Patti Smith is an icon and a legend.
I recently caught her on the David Letterman show with her band, performing the title track from her new record, Banga, and it was nothing short of amazing. The intensity and ferocity with which she performed was no different than when she first started in the 1970s. Smith is the Godmother of Punk and has been blending poetry, music, activism and art into her repertoire for decades. Among the many accolades she has received over the years includes her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in 2007.
Smith is coming to town for not one but two performances. On Saturday, as part of UCSD's Art Power events, she will read excerpts from her book Just Kids, and talk about the poetry and music that inspired her. That appearance takes place at the lovely Spreckels Theatre, and if you want, you can have the opportunity to buy the book and get it signed by the High Priestess of Punk. Yes, she can be both the Godmother and High Priestess of Punk; it can't be denied. And, Patti, if you’re reading this, please go down to the basement bathroom and add your signature. Performers from John Philip Souza (1930) to Paul Weller (2003) have done so, and so should you.
On Sunday, Smith and her band will play the House of Blues (tickets are still available -- click here). This will be a band performance and will you a chance to see the performer in two completely different environments. Patti's band is comprised of guitarist Lenny Kaye, drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, Tony Shanahan on bass and keyboards, and guitarist Jackson Smith. Kaye and Daugherty have been with Smith pretty much since the beginning.
With what began in 1975 with her first release, Horses, to Banga, the pages that can be written about this living legend are endless. Smith broke new ground and continues to do so. She is always the artist, and we are lucky to have her visit our city.