Posts Tagged ‘Patti Smith’

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The publicist for City Winery said Patti Smith would be playing live there last Friday night, There is it, shiny and new, dazzling venue, a new City Winery replacing the one evicted from Varick Street by Disney/ABC, and also standing in for the recently departed nearby Highline Ballroom. It’s got a gorgeous concert hall, a separate restaurant on the water, all kinds of private nooks and crannies, and lots of good wine.

The new City Winery opened briefly last year, then had to close again. This week it re-opened with a selection of musical performers. But Patti Smith? She is royalty, no? They call musical acts “artists” but she is an actual artist: rocker, poet, memoirist, essayist. Patti Smith transcends all genres. There she was on the new City Winery stage with her son, Jackson Smith, and multi-talented Tony Shanahan. Just the three of them. Shanahan plays bass guitar, upright bass, piano, and sings. Jackson, whose father was the late Fred “Sonic” Smith, is astonishing guitarist. He makes the instrument sing. And Patti is, well, everything.

This trio played a gig in March,  A year had passed before that, when they played the Fillmore West in San Francisco. That was their last show. So here they were, in front a socially distant crowd, in a soaring, gorgeous venue made of what looked like woven wood, or a very expensive basket. The sound was perfection, too. even from the balcony, where the press is sprinkled behind a low plexiglass buffer.

The show was winning because it was so ad hoc and loose. Patti recently turned 74, she says, but you’d never know it from her lithe movements on stage, and her mellifluous voice that seems richer and more textured than ever. It’s hard to remember that she was once considered “punk.” She is anything but that. Her music is bathed in melodies and hooks that are actually quite sweet, a counterpoint to her trenchant lyrics.

There was talk of her late comrades, Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Shepard. There was a 200th birthday reading  of a Beaudelaire poem, “Be Drunk.” There were the hits, from 1978, “Because the Night” and “Dancing Barefoot,” rendered in a stripped down fashion, more recent songs that should be classics, like “Grateful” and “April Fool.” There were also a couple of covers that should be recorded: Stevie Wonder’s “Blame it on the Sun,” and two by Bob Dylan including “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” and “One Too Many Mornings.” The show ended with a song dedicated to all the people we’ve lost, called “Ballad of the Southern Cross.” (I swear I had visions of Tom Verlaine.) And then “People Got the Power,” which brought fists raised in the air from the separated tables and a standing ovation. What a way to come back to life after a year in purgatory. (Patti’s daughter, Jesse Paris Smith, joined in on the piano.)

The Patti Smith Trio plays again tonight, Saturday night. Then send Clive Davis a thank you note on Facebook for signing Patti Smith in 1975 to Arista Records. (PS They each deserve Kennedy Center Honours.) The trio played one of my favourite songs, “Peaceable Kingdom.” 

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The sounds of Himalayan winds, sacred mantras and water rippling in the holy river Ganges, invite us to “Peradam”, the transcendent new album by Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith. The album, which features guests including Anoushka ShankarTenzin Choegal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will be released 4th September via Bella Union Records.

Peradam takes as its entry point René Daumal’s early 1940s novel Mount Analogue: a Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing, in which the French writer, critic and poet mapped a metaphysical journey to “the ultimate symbolic mountain” in search of meaning. In it, Daumal introduced the idea of the “peradam”, a rare, crystalline stone – harbouring profound truths – that is only visible to seekers on a true spiritual path. The band have shared a hypnotic video to the title track, directed by Stephan Crasneanscki and with editing and visual collage by Jenn Ruff.

Peradam arrives as “the final stone”, says Soundwalk Collective’s Stephan Crasneanscki, in The Perfect Vision, a triptych of albums that evoke and explore the sainted spaces of thought and creativity opened by the three French writers and poets. After albums devoted to Antonin Artaud (The Peyote Dance) and Arthur Rimbaud (Mummer Love), Peradam expands on “the living space”, says Smith, that Daumal left for future seekers to enter and create out of.

Daumal’s spiritual quests ranged wide and deep. Part-influenced by Rimbaud, he also identified with the Pataphysicians, followers of the avant-garde absurdist Alfred Jarry. Daumal experimented with hallucinogens to the detriment of his health, though he would later transfer his passions to the purity of work as he nurtured a fascination with Hindu philosophies and taught himself Sanskrit; Peradam features some of his translations.

