Patti Smith to play Vatican concert
The legendary punk poet/songwriter will appear in the Vatican Christmas concert at the Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome on 13 December
ack in 1974, when Patti Smith released her classic album Horses – which opens with the words “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” – the poet, painter, journalist, songwriter and performance artist can surely never have dreamed that 40 years on, she’d be appearing in a Vatican Christmas concert… apparently at the invitation of the Pontiff himself.
But such is now the case, as Smith will appear in the annual Concerto De Natale at the Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome on 13 December, alongside French house DJ Bob Sinclar and a singing nun who won the Italian version of The Voice this year. And no, we’re not making this up!
According to the Huffington Post, Smith met the Pope in St Peter’s Square last year and found him “very interesting… I liked him a lot”. She also spoke to Rolling Stone earlier this year about her relationship with Christianity (after one of her songs featured in the movie Noah), saying: “I have a very strong biblical background. I studied the Bible quite a bit when I was young and continue to study it, independent of any religion, but I still study it.”
The 67-year-old, a recipient of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest Order of Merit for artists, also played down the significance of the lines mentioned above that she added to her cover of Them’s Gloria on Horses, saying: “I wrote [those lines] when I was 20. Really, it was a declaration of self, not so much about Jesus. He is the vehicle, but I was declaring my existence, my right to make my own mistakes, my right to make my own choices.”