[from Hit Parader, 1977]

by Lisa Robinson

The Patti Smith Group, with Patti fully recovered from her stage fall in Tampa last January, performed recently in New York City. It was a benefit concert for the Museum of Natural History at the Hayden Planetarium, and the band sounded great.

In addition to two oldies-but-goodies ("Be My Baby," "Jailhouse Rock") and much of her original repertoire ("Ask The Angels," "Radio Ethopia," "Distant Fingers," "Gloria," "Birdland"), Patti debuted two great new songs, including the anthem-like "Till Victory."

The small hall (with its ceiling of stars and planets) was full with a society crowd ("rock slumming"?), but on hand at the front of the stage to cheer her on was a group of Patti's maniacally devoted fans who come to see her every show. They paid $35 a ticket ("That's half an unemployment check," Patti said), and Patti was knocked out by their presence.

"I was so turned on by seeing those kids there," she said after the show. "I couldn't believe they paid so much money to come and see me, I wasn't even aware of the rest of the audience. "The museum people were a bit taken back by us," Patti admitted. "We were drinking beer in the museum office before the show, and they didn't like that. Also, when I began the show with my poem - Yum, Yum The Stars Are Out (an erotically graphic poem about rape) - one of the museum guys was so shocked he tried to pull out the plug from my microphone."

"But he couldn't," she smiled, "because I was using a cordless mike."

"I was just so ecstatic to play again," she said. "But after the set I was in a state of physical shock. It'll all be okay when we get back on the road again." Wearing a black, skintight Casteljbac jumpsuit zipped down very low, Patti chatted after the show with Arista Records prexy Clive Davis and posed for photos with ex-Presidential son Jack Ford. After resting one day from the Planetarium gig, Patti and the band went into the recording studio with producer Jimmy Iovine to begin their next LP - to be titled Easter.

Copyright © Hit Parader 1978

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