Use Your Voice!
On April 13, 2019, Patti Smith and Stewart Copeland (on percussion) joined Choir! Choir! Choir! at Onassis Festival 2019: Democracy Is Coming, co-presented by The Public Theatre and Onassis USA. Together, they sang Patti Smith’s anthem “People Have The Power” with a sold-out crowd and Stewart Copeland played percussion, specially a Brazilian samba frying pan!
She is working toward a third act as a novelist, and her new book, “Year of the Monkey,” blends fact and fiction.
From the National Book Award-winning author of Just Kids and M Train, a profound, beautifully realized memoir in which dreams and reality are vividly woven into a tapestry of one trans-formative year. This book is due to be released on September 24th, 2019.
Following a run of New Year’s concerts at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland with no design, yet heeding signs–including a talking sign that looms above her, prodding and sparring like the Cheshire Cat. In February, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing with it unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. In a stranger’s words, “Anything is possible: after all, it’s the Year of the Monkey.” For Smith–inveterately curious, always exploring, tracking thoughts, writing–the year evolves as one of reckoning with the changes in life’s gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America.
Smith melds the western landscape with her own dreamscape. Taking us from California to the Arizona desert; to a Kentucky farm as the amanuensis of a friend in crisis; to the hospital room of a valued mentor; and by turns to remembered and imagined places, this haunting memoir blends fact and fiction with poetic mastery. The unexpected happens; grief and disillusionment set in. But as Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope for a better world.
Riveting, elegant, often humorous, illustrated by Smith’s signature Polaroids, Year of the Monkey is a moving and original work, a touchstone for our turbulent times.
I love when Patti Smith narrates her audio books. There is something about her voice that soothes the passion in my soul. Her latest title is Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane. It is available from Audible. You can download it and listen for free if this is the first time you are getting an Audible trial account.
I just finished reading Will Hermes article about Patti’s performance in the New York Times this morning. He is a superb music journalist and I am glad to see him writing for the Times.
Her stage patter has always been its own entertainment, part stand-up comedy, part populist sermonizing.
Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane features live audio of performances captured over three evenings in September of 2018 at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, woven into a single, one-of-a-kind audio event. Pioneering artist and writer Patti Smith commands the stage to perform original spoken-word stories from her life, interwoven with the music of her beloved catalogue, played live by Smith, her son and daughter–Jackson and Jesse Paris Smith–and longtime collaborator Tony Shanahan. What transpires is a personally revelatory showcase, an intimate portrait of an icon, focusing on family and taking stock of a near to 50-year career devoted to artistic integrity.
©2018 Patti Smith (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.
A new Patti Smith mural is now on display in NYC, located directly outside Julie’s Vintage clothing shop in the East Village, at the corner of 2nd Street and 1st Avenue. The mural was designed and painted by graphic designer HUETEK (real name Eric Martinez), and depicts a bold, black-and-white portrait of Patti with the word “PUNK” emblazoned along the side. You can view Eric Martinez working on the mural via his Instagram account.
The New Jerusalem, the latest book by Patti Smith – poet, punk legend and author of the bestsellers Just Kids and M Train – is now available for order. A stunning long prose poem in the tradition of St. John and William Blake, The New Jerusalem presents a prophetic vision of art and humanity, faith, and freedom; a vision of escape from the rituals of power and the mechanisms of social control.
Illustrated with color photographs and artwork by Patti Smith, this beautiful hardbound volume is a true collector’s item and will be irresistible to bibliophiles. With an introduction by Rob Riemen exploring the connection between art and spirituality in Patti Smith’s poem and in art more broadly, The New Jerusalem can serve as a reminder of the prophetic power of poetry and a guide to all who need it in these times of resistance.
The New Jerusalem was presented at the Nexus Symposium with Patti Smith ‘An Education in Counterculture’, May 26, 2018, in Amsterdam.
Friday, May 18th gave us the simultaneous launch of the documentary and original soundtrack for Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.
This film is intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him. The pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions. From his deep concern for the poor and wealth inequality, to his involvement in environmental issues and social justice, Pope Francis engages the audience face-to-face and calls for peace.
I love the collaboration accomplished by Director Wim Wenders and the artist Patti Smith. Their collective effort benefits viewer and listeners in capturinhg the true spiritual resonance Pope Francis conveys in our world. How rewarding it must be to have your words and film raising further consciousness about the Holy Father. The illumination of our spirits is the direct result. I can’t wait to see this film in a movie theater for I am convinced as a devout Roman Catholic the experience embodies my faith and teachings.
Patti Smith’s song “These Are the Words” are heard over the closing credits. I’ve been listening to the song repeatedly while writing this blog post. It gives one pause and solace.
Filmmaker Wim Wenders says that Patti Smith “is a truly amazing spiritual person, not just one of the greatest singers and songwriters ever. She admires St. Francis very much, and at one point, she told me she stayed in the same Franciscan monastery where we also ate with the monks every night when we shot the St. Francis episodes,” Wenders said. “And she told these very kind and friendly brothers that she was convinced that the next Pope was going to be called Francis. They all laughed wholeheartedly and told her this was, unfortunately, never going to happen. And then it happened!”
Wenders added, “When I first heard Patti’s song and read the lyrics that she had sent along, I admit, I was in tears. This was such an incredible gift to the film. She had found the perfect way to sum it up in her words. It is uplifting without ever being remotely embarrassing, which is close to impossible. But she did it.
A new documentary capturing the final concert of the 40th anniversary Patti Smith Horses worldwide tour has been announced. Horses: Patti Smith and her Band was directed by Steven Sebring and executive produced by Jimmy Iovine, and it will make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23. Footage for the documentary was shot at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles in early 2016.
It includes intimate backstage footage and features Patti Smith and her band, Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty, Tony Shanahan, and Jack Petruzzelli, joined by guitarist Jackson Smith and Flea.
The film will be followed by a live performance by Smith and her band at the Beacon Theatre on Monday, April 23, 7 p.m.
Horses: Patti Smith and her Band documentary will be released exclusively on Apple Music at a later date.
Steven Sebring is a long time friend of Patti’s who previously directed Patti Smith: Dream of Life a 2008 documentary film.