While Daumal embraced the idea of self-abnegation as the key to internal awakening, he was also drawn to the syntheses of Eastern/Western thought in Greek-Armenian philosopher GI Gurdjieff’s teachings. Daumal’s greatest works include the novels A Night of Serious Drinking and Mount Analogue, which – though unfinished at the time of his death from TB at 36 in 1944 – inspired psychedelic magus Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain as well as the creative journeys undertaken by Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith.

Peradam will be released 4th September via Bella Union

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Yesterday (January 9th), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon welcomed both actor Will and music guest Patti Smith. After Will Smith and Fallon rapped a history of Will Smith, Patti Smith showed up to discuss her new book Year of the Monkey, she read a poem, discuss being a jerk to Bob Dylan, and performed a cover Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush.” 

Music guest Patti Smith performs a cover of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” for the Tonight Show audience.

Patti Smith’s fascination with the work of poet Arthur Rimbaud is such that she once bought his reconstructed home in the small French town of Roche. On the second of her Perfect Vision triptych with field recording and soundscape specialists Soundwalk Collective, she is joined by Phillip Glass, Mulatu Astatke, and the Sufi Group of Sheikh Ibrahim. Exploring Rimbaud’s fascination with Ethiopia, levels of sonic and conceptual intricacy run deep here, and the record even features recordings made under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar-Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. While also featuring a Patti Smith poem on title track ‘Mummer Love’, it’s the process of second-hand reading which is central to the project. As Smith describes: “Because we are working with other people’s work, and not just reading it but channelling these people, they become a fourth mind. We are Rimbaud, you, I, and the work.

“We go as far as we can to honour their work”… Take two celebrated poets and add inspired music for a stunning listen. Soundwalk Collective With Patti Smith – Mummer Love,

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith featuring Philip Glass and the Sufi group of Sheikh Ibrahim. Taken from ‘Mummer Love’, the second album in the Perfect Vision triptych collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith. Released 8th November via Bella Union,

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“IVRY” is a new song with lyrics written by Patti Smith and inspired by Antonin Artaud’s time in the mental hospital in Ivry ,The song is part of our new album with Patti Smith ‘The Peyote Dance’, to be released by Bella Union on May 31st.

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith THE PEYOTE DANCE ,The sound of walking in a Mexican canyon transforms into the distinct beat of the heart, distant chants, sticks, stones, and the whistle of blowing wind: Featuring Patti Smith, and produced in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum and Nicolas Becker a soundtrack of elements that invites us to explore a sacred space. The album takes as its starting point Antonin Artaud’s book ‘The Peyote Dance’, a work inspired by his revelatory experiences with the Rarámuri in 1936, 

Featuring original footage by Stephan Crasneanscki, Lelio Moehr and Sylvie Marchand. Courtesy, Association Temps Réel, Collectif Gigacircus, France (www.gigacircus.net/fr/) Lyrics by Patti Smith, copyright / © (2019) (Patti Smith) All music produced by Soundwalk Collective in Mexico City and NYC in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum and Nicolas Becker with original instruments from the Rarámuri Indians of the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico Voice: Patti Smith Traditional Guitars: Joel Cruz Castellanos Traditional Drums, Chapareke Snare, Chihuahua Bells: Leonardo Heiblum Foley: Nicolas Becker Recorded at Audioflot Studios in Mexico City and Hobo Sound in New Jersey

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‘Girl Crazy’ is a new collection of covers from Kyle Craft ,  After Kyle Craft wrapped up the recording of his upcoming (all originals) 2018 album, he decided to record a cover of a Jenny Lewis song for fun. This quickly spiraled into a full fledged project with Kyle recording a slew of songs by his favorite female singers.  Working with his bandmate, Kevin Clark in their home studio after hours, Craft multi-tracked all the parts himself, and what started as an idle aside became a labour of love.

 

Now Sub Pop Records and Kyle Craft have picked ten favorites from the sessions to release as Girl Crazy, a series of 2-track singles rolling out weekly starting in September.   Focusing on Craft’s acclaimed interpretive talents.

Good morning everyone, I recorded an all female artist cover album in June with my piano player, Kevin ClarkSub Pop Records decided to release them two at a time over the next 5 weeks. The first two of the series of tracks, which is called GIRL CRAZY, are Something On Your Mind by Karen Dalton and Distant Fingers by Patti Smith.

