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Patti Smith announces special one-off birthday livestream performance

Patti Smith doesn’t do things the normal way. While most creatives would take the occasion of a 74th birthday to sit back, relax and reflect on past achievements, the punk poet laureate has announced a brand new live performance in order to celebrate with her fans.

“I just thought it would be nice to uphold that tradition in a certain way because it’s always a joyful moment,” Smith said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. “I love birthdays because we’re born and life is the greatest thing we have, I just thought it would be a nice thing to share with everybody.

Scheduled for December 30th, Smith will perform live with her band in what will be her first official show of 2020. Teaming up with streaming platform Veeps, Smith’s one-off special performance is an offering to her fans following the news that her tour was cancelled amid the current health crisis. “I was very unprepared for the pandemic; my blood was set for motion,” Smith explained in the same interview about how her life affected by the pandemic. “I was set for public life and then had to go into a more solitary state.”

The punk pioneer continued: “I like to write when I’m in motion. I’m a real traveller. I rarely stay in one place very long. So to be in one place for eight months at a time is something I haven’t done really since my children have grown. And so my world has become even more internalised than usual.

“We’re not going to try and make an approximation of a concert,” Smith said of the planned performance, one which will also feature her son, Jackson, playing the guitar in her band. “I just want to do a good job. It’s really that simple. Doing it with the band, we have half a century of camaraderie. We’re all people who care about each other. I’m not going into a stream thinking about the absence of the people; I would go into a stream thinking that we’re all with each other.”

She added: “It’s not like I’m like a rock star and they’re like fans. We’re all people looking to have a transcendent experience to feel good, hopeful and energised. I know that’s somewhat of a challenge, but we’ll certainly do it the best we can. When people have to pay, whether that’s $2 or $10, you have a job to give whatever you have to give to the people giving you their time and resources.”

Scheduled to go live on December 30th at 9:00pm ET (2am GMT). To get involved, tickets can be found here.