It’s easy to see what huge admirers we are of the legendary Patti Smith. To us, there’s nobody better at instilling confidence in ourselves. It’s a rare talent which competes with her wit, her lyrics, and her passion to crown her as the queen of punk. We’re never disappointed to find a new piece of footage, but we were beyond thrilled to find this clip of Patti singing not only ‘Gloria’ and ‘Land’ but a cover of Chubby Checkers ‘Let’s Twist Again’.
The footage comes from a 1976 gig at the Cirque Royal in Brussels and sees Patti Smith not only being interviewed but doing what she does best and effortlessly performing a host of incredible tracks from her brilliant seminal album Horses.
“In English, it’s three aitches, head, heart and hand,” she says as he tries to describe what empowers her to be the punk queen of power she is. She goes on to say “It’s just believing in something… what made the wizard of Oz ‘The Wizard of Oz’? it was everybody believing in him” as she continues to offer the emboldening words of a woman confident in her own destiny.
She continues to talk about America and rock ‘n’ roll and says “I do not consider myself anywhere as foreign… it does not matter if we do not speak the same language, in a concert, it’s like babbling… all the fervor and all the energy that I put in to painting or to write, I put it in the rock n roll, I use so much of my brain, my guts, my heart … “.
As comforting and encouraging as Smith can be (and often is) in her words, her real power lies when she opens her mouth to sing. On the first notes of ‘Gloria’ and those infamous words “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine…” the Brussels crowd, with whom Smith and her band have a particular affiliation, know they’re in for a real performance.
The band went on to provide three encores for the crowd, though only Patti made it out for the third saying the band was exhausted. On this clip, she performs ‘Land’, ‘Gloria’ and a quite brilliant cover of Chubby Checkers’ ‘Let’s Twist Again’ and it lands square at the door of a Belgian crowd who are desperate for more.
Take a look at this incredibly rare performance below.