Band Members
Kyle Craft- Guitar
Haven Multz- Drums
Kevin Clark- Piano
Jeremy Padot- Guitar
Ben Steinmetz- Organ
Austin Barone- Bass

Wave is an album by the Patti Smith Group, released May 17th, 1979 The title track was a tribute to Pope John Paul I, whose brief papacy coincided with the recording sessions. The first single off the album was “Frederick”, a love song for her husband-to-be Fred “Sonic” Smith with a melody and structure bearing resemblance to “Because the Night”, the group’s biggest hit. The second single, “Dancing Barefoot”, has been covered by many artists.

“Wave” is an album by the Patti Smith Group, released May 17th, 1979 on Arista Records. This album was less commercially successful than its predecessor, “Easter, although it continued the band’s move towards more radio-friendly mainstream music. It was produced by famed artist/producer Todd Rundgren.

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Artists Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe met in New York City in 1967 and were in a love affair until 1974, when Mapplethorpe realised he was homosexual. Their early years together are documented in Mapplethorpe’s intimate black-and-white portraits of Smith, two of which featured on the covers of Horses (1975) an Wave (1979). In 2011, Smith interviewed for Time, “I was his first model, a fact that fills me with pride. The photographs he took of me contain a depth of mutual love and trust inseparable from the image. His work magnifies his love for his subject and his obsession with light.” The pair remained friends, artistic collaborators and soul mates until Mapplethorpe died of Aids in 1989. The photographer also shot album covers for artists including Paul Simon and is famed for his portraits and controversial images of the underground BDSM scene in the late 1960s and 70s.

The title track was a tribute to Pope John Paul I, whose brief papacy coincided with the recording sessions. The first single off the album was Frederick, a love song for her husband-to-be Fred Sonic Smith with a melody and structure bearing resemblance to “Because The Night” , the group’s biggest hit. The second single, “Dancing Barefoot”, has been covered by many artists.

The band broke up after this album was released, and Smith went on to marry Fred Smith. She spent many years in semi-retirement following the birth of their children, Jesse and Jackson, until her 1988 solo comeback album, “Dream Of Life” . The 1996 remaster of Wave includes Smith’s original version of “Fire of Unknown Origin.” Blue Öyster Cult‘s version was released on their album of the same name in 1981. The back cover of the original LP bore a quote from the Jean Genet poem, “Le Condamné à mort:”

Oh go through the walls; if you must, walk on the ledges
Of roofs, of oceans; cover yourself with light;
Use menace, use prayer…
My sleepers will flee toward another America

Upon its release in 1979, the album garnered mixed reviews, attracting either positive or negative commentary on its polished production and conventionality. Reviewers  were not favourable in their reviews of the album, with the former negatively likening it to Radio Ethiopia, Smith’s last album to be critically maligned and the latter concluding her review with “is this the blandest record in the world?”.Melody Maker were more appreciative of the album, praising Rundgren’s hand in the production and considered the songs to represent a newfound focus for Smith and the band.

All songs were written by Patti Smith, except where noted.

Side one
  1. Frederick” (Patti Smith) – 3:01
  2. Dancing Barefoot” (Smith, Ivan Kral) – 4:18
  3. So you want to Be (a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star)” (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) – 4:18
  4. “Hymn” (Smith, Lenny Kaye) – 1:10
  5. “Revenge” (Smith, Kral) – 5:06
Side two
  1. “Citizen Ship” (Smith, Kral) – 5:09
  2. “Seven Ways of Going” (Smith) – 5:12
  3. “Broken Flag” (Smith, Kaye) – 4:55
  4. “Wave” (Smith) – 4:55
Compact Disc bonus tracks
  1. “Fire of Unknown Origin” (Smith, Kaye) – 2:09
  2. 5-4-3-2-1 / Wave” (1979-05-23rd Live; New York) (Paul Jones, Mike Hugg, Manfred Mann) – 2:43

Patti Smith Group

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Patti Smith

Piss Factory” is a proto punk song written by Patti Smith and band member Richard Sohl, and released as a B-side on Smith’s debut single  “Hey Joe” in 1974. Tom Verlaine of Television contributes guitar playing on “Hey Joe”. It was included on the New Wave compilation album released on Vertigo Records in 1977, and the Just Say Yesterday Sire Records 1992 compilation album , and later reissued on the rarities compilation Land 1975-2002-2002). Recorded at the Electric Lady Studios in June 5th 1974.

