Culture / Music

For Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday, Patti Smith will play a socially distanced show to celebrate


Our most beloved punk icon Patti Smith will lead a celebration for lyrical genius Bob Dylan’s upcoming 80th birthday at a socially-distanced outdoor concert in Tivoli, New York.

Smith will perform at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park’s Spring Festival on May 22, and will see her perform alongside longtime bandmate Tony Shanahan, together, they will be playing original songs and performing poetry to a socially-distanced audience, with the addition of some Dylan covers thrown in, of course. “Thrilled to have poet performer Patti Smith participate in our upcoming spring festival,” said Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in a statement posted to Twitter.

Smith and Dylan have longstanding relationship, formed since they met many years ago. Smith even performed in Dylan’s absence at his Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2016.

Last year, Smith told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that she hasn’t always been such close friends with Dylan, and once felt she like acted like a “jerk” towards him backstage. “He says, ‘Hey are there any poets in here?’” she says, recalling the first time they met after one of her gigs in New York. “And I said, ‘I hate poetry!’ I acted like such a jerk. I don’t know what came over me. Like Sixteen Candles, when you like the boy but you don’t want the boy to know you like them.”

This is the first time we've had a performance from Smith since last November's presidential election, where the musician and poet took to the streets with her lead guitarist Lenny Kaye to sing “People Have The Power” to voters. It's safe to say, we are always thankful for the ways she chooses to still show up, especially when its paying tribute to Dylan.

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Image: @thisispattismith