Patti Smith’s concert started around 9:45 pm and ended around 11:15. Pretty expensive too, 38.00 Euros, for just 1.5 hours of music! Many in the crowd where 40 and 50 yr-olds. At 59 Smith packed a lot of energy and still had quite the nice voice. She played songs from albums such as “Horses” and “Gone Again” and also proceeded with some older hits such as “Because The Night” (co-written with The Boss), “People Have the Power” (written in 1988. I’m wondering if she got inspiration from Lennon’s “Power To The People” which was written about 11 years before?) and “Gloria”. At one point she sang a ballad and introduced it speaking about the war in Iraq and all the many innocent Iraqis that have so far died there. Smith also repeatedly yelled out during the concert “NO MORE WAR”! At one point, she also sat down at the edge of the stage and took off her boots and socks, not to mention spitting three times from the very same stage down below to where we were sitting (luckily, she didn’t hit any of us)!
She was backed up by four male musicians, one of them was Tom Verlaine. He and Smith go back a longgg way as in 1974 he was on Smith’s 45 record, “Hey Joe/Piss Factory”. Pretty good guitarist so it was indeed an honour to still see him on stage 31 years later. Looking at her with probably the same hairdo she’s had since moving from her native Chicago to New Jersey/New York in 1967, I couldn’t help but wonder just how many drugs she must have consumed in her life (ditto for Marianne Faithful whom I had also seen in Udine awhile ago), not to mention some of the stars she also rubbed shoulders with (Andy Warhol—she’s also a photographer and poet—Bob Dylan and Lou Reed).
And while listening to one of her “harder” songs I imagined her on stage with the following artists: the Sex Pistols and Keith Richards! What a trio that would make (all pics by M. Rimati)!