Patti Smith’s music and poetry have been rejected by many Christians. Now she performs in Church of Our Lady.
When she took part in St. Olav Festival in 2012, she said on stage how much she liked the beautiful little church in the town centre and that she dreamed of playing there the next time she was in town.
That was no idle dream. Four years after her previous visit, the prize winning queen of punk returns to hold concerts in this intimate church setting. Church of Our Lady is a so-called open church which functions as a welfare centre for the needy every single day of the year, work about which Patti Smith was enthusiastic when she last visited the church.
This ambitious and unconventional artist has featured amongst TIME magazine’s «100 most influential people in the world» and in the Rolling Stones’ list of «100 greatest artists». With the performance An Evening Of Words And Music, Patti Smith aims to charm and challenge the audience by reading her own texts and presenting her music with unique, primitive energy. The concert provides the audience with an insight into her thirty five year long artistic partnership with fellow musician Tony Shanahan and her son Jackson Smith. It promises to be an eventful evening with a genuine artist, poet and revolutionary musician.
–I’ve been reprimanded in a variety of ways, for example by being excluded from the radio broadcasts, or by having my records banned in certain states. But I can take that kind of thing, because I still have the right to say what I think and to sing these songs, she said in an interview with Amnesty International.
Take a look at this heroine’s advice to the young:
Her mother was a Jehovas Witness, and Patti received a strict religious upbringing until she abandoned religion and went to New York as a teenager. There she joined the New York hippy scene, living from time to time in the famous Chelsea Hotel with other well-known names such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Janis Joplin and William S. Burroughs.
Patti Smith’s career got off the ground in 1975 with the album Horses and she now has eleven albums and fifteen books and anthologies to her name. Politically, she has been an outspoken critic of USA’s war on terror and of illegal Israeli settlements, and she has demanded the impeachment of ex-president George W. Bush. Recently she has protested publically against the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Her music has been banned in much of the American South and in religious groups.
– They didn’t understand my texts. They claimed that I didn’t believe in Jesus Christ. But I replied that I believe so much that Jesus is the very first word in my first album. One of my songs was a reaction against organised religion, but I have later come to the conclusion that Jesus is not part of organised religion. His teaching lies far from organised religion. Basically what he says is that we must love one another and that we must treat others as we would want to be treated by them. That’s a very simple concept. We don’t need temples and palaces or a hierarchy of clergy to tell us about that. Who could understand a subversive prayer better than Christ? He’s the ultimate revolutionary. That’s all there is to say.