Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye Busk 'People Have the Power' for NYC Voters - Rolling Stone
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Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye Serenade Voters With ‘People Have the Power’

Punk legends deliver ramshackle buskers’ version of 1988 classic

Patti Smith (american singer) performs at Theatre de Verdure in Nice, FRANCE - 20/08/2019 (Sipa via AP Images)

Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye treated voters in New York City to an impromptu performance of Smith's 1988 song, "People Have the Power."


Patti Smith and guitarist Lenny Kaye delivered an impromptu performance of “People Have the Power” for early voters in New York City.

The punk legends took well to the busking environment, breezing through a ramshackle version of the 1988 song, while even getting some accompaniment from lined-up fans who knew the song’s chorus. At the end of the performance, Smith proclaimed, “Don’t forget it, use your voice! Vote!”

The clip was posted on Instagram Monday, November 2nd, by Zoe Leonard and the organization Joy to the Polls. “Singing to voters in the streets is so punk!” Joy to the Polls said. “We love @thisispattismith bringing people power to the polls with this impromptu performance in NYC earlier this week. You don’t have to be the Godmother of Punk to surprise and delight voters in long voting lines!”

Back in September, Smith anchored an all-star, and socially distanced performance of “People Have the Power” to raise awareness for Pathway to Paris, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing climate change (it was founded by Smith’s daughter, Jesse Paris Smith). The clip also featured Michael Stipe, Cyndi Lauper, Stella McCartney, Joan Baez, Tony Hawk, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner and, the Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture.

In This Article: Patti Smith


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