Back with a Banga, don’t miss this chance to see the Godmother of Punk

Often dubbed the ‘Godmother of Punk’, Patti Smith was one of the early pioneers of the New York City punk movement. Today, after more than 35 years of solid musical contribution, the American singer-songwriter, poet and artist is still creating her unique fusion of poetic rock ‘n’ roll. 

Originally from Chicago, Smith moved to New York in the late 1960s where she dedicated herself to writing and performance poetry. She hung out with interesting personalities such as Allen Ginsberg and became part of the creative class in New York. Smith gave her first public poetry reading in 1971, backed by Lenny Kaye, the guitarist who would later become a member of the Patti Smith Group. In 1974, Smith recorded the single ‘Piss Factory’ along with Kaye, now widely considered the first true ‘punk’ song, which garnered her a sizeable grassroots following. 

In 1975, after Bob Dylan leant her mainstream credibility by attending one of her concerts, Smith landed a record deal with Arista Records. That same year, the Patti Smith Group released their first album, Horses, which featured the iconic singles ‘Gloria’ and ‘Land of a Thousand Dances’. Combining punk rock with spoken-word poetry, the album led to a huge commercial and critical success for its manic energy, heartfelt lyrics and clever wordplay and became a highly influential component of the 1970s New York City punk rock scene.

In 1976, Smith released her second album, Radio Ethiopia. It was, however, not until the release of her third album, Easter, in 1978 that the Patti Smith Group achieved a commercial breakthrough. The success was mainly due to the single ‘Because the Night’, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 10 chart.

In 1979, Smith retired from the public eye following the less successful Wave. She took on the role of housewife and moved to Detroit with her partner Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith. They went on to have two children and write songs together with seemingly few regrets about their self-imposed exile from showbusiness. In 1988, they recorded Dream of Life. The album included the classic anthem ‘People Have the Power’, which the two had written while doing the dishes. It combined his White Panther polemics with her revolutionary spirit. 

Then, in the summer of 1996, Smith put aside her domestic life. She released Gone Again, a highly acclaimed meditation on passage and mortality. To promote the album, she opened on tour for Dylan, which marked her re-emergence as a performer after a nearly 17-year break from the limelight. Since then, Smith has put out five albums – the most recent of which was Banga (2012). The album was released to widespread critical acclaim, with some critics rating it the best Patti Smith album since Horses and praising it for its compelling balance between poetry and musicality. 

On Monday, Smith’s playing in Copenhagen. If this concert meets the standard of her sold-out gig in Vega last year, we can expect a charismatic stage performance and poetic rock lyrics. So why not grab a ticket to see this punk legend?

Patti Smith

Falconer Salen; Mon 20:00; tickets 370kr,


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