Tag Archives: Patti Smith
Dissonant beauty, brutally intelligent, incisively blunt — Patti Smith is the poetess who arrived when America needed her most; the artist who almost single-handedly transformed the cultural wasteland of the mid-1970s into all that was good about the 1980s and beyond; and who is still pushing forward the boundaries and conventions that society erects around itself.
Smith ignored the taunt; the group was too busy to care.
Soon they were gigging almost nightly, and even when their schedule did allow them a night off, they were visible, hanging out at CBGBs, watching whatever was unfolding on the stage that evening; or heading elsewhere after their own show to see and be seen. And so, four nights co-headlining CBGBs with Television, Feb. 13-16, were followed by a reception for the Blue Öyster Cult, whose latest album included one of Smith’s lyrics, “Fire Of Unknown Origin,” while Smith won another accolade, as Bruce Springsteen stumbled up to announce that he’d fallen in love with her from her picture in Creem.
In late June 1975, ads appeared in the New York locals Village Voice and Soho News, announcing auditions.
CBGBs had been open little more than 18 months at that point, but already it had established itself as the focal point of the city’s convolutions. The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Blondie and Mink DeVille were more than merely up and running by now, while the Patti Smith Group was so hot that, to many local critics, they were CBGBs, and that was the impetus behind the Festival — Hilly Kristal’s belief that Smith was just one of many deserving bands playing the club on a regular basis. “The [critics] were not paying attention to the other bands. They acted like there was nothing here.”