Bob Dylan & Patti Smith-most from the June 26, 1975 Other End show


Patti Smith & Bob Dylan – Dark Eyes-written by William Henry Prince

Bob Dylan met Patti Smith for the first time when her group played at The Other End on June 26, 1975. Smith had yet to record an album, but she was attracting a lot of attention from the music press and industry. Dylan was out and about, looking for ideas and musicians and he would certainly have known about her.

Patti Smith spoke to Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore in 1996:

TM When did you first meet Bob Dylan?

PS Backstage at The Other End. We didn’t have a drummer yet. It was just the four of us, we hadn’t been signed yet.

TM Did you see him in the audience?

PS No. Somebody told us he was there. My heart was pounding. I got instantly rebellious. I made a couple of references, a couple of oblique things to show I knew he was there. And then he came backstage which was really quite gentlemanly of him. He came over to me and I kept moving around. We were like two pit-bulls circling. I was a snot-nose. I had a very high concentration of adrenaline.

He said to me, “Any poets around here?”

And I said, “I don’t like poetry anymore. Poetry sucks!” I really acted like a jerk. I thought: that guy will never talk to me again.

And the day after there was this picture on the cover of the Village Voice. The photographer had Dylan put his arm around me. It was a really cool picture. It was a dream come true, but it reminded me of how I had acted like a jerk.And then a few days later I was walking down 4th Street by the Bottom Line and I saw him coming. He put his hand in his jacket—he was still wearing the same clothes he had on in the picture, which I liked—and he takes out the Village Voice picture and says, ‘Who are these two people? You know who these people are?’Then he smiled at me and I knew it was all right.” [4]

She also recalled:

“To me, Dylan always represented rock’n’roll – I never thought of him as a folk singer or poet or nothing. I just thought he was the sexiest person since Elvis Presley – sex in the brain, y’know? Sex at its most ultimate is being totally illuminated, and he was that, he was the King. And he still has it. I don’t think his true power has been unleashed.”

“The neat thing about him is that his energy is a real thing. And he had a lot of it. He’s really an amazing storehouse – he’s so full of grace, speed and urgency, it’s a real thing.”[3]

A few days later, Dylan, Smith and Sam Shepard attended a party at Allen Ginsberg’s Greenwich Village house, where Ken Regan took several photos of Dylan and Smith in conversation on the stairs.

This review is Copyright 2013 William Henry Prince.



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