Patti Smith Pays Tribute to Love and Loss With Her Three-Night Show

Patti Smith, singer, writer, and general cultural icon, is celebrating her career with a three-night-only Off Broadway production that tells the story of her life, titled Patti Smith: Words and Music.

The third and last performance takes place tonight at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. But Smith fans are in luck because the performances are being recorded by Amazon’s Audible.

Deadline reported that “whether reading short excerpts from her award-winning memoir Just Kids or recounting some wonderfully shaggy and moving anecdote about loved ones she’s lost – husband Fred “Sonic” Smith and photographer friend Robert Mapplethorpe, chiefly – Smith creates an immediate and intimate rapport with her audience.”

Smith told the story of her arrival in New York City in 1967, recollecting the songs playing during that time, like Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billy Joel…” Words and Music is also a family affair, with her daughter Jesse Paris Smith backing her on piano and her son Jackson Smith on guitar. The punk poet walked out on stage with her daughter, both women with the same walk and same mass of hair.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Smith talked about the hope she has for today’s youth.  

“…As a mother and a person who is 71 years old, I think it’s very important that we back our youth, that we support them,” she said. “They’re the light of the world, they’re our great hope, whether it’s my daughter or the Parkland Five or whoever these young people are.”

The show switched between passages from her memoirs, her deeply affecting songs, and her reflections on New York City and walking past the Minetta Lane Theatre. Smith played a variety of songs from her discography, including “Dancing Barefoot” and “Peaceable Kingdom” to “Because the Night” (her hit with Bruce Springsteen) and “People Have The Power,” the anthem she wrote with Smith.

Patti Smith: Words and Music will be available on Audible Nov. 2.

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