Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saturday Night At The Liberal Curmudgeon: Patti Smith, The Godmother Of Punk

After posting this week about Patti Smith's commencement address at Pratt Institute, I decided also to share of her cover of "Gloria" on the Jools Holland Show in 2007. The song opened her first album, "Horses," and from the first line Smith signaled her iconoclastic stance with the line, "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine." As the "Godmother of Punk," Smith combined Beat Generation- and French Symbolist-influenced lyrics with a raw, garage band sound. She explained, "I seriously worried that I was seeing the decline of rock and roll. My design was to shake things up, to motivate people and bring a different type of work ethic back to rock and roll.” Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in 2005 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.


Michael, The Molar Maven said...

This is a phenomenal performance of possibly the best cover of song that has been covered by many. Patti slowed it down a bit from the original recording on her 1976 debut album, Horses, as you pointed out. A little bluesier and very tasteful. But what was even more "shocking" about her original recording than the opening line (written by her, not Van Morrison) was her willingness to assume the masculine role in a lesbian relationship, long before it became fashionable. The woman has balls!

Jeff Tone said...

Michael: Yes, this is an outstanding performance by Patti Smith, who was always a groundbreaker, including in the way you mention.