Last Sunday, I went to Leeds to see Patti Smith. It's the 4th time I've seen her now; my first time was at the Rainbow at Finsbury Park in London, at Easter, 1978....when she had released her 3rd album, 'Easter'. I even remember what I wore!
The second time was after she'd released 'Gone Again', her 'comeback' album, when I saw her at Manchester. That was memorable, as we sat about 4 rows from the front, and had a splendid view. Also memorable, as I did the whole 'fan' thing, and hung around the venue before the performance. I'd taken a massive pile of her books, albums, and cd's, which she kindly autographed! She made a comment about my copy of her book of poems 'Babel', saying 'This is an old one'. It was the first book of hers I bought, when it came out. There was a little group of us fans, and she was patient, and spoke to everyone, and signed whatever was asked of her.
Tom Verlaine played with the band on that tour.
The third time, she was appearing on stage at Reykjavic, in Iceland. Jon and I had gone there, for a holiday, and I discovered from the hotel receptionist that she was in concert. The receptionist phoned up and booked tickets for us, and we walked through the city, to the venue, and enjoyed a stripped-down performance, with Patti, her long-time collaborator Lenny Kaye, on guitar, and her daughter Jesse, on keyboards. They were joined by an enthusiastic and dissonant cornet/trumpet-player! It made a special holiday, even more special!
And here she was, as she described it 'almost live at Leeds'...referencing the classic 'Who' album. Of course she did a cover of their 'My Generation' on the b-side of her single, 'Gloria', so it was a reference to her own past, too!
It was a wondrous gig. She's always great, and connects to the audience with her stories and jokes.
Lenny did a mid-way medley of a selection of songs from the 'Nuggets' collection he compiled.....they make a great covers band!