When I first heard the song “Because The Night” in 1978, I didn’t know that much about Patti Smith or her dark and mysterious world but it didn’t matter. All I know is I was riveted. It’s no wonder the song became a hit because it’s one of those rich and powerful anthems that gets inside you and stays for good. One of the many highlights of the recent Bruce Springsteen documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness…was hearing Patti and Bruce recount their versions of how that song came to be. They both paint an almost magical picture of how the stars aligned in creating this enduring piece of rock and roll history. That song may have been my first connection to Patti Smith, but I’ve been a loyal admirer ever since. Her career has taken many twists over the years, with the most recent being her appearance in the November issue of O as in Oprah Magazine where she’s reflecting on a different kind of timeless tale. In helping readers try and understand their own true calling, that same Patti Smith weaves her life’s journey into the story of Pinocchio and shares how that has always helped her find her way. She may not have penned the great literary work she once thought was her fate, but I’d say there seems to be an equal amount of something special sprinkled over her way with words. Though I am still having a hard time picturing Jiminy Cricket at CBGB.
p.s. Am I the only one tripping on the whole Bruce and Patti thing here!?
Read Patti Smith in O Magazine.
UPDATE – As it turns out, Patti is every bit the writer she imagined she would be. Her recent memoir Just Kids was selected winner of the National Book Award! So maybe be careful what you wish for!?
Here are Bruce and Patti (and friends) performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert:
You can also hear Bruce’s version of “Because The Night” on the recently released The Promise which is streaming over at NPR.