Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Patti Smith and her family returned to West Virginia in February 2018 to accept the posthumous induction of her husband Fred “Sonic” Smith into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. While he came to fame in Detroit, Fred Smith was born in Lincoln County, W.V. He was a guitarist with influential punk band MC5 and he would marry Patti Smith in 1980.
Patti is a poet, visual artist, singer and songwriter, and National Book Award winning author. Along with her son Jackson on guitar, daughter Jesse Paris-Smith on piano, and longtime collaborator Lenny Kaye on guitar, the band runs through some of her most well-known songs and collaborations with her husband, including the protest anthem “People Have The Power.”
The two would collaborate throughout their relationship. In 1986, Patti and Fred co-wrote the song that opens this set, “Paths That Cross,” in response to the AIDS epidemic that impacted many of their friends. Introducing the anthem “Because the Night,” Smith says, “Fred and I met in 1976 in Detroit, but because I lived in New York we were fated to have a long distance relationship for a while. I co-wrote this song with Bruce Springsteen, but the words were for Fred.”
Mountain Stage Band members Steve Hill, bass, and Ammed Solomon, drums, accompany Patti and her family for this performance.
- “Paths That Cross”
- “Because The Night”
- “Looking For You (I Was)”
- “People Have The Power”
Photo Credit: Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye by Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage.