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Patti Smith Honors MC5's "Sonic" Smith at Intimate Fashion Week Gig

September 15, 2008 12:14 PM ET

To close out Spring 2009 New York Fashion Week on Friday, Costume National hosted a celebration for the release of the new Steven Sebring documentary, Patti Smith: Dream of Life. Smith surprised the crowd with a 30-minute set backed by longtime bandmate Lenny Kaye. Highlights included "Because the Night" — which Smith prefaced by asking the crowd to drink a glass of champagne at midnight to honor what would have been her late husband's 60th birthday — and "People Have the Power," which she punctuated with a non-partisan political message, simply asking partygoers to register to vote.

After the intimate set, Rock Daily caught up with Smith to chat about the new documentary that spans 11 years of her life. Her close friendship with Sebring helped to make production on the film feel more like making home movies. "Steven is like my brother," she explained. "He had one camera, he palled around with us, was not invasive at all. If I didn't want to be filmed I just said 'not today.' It was inspiring to have Steven in this."

Related Stories:
Patti Smith Hits the Big Screen in Untraditional Rock Doc
Photo Gallery: Patti Smith, U2 at Sundance 2008
Patti Smith on Late CBGB Founder Hilly Kristal

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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