Tanya Donelly, Blake Babies, The Connells, Juliana Hatfield, Scrawl, 10,000 Maniacs, and Billy Bragg. Smith currently resides in New Hampshire across the border from his Vermont studio. Smith has built Fort Apache into the name of an umbrella company from which he operates several businesses: the Fort Apache Studios business (now also using a second name, Windham Studios), a real estate and concert promotions business called Historea Properties, and an artist's management business representing talent such as Tanya Donelly and Natalie Merchant. Smith maintains a "Screed" blog at the Fort Apache website.