Patti Smith quotes The Who at R&R Hall performance

Metsts41 at Metsts41 at
Sun Mar 18 18:42:36 CDT 2007

In a message dated 3/18/2007 6:43:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
thewho-request at writes:

So I'm watching part of the 2007 R&R Hall of Fame induction ceremony on VH-1, 
and catch the last half of Patti Smith's performance of what seemed to be a 
new song of hers called, I think, "Rock and Roll Nigger."  I'm not kidding, 
folks.  From what I could gather, it is a MAJOR anti-establishment, 
coutner-culture song meant to shock the audience.  VH-1 actually bleeped the word nigger 
(and all the other profanity, of which there was plenty), which was used maybe 
25 times in the song.  By the way, the song f-ing ROCKED!!!  I'll bet it's on 
YouTube, so check it out.

Anyway, at a certain point in the song, I'm pretty sure Patti sang, "I sing 
my song to the wide open spaces, I sing my song out to the infinite sea..."  If 
anyone saw it, please correct me if I'm wrong.  Guess she's a Who/Pete 
Twonshend fan.


  LONG TIME Patti Smith Fan. The song Rock N Roll Nigger is from her 1978 
album Easter. The way she's always explained it, the use of the "n" word was to 
show how people as a whole are outcasts, whether it's Jesus Christ, Ghandi, her 
mother, etc. She has attempted to redfine the word for almost 30 years. As 
she does A LOT of improvising of her lyrics in concert, always has, I'm not sure 
exactly what she sang during the Hall of Fame Show.  The beginning of the 
song is "I Don't Fuck Much with the past but Fuck plenty with the Future", that 
sets the tone of what she is trying to get across. I've seen her in concert at 
leat 10 times over the years & when she's done that song, she's never done it 
the same way twice, so I'm not sure if there was a Who influence this time, 
but it wouldn't surprise me. Often in her early days she encored with "My 
Generation" & instead of the "Hope I Die....", she sang "I don't need that fucking 
shit, hope I die because it it". She is a TRUE American artist, from 
singer/songwriter to poet to painting, her talents are amazing.
Tom G

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