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."