In 1989, Rolling Stone writer and biographer Dave Marsh placed the song on the list of The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made.

The song originated as a poem written by Patti Smith about the time she spent working in a baby buggy factory, expressing her assurance that she would not let the experience kill her ambitions.

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She’d been a New Yorker since moving to the city in 1967, aged 21. She had a child that she gave up for adoption, met and started a relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe – with whom she shared a room at the infamous Chelsea Hotel for some time – and she discovered the work of French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud. She appeared in Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis’s play Femme Fatale with Wayne County, and – for one night only – in Cowboy Mouth which she co-wrote with Sam Shepherd. She was considered for the role of lead vocalist in Blue Oyster Cult, but instead contributed lyrics to many of the band’s songs, and she started a relationship with BOC keyboardist Alan Lanier. She contributed articles to rock journals Rolling Stone and Creem. By 1974 she was performing rock music herself, initially with guitarist, bassist and rock archivist Lenny Kaye, and later with a full band comprising Kaye, Ivan Kral on guitar and bass, Jay Dee Daugherty on drums and Richard Sohl on piano. The group released the self-financed single ‘Hey Joe’/’Piss Factory’ the same year and in 1975 recorded their debut album “Horses” for the label to which they were by then signed, Arista; the album was released in December ’75 to near unanimous high praise. Two months later, on February 15th 1976, the group played at the Boarding House in San Francisco – a performance which was broadcast live on FM radio. This CD captures this concert in its entirety and illustrates perfectly the strange power of this pioneering band and its dynamic, talented and foresighted lead singer and main songwriter. 1976 was also the year that the United States of America celebrated 200 years of independence from the British Empire, a celebration that culminated on July 4th – the date in 1776 on which the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Whether or not this event had any impact or bearing on Patti Smith is not recorded.

 

A few months on from the arrival of her epic Horses album and Patti Smith is on stage in San Francisco. It is February 1976 and a seminal sonic storm is starting to soar. Bicentenary Blues released on Good Ship Funke has Patti display positive elements from her own catalogue but she honours those forces that helped shape this aural assault. That means that this performance CD originally recorded for FM Radio also has Smith cover tunes by the likes of The Who, Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones.
The sound quality is not always of a superior nature but there is no doubt the intentions are honourable. Smith is spearheading a new breed but these fresh faces are taking their lead from a series of rock n roll rebels in order to carve their own niche for a new generation. There are several highs and of particular impact is the reggae tinged self penned Redondo Beach (later to be covered by Morrissey) and the ferocious Free Money (which also became a Penetration favourite). However, a poetic interlude has the gig take its foot off the pedal before a barnstorming close of Gloria Part 1 & 2 plus My Generation.
To capture the mood of a potent past influencing a powerful present this work is a fine representation of a changing sonic landscape. Punk and its urban cry is a developing genre and on either side of the Atlantic there is major movement in the direction of dissent towards the establishment. This is a warts and all example of a spirit that was to alter the balance of order and send shockwaves amongst the hierarchy.

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The song “Gloria” is built on just three chords that any garage band can play and that almost every garage band has. Yet the list of artists who have covered this tune include many bands Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Patti Smith, Tom Petty, David Bowie, R.E.M., Iggy Pop, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello..even. Bill Murray strapped on a guitar and played it at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival, the Grateful Dead used to jam on it, and it might be the only song that Jon Bon Jovi and Johnny Thunders have in common.

How has such a minimal song have had such a huge impact? Why does it still reverberate today, in arenas, at festivals, in bars and studios? And how did Gloria become such a resilient classic rock tune. Written more than fifty years ago by Van Morrison for his band Them , the story the song tells couldn’t be more archetypal: the singer (usually but not always male) knows this girl and he’s eager to tell us about her, but he doesn’t share much in the way of detail. She comes down the street, up to a room, knocks on a door, enters, makes the singer extremely happy.

She is, nearly all the time, about five feet, four inches tall (on the original demo, she was five feet). As physical descriptions go, that’s at once very specific and very incomplete. Dark-haired or light, curvy or slender, who knows? At just about midnight, she appears. There is, we can assume, something sensual about the way she moves, because the song itself slithers with an air of hypnotic mystery, those three chords (E-D-A) setting the scene.

The Shadows of Knight, version clocked in at a tidy two and a half minutes, but that was too constricting for other groups like the Hangmen, the Blues Magoos, and the Amboy Dukes, all of whom easily exceeded the five-minute mark and turned it into early psychedelic-rock classic.

On the debut studio recording by Them, Van Morrison takes the listener into his confidence, and it’s a little like bragging, He wants to tell us about his baby (on the demo, she’s his “gal”), but aside from her head-to-the-ground measurement, he doesn’t tell us much more. She makes him feel good. Also for some reason, he feels compelled to spell out her name before he says it, “G-L-O-R-I-A,” as though it were something exotic or complicated. so she does whatever she does with Van, and instead of describing what that might be, he spells her name out again. He wants to make sure we get that name right, This woman who’s about five feet, four inches, and her name is G-L-O-R-I-A.

“Gloria” was cut at Decca’s studio in West Hempstead in the summer of 1964, the first Them session. Them had been doing the song live for a while in Ireland clubs, but from all reports, they were not the most adept musicians in the studio, so the producer brought in some ringers, and here’s where the saga of “Gloria” gets a little fuzzy. It’s pretty clear from the audio evidence—compare the demo’s sluggish drumming to the finished studio version—that London’s top session drummer Bobby Graham was recruited. Graham told an interviewer for the Independent that Morrison “was really hostile as he didn’t want session men at his recordings. He calmed down but he didn’t like it.” In addition to Graham, The guitar playing was none other than Jimmy Page , Page: “It was very embarrassing on the Them sessions. With each song, another member of the band would be replaced by a session player…Talk about daggers! You’d be sitting there, wishing you hadn’t been booked.”

There’s something so compelling about the record, the rawness, the sudden startling instrumental leap midway through, Morrison’s intensity, the erotic momentum, the flurry of drums at the end. It was the sexiest thing. And it was stuck on a B-side, It was the flip side of Them’s second U.K. single “Baby Please Don’t Go In England, “Baby Please Don’t Go” charted at numer 10. In America, it was released on Parrot Records, But it was  “Gloria” that got a bit of attention, it was like that with “Gloria” it wasn’t a hit, but all around the world, local bands who discovered it found a Holy Grail. How many group rehearsals everywhere began with “Let’s try ‘Gloria’?” If you hadn’t been playing guitar for very long, this was an instant entry-level classic, and if you were playing gigs and didn’t have many songs in your live arsenal, you could stretch out on “Gloria” for a while, just keep that going. If you had a kid on Vox organ in your combo, it sounded even better.

 

Part of the brilliance of “Gloria” is in its vagueness and ambiguity. It feels explicit, but that’s a trick. The whole song is an ellipsis. Gloria the object of desire, someone who makes it all so easy: she comes up to your room, raps at your door (at a Bottom Line gig years ago, T Bone Burnett compared her knock to the drum beat of Al Jackson Jr. from the M.G.’s), no pining, no scheming. we don’t know if Gloria’s night ends satisfactorily.) The narrative is a sketch, but over the years, some of its interpreters have felt compelled to flesh it out. Leave it to Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix to make the goings-on considerably more graphic. It was a part of the Doors’s set since their early days on the L.A. club circuit (you can hear how the dynamics of “Gloria” got appropriated for the “Light My Fire” climax, the American Morrison went much further in his on-stage embellishments, some of which came out officially on posthumous Doors releases. He addresses Gloria directly, and sometimes there’s a predatory creepiness: “Meet me at the graveyard, meet me after school.” On one released version, he yells, “Here she is in my room, oh boy!” and for nine minutes it’s like a cautionary after-school special: her dad is at work, her mom is out shopping, and he’s giving her instruction: “Wrap your legs around my neck/Wrap your arms around my feet/Wrap your hair around my skin.” He continues  “Hey, what’s your name, how old are you, where’d you go to school?” What’s her name? Is he missing the whole point of this song? here.

Not to be outdone, Jimi Hendrix, on a slamming off the cuff version with the Experience from October 1968, also asks her name she replies (he says), “It don’t make no difference anyway…You can call me Gloria.” Is she a call girl? (That would explain the midnight knocking.) A groupie? More likely. Hendrix mentions that Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding also have “Gloria”s, and there is some kind of “scene” going on that involves the arrival of a pot dealer and, subsequently, the police. “Gloria, get off my chest,” Jimi says. “We gotta get out of here.” Meanwhile, he’s playing some amazing guitar, and Mitchell is just on fire, and the song is a long way from its beginnings with Them.

The song still belonged to Van Morrison, who has had a notoriously ambivalent relationship with some of his earlier hits, but he has almost always stuck with “Gloria” it’s on his landmark live album “Its Too Late To Stop Now”, and he’s revisited it over and over through the years, on record with John Lee Hooker, live with U2 (who not only have done Morrison’s version, but wrote their own song called “Gloria”) and Elvis Costello, on TV with Jools Holland’s big band. But in 1975, Patti Smith found a way to radically reinterpret it by incorporating it into the lead track from her debut album “Horses”. The cut is in two parts, the first part “In Excelsis Deo” starts off with a stark statement of intent  “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” and keeps building and building until Smith through a window, sees a “sweet young thing,” and she’s transfixed. It’s almost unbearably tense, the way Patti’s group coils around the melody, the rising excitement in her voice. It’s midnight (naturally: that’s when this always happens), and the woman comes up the stairs in “a pretty red dress” and knocks on the door, and you don’t even realize it, but the song is sneakily turning into Van Morrison’s: Patti asks the girl’s name. “And her name is…and her name is…and her name is…G…” you know the rest. With this performance, Patti’s done two things. She’s made a breathtaking breakthrough that’s completely new, and connected it with rock tradition (her guitarist Lenny Kaye is steeped in the era of “Gloria,” and compiled the essential garage-rock collection Nuggets). It was a tremendous cultural moment.

Nothing has been able to stop “Gloria” because the song is whatever it needs to be. It’s remained a rock staple. Iggy Pop  has done it live  (and singing “I-G-G-Y-P-O-P”), Joe Strummer’s pre-Clash band the 101’ers had it in their repertoire and so did Bon Scott’s group the Spektors,  On his 1978 tour, Bruce Springsteen often would include it as part of a medley with “She’s The One” and sometimes “Not Fade Away.” R.E.M. was performing it in the eighties, and so was David Bowie, in conjunction with his own “The Jean Genie” .

Some more recent live interpretations stand out. Rickie Lee Jones starts to play it, and after about a minute and a half, it turns into a reminiscence. The band keeps on riffing on those three chords, those chords that give the singer all the freedom in the world to amplify, to comment, to reflect. “I was twelve when this song came out,” she says, “and I have never forgotten, I would never forget, that’s why I will never get old, what it felt like to me as he described this [and here she pauses] girl.” “I’m gonna shout it all night, gonna shout it every day,” the song goes, and if you were around twelve years old when it came out, as Rickie Lee was, or you were more like fifteen or sixteen, as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty were, that shout of ecstasy was something that made possibilities open up for you. And that’s why Springsteen (who introduced it at a 2008 show by saying “Bring it back to where it all started! Follow me boys!”) and Petty can’t stop going back to it. It probably was where it all started, in their nascent rocking days.

Tom Petty makes it almost like a prequel. It became a set-piece for him and his band the Heartbreakers in the late nineties, played the song several times on his Highway Companion Tour in 2006, and he closed most of the shows with it during his twenty-night run at The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in 1997.  Up to this century, and there are versions floating around, from German TV, from Bonnaroo, where he unspools a story about walking on an uptown street and approaching this woman: “Don’t walk so fast,” he tells her. “I’m a true believer and I loved you at first sight.” She spurns him, she bolts (in one version, she tells him he smells like marijuana), and he’s getting nowhere.

Like Springsteen in the song “Rosalita”  he plays the only card he has. “I got this little rock and roll band,” he says. “Things are going good.” We don’t know what happens, ultimately, except this: all he wants to know is her name, this tiny shred of information. And suddenly, he hears it. Not from her, but from the wind. The wind began to sing her name. At this point, Petty’s audience knows what its part is, and the band has been patiently waiting for this eruptive moment, and like a huge gust of wind, the name rises up from the crowd, louder and louder: “Gloria!” Because even five decades after she first appeared, there’s no one anywhere who doesn’t know who she is, and the power she has.