Photos by G.
On June 5, 2013, Patti Smith and friends celebrated the life and birthday of poet Federico Garcia Lorca at a sold out show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. For this particular show, Patti brought out several of her friends to read poems by Federico Garcia Lorca including one of his family members. Lorca was outspoken about his political views and was executed in 1936 in Spain for being openly gay.
Patti Smith mentioned that earlier in the evening, she’d gone to see a documentary about the imprisoned Russian band Pussy Riot and she talked about the fact that we need to continue to voice our opinions no matter what the cost because one of the few liberties we have left in America is freedom of speech. It’s inspiring to see Patti Smith because not only is she a rock and roll goddess and poet, but she is a champion of equal rights and freedom. To quote one of her songs (which she also performed), THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER!
The night wasn’t all about Lorca, however. Her band joined her on stage and they performed a full set which included some of her classic songs including “Redondo Beach,” “Pissing in a River,” the title track off her latest release, “Banga” as well as a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues.” The finale of the show was Patti reading her poem “Piss Factory” and it’s always amazing to see a crowded room become completely silent to catch every word that Patti Smith speaks. What a night! Thanks Patti, happy birthday Federico and make sure to speak up ALWAYS for what you believe in!