Patti Smith performed a cover of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. She opens the song with a poem with powerful words before breaking into the cover song. The lyrics are beautiful and Smith’s penetrating voice grabs you with this evoking track. The lyrics, “Look at mother nature on the run in the 1970’s. I was lying in a burnt out basement with the full moon in my eyes. I was searching for a replacement when the sun burst through the sky. There was a band playing in my head and I felt like getting high. I was thinking about what a friend had said.” Smith has a deep and soothing voice that moves you in an impactful way.
Smith told Fallon that she has never been on the Tonight Show, Jay Leno nor Johnny Carson because of her bad behavior. She wrote them a letter saying she would be good and that she would even wear a dress but they still wouldn’t let her on the show. Fallon admits that he follows her on Instagram and showed one of his favorite photos of Smith with Bob Dylan.
Smith shared that Dylan met her and her band back in 1974. She admits to really liking Dylan a lot but when he went backstage into Smith’s room and asked, “Hey, are there any poets back here?” Smith replied in a snarky way, “I hate poetry. I acted like such a jerk. Like Sixteen Candles where you like the boy but you don’t want the boy to know you like him.” She said they also took both Smith and Dylan’s picture that night and it was featured on the cover of Village Voice. She said she felt embarrassed and thought Dylan might think she was exploiting him or something. But later when she bumped into him in the Village he pointed to the newspaper and asked Smith, “Hey do you know these people?” and then laughed.
Fallon also shared a photo where Smith is featured with Keanu Reeves. Smith shared that her friend, Sandy Pearlman loved Keanu Reeves and that he saw The Matrix like 27 times. After Sandy passed away, she bumped into Reeves and she got her photo taken with him. Then she posted it on Instgram and it got like 80,000 likes and she had no idea how popular he was. Smith also wrote a book, “Year of the Monkey” and then she sang Neil Young’s cover of “After the Gold Rush” which is 50 years old. She said the song is relevant today.
Smith is set to perform at this year’s Tibet House Benefit Concert alongside Iggy Pop, Phoebe Bridgers, Matt Berninger, Margo Price, Laurie Anderson, and others. Last year she released the Soundwalk Collective collaborative album Mummer Love.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz