Hair was conceived by actors James Rado and Gerome Ragni. They wanted to create something that would convey the excitement felt in the hippie community, especially in New York City. They based the characters of Claude and Berger off themselves, modeling Claude and Berger’s intense and volatile friendship after their own. Rado and Ragni were introduced through a mutual friend to composer Galt McDermott. He wrote the score in only a few weeks. When casting, Rado and Ragni enlisted many members of the local flower child community, some recruited off the streets.