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Watch the Patti Smith Group Live at Capitol Theater (1979)

Klaus Hiltscher


Watch the Patti Smith Group Live at Capitol Theater (1979)

On May 11, 1979, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye and the boys hit the stage in New Jersey. The Patti Smith Group live at Capitol Theater show was two hours of pure, post-beatnik renaissance rock poetry; the kind of show it’s easy to wish you were at.

Rather, the kind of show I wish I’d been able to have been at, despite the fact it was half a decade before my broken soul had been recycled. Oh, and my mother was still in her disco gear, too busy dancing to contemplate having babies.

Like mother like daughter, really. And she did introduce me to Parliament, so I can’t judge her too harshly.

That’s also why the full Capitol Theater concert being archived and available to watch on YouTube is so important. Someone told me once that I should stop living my life through a lens. Sometimes, though, a lens is exactly what’s needed to capture fragmented memories.

So, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Additionally, just this past week, Nick Cave announced a show in London’s Victoria Park featuring special guests including St. Vincent, Courtney Barnett, and yep, you guessed it (or read it), the one and only Patti Smith.

Not only does the announcement of this legendary gig in one of my favourite places in London make 2018 look like my version of Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks in Hyde Park — which Inspirer got to go to, and you can see our photos of on our Facebook — it serves well in reminding me that we’re lucky that music exists in the world.

Patti will also be playing a few gigs around Europe next year too. What that means for me is I get to see her twice in three days, and what that means for you, is that you can too.



A proudly queer, freelance music journalist, Em splits her time between Durham and London. When she's not at a gig, mouth-agape, she'll be camped outside of a Parisian bistro taking photographs of strangers. The little pleasures in life are the most meaningful to her: Her dog, family-and-extended, and Milkybar buttons. Her motto -- a snippet from Alexander Pope's Essay on Man -- is, "hope springs eternal."

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