A Perfect Day - Patti Smith at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 4, 2007 07:25pm | Post a Comment
patti smith
I can't believe this happened. I
still have goosebumps. Patti Smith, live at Amoeba.

I also can't believe she chose to do some of the very songs that have held me close in safety these past few years: "Gimme Shelter." "Perfect Day." "Hel
pless." That's weird and beautiful, scary too ... thank you, Patti Smith.

I thought after meeting Tina Turner, I could just die. Hey, life doesn't get any better
than th
at! Climax! Then Joan Baez did an instore at Leopold Records in Berkeley, and I got to meet her as well. Of course I thought: now I can die. Zenith! (I am aware that this is not healthy thinking, okay?)

Those were the records that I listened to as a child -- these were the wo
men who saved my life. How many chances do you get to look someone in the eye who stormed the world and demanded change, and damn well GOT THE CHANGE? How many chances does a person get to thank them -- in person?

But if you're digging back in the crates of time, you can't ignore that one Saturday night on NBC, I was maybe about 8 years old ... The Patti Smith Group performed. All of a sudden, I knew this was a world that I could live in, I could thrive.

That wasn't (exactly) true, but damn it woman, you tore the script into pieces and gave it back to me. Do with this what you will. This life. Patti Smith smashed the rules and gave me hope. I wanted to be Patti Smith (and make out with Debbie Harry, but whatever).

Point is, I guess ...

The thought of Patti Smith coming into Amoeba to perform? I think, this is my home, this crazy Amoeba place -- and she came into my living room -- again! She honored all the independent record stores with her remarks, she was beyond amazing, she was and is a warrior of art ... and she just keeps me hanging ...

It's like Emily said, "It's always something ..."

If you have not heard Patti Smith's new album, you are robbing yourself. Go buy it for someone you love right now. Some protest the fact that these are all cover songs: from Lou Reed & Nirvana, Neil Young, Hendrix, The Doors ...  know this: these songs are all new in her hands, changed, she inhabits them like a spectre, they twist around inside her and become more. All in all, just know that you've never heard them before, not like this.

Wallace Stevens:

They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

And they said then, "But play, you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are."

Raise reddest columns. Toll a bell
And clap the hollows full of tin.

Throw papers in the streets, the wills
Of the dead, majestic in their seals.

And the beautiful trombones-behold
The approach of him whom none believes,

Whom all believe that all believe,
A pagan in a varnished care.

Roll a drum upon the blue guitar.
Lean from the steeple. Cry aloud,

"Here am I, my adversary, that
Confront you, hoo-ing the slick trombones,

Yet with a petty misery
At heart, a petty misery,

Ever the prelude to your end,

The touch that topples men and rock."


Is this picture of Picasso's, this "hoard
Of destructions," a picture of ourselves,

Now, an image of our society?
Do I sit, deformed, a naked egg,

Catching at Good-bye, harvest moon,

Without seeing the harvest or the moon?

Things as they are have been destroyed.
Have I? Am I a man that is dead

At a table on which the food is cold?
Is my thought a memory, not alive?

Is the spot on the floor, there, wine or blood
And whichever it may be, is it mine?


(You are so fair)

"Peace will come / With tranquility and splendor"

For more, go to the Amoeba site by clicking here.

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