We’re dipping back into the Far Out archives to look back a particularly quirky moment from the long and prolifically expansive career of Patti Smith, the punk poet laureate herself.
Smith, the enigmatic Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer and leading figure of the punk movement, has been relentlessly creating her art since she unleashed her brilliant debut album Horses back in 1975. From that moment on, Smith has released eleven studio albums, three live albums, created countless books and poetry, and forged a voice in the world of activism.
However, despite her incomparable achievements in the world of arts, we’re focusing on her acting debut which arrived with a surprise cameo on the famous police and legal television series Law & Order. “Night after night, if we’re in a hotel, you have all this agitated energy and all this adrenaline and you can’t sleep,” Smith once explained of her love for the television show.
“Previously I didn’t have a TV, but I found there is nothing better to dispel loneliness on the road than a Law & Order episode,” she once explained. “I watched all the shows in several languages in my hotel rooms. I was especially drawn to Detective Goren. So I decided to buy a small TV for my room at home, and watch Criminal Intent in English. Vincent D Onofrio invited me to the set and I was so charmed to see him and Kathryn Erbe work together that I visited the set many times. I even got to spend time alone in the sacred interrogation room. When I was offered a small part, I accepted for the great pleasure of interacting with my favourite detective.
“So I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I started watching TV, and the thing that I got really attracted to was this Law & Order: Criminal Intent show, which I had never seen because I hadn’t owned a TV,” she added later. Aged 64 and with a career like no other, Patti Smith made her acting debut appearing in an episode called ‘Icarus’ much to the delight of her… and her fans.
After becoming addicted to the show, Smith explained: “Finally, I just went and bought a f—ing TV and started watching it at home and seeing it in English,” Smith said. “And I fell in love with it.”
Adding: “I loved the show so much, and he let me come and watch them film it at Chelsea Piers,” Smith said. “And then it got cancelled, and they had nothing to lose, so he thought he would give me a scene.”
You can see that scene, below.