Archive for September, 2009

Patti Has The POWER

Posted in Ellie Greenwich, Horses, Michael Jackson, One Fifth, Patti Smith, Pier, rock n roll, Santa Monica, Winston Watson on September 7, 2009 by kilroyrogers

Patti Smith. The Santa Monica Pier. It seems a hundred years ago I bought Horses, and it was the hundredth anniversary of the pier. Kismet! I raced from Wilshire and 6th to the pier, passing bossa nova and musakā„¢ emanating from restaurant to cafe, following the herd through the darkness punctuated with tasteful lighting, across Ocean Avenue and up to the pier entry, where strains of Michael Jackson swamped the atmosphere, drowning out all else. Turn a corner and BOOM it was Patti Smith onstage, with Lenny Kaye going crazy, and Flea on bass. Flea on bass!

It was all there: the cusp of a full moon, referenced with revere by Patti, a Pagan Goddess of the highest order. Thundering chords broke the night, Pissing in a River, now realized as a true anthemic rock classic; PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER, a commercial hit and rad sentiment; a great spoken word diatribe on life in Venice and such; great song after great song. Then it came, “Suddenly, Johnny gets the feeling, he’s surrounded by horses, horses, running in from all directions…”
I was hearing my favorite album cut live. Chills, everywhere, racing through the crowd like H1N1, a spasmic waves of white people hippie beach culture euphoria filling the over capacity crowd with a coalescing strength that built and built JESUS DIED FOR SOMEBODY’S SINS BUT NOT MINE!!!

Ellie Greenwich, the amazing songwriter of the 60’s-70’s was an inspiration for Patti, and she sang a song of hers for the encore.

Magic. Some artists never age, never become irrelevant. Patti Smith was an iconoclast in the seventies, and she’s one still. I hung out with her briefly at ONE FIFTH in NYC back in the day, and it was awesome. She was totally unique. I though I was. We got along great. Ah, those days. Winston Watson, my pal hung out on tour with the band for weeks and weeks and loved it. Ah, rock n roll. Nothing like it. Power to the People!!

photo Matt Reno