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April 01, 1979 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Tuesda Aprnl 3
Pioneer High School Auditorium, 8 pm
Tickets $250 Adult, $2 Student, Group Rates. Call
764-0384. Aiimni Associaion, Mich. Union
994 2189, Pioneer High Music Dept.
U of Ms Vocl Jazz
& Dance Ensemble

Page 6-Sunday, April 1, 1979-The Michigan Daily

I TELL LENNY KAYE, guitarist,
bassist, and songwriter for the
Patti Smith Group, that the audience
seemed pretty receptive to the new
material the band presented the
night before at Second Chance, and
he just laughs.
"The new stuff's great!" he
boasts, knowing he's right. This
blend of cockiness and talent has
kept the Patti Smith Group alive for
four years; they've smashed all the
obstacles that commonly befall new
bands through the power of their
rock 'n' roll and their sheer deter-
mination to succeed.

by mike taylor

r t-


Though the bulk of their material
will never be played on radio as we
now know it, though they don't make
much money ("Cover bands who
play the bar band circuit in Jersey
make a lot more money than we do,"
claimed drummer Jay Dee
Daughterty), they're satisfied just
being a rock 'n' roll band.
OF COURSE, there is the problem
of convincing folks that the Patti
Smith Group is a band, not just a
collection of New York musicians
supporting the artistic dreams of
Patti Smith. The group's
revolutionary second album, Radio

Ethiopia, was heavily criticized in
most circles for having too much of a
"band" sound, but Kaye says the
problem was simply that "people
weren't really prepared to accept us
as a rock 'n' roll band."
Last week, Kaye, Daugherty, and
basist/guitarist Ivan Kral peppered
their conversations with me with
references to "our albums," "our
tours," and "our sound," and
frequently called their band PSG,
perhaps as a way of muting the
significance of their mentor. All
three share songwriting credits with
Smith on songs like "Pumping (My
Heart), "Till Victory," "Redondo
Beach," "Ask the Angels," and
never songs like "Broken Flag" and
"Sometimes Patti will actually
have melodies, rhythms, and words
in her head," Kaye explains.
"Sometimes Ivan or I will come up
with a kind of musical background
and she'll be able to get onto it.
Sometimes songs come out of jam-
ming." Daugherty adds: "That's
what a real group is about-it's flex-
ibility, it's input from all the
people-that's what flavors it. When
you've got a good combination, it's

THE THREE musicians were in
town two weeks ago for "Spring
Training '79," a series of three con-
certs at Second Chance designed to
prepare the band for a major tour
later this spring.
"We've been off the road for four
months, which is the longest we've
ever been off the road since we star-
ted," expalined Daugherty. "We're
just sort of warming up to it
Lenny Kaye adds, "We're still a
little stiff. We have loose moments,
but most of the really loose moments
seem to come in the improvisation,
when we don't have to concentrate
on what note we're supposed to play
next. We're trying to loosen up suf-
ficiently on stage so that we can
really work on a one-to-one basis.
And it's starting to work."
THOUGH SOLOS from each band
member gave songs like "So You
Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" and
"Poppies" a relaxed freshness, the
structure of the evenings was most
responsible for the easy-going
character of the week. The band
played two sets a night, allowing
them plenty of room to ramble, as
well as giving them plenty of space
to present their new album, Wave.
"We're experimenting with this,
and we may actually use this form
on the road," Kaye told me at WCBN
last Wednesday. "There's not the
pressure to go from one song to the
next and not leave any holes and not
rush into the next song. If we want to
change the set while we're up there,
we can. If we feel in the mood, if we
want to throw this song in, we can."
Each show was different, but all
were highlighted by the times Lenny
Kaye stepped up to the microphone
to sing Buddy Holly's "Little Boy"


or the Who's "The Kids Are Alright"
and Ivan Kral sang John Lennon's
seldom-heard "Cold Turkey."
"I DO DIFFERENT songs," Kral
said as he propped himself up again-
st one of the Second Chance
basement walls Wednesday night,
"but John Lennon is my personal
favorite. I love doing his songs."
All three were eager to talk about
Wave due out in late April.
"It's like any new album," Jay
Dee Daugherty said. "'It's another
step in the continuing saga of the
Patti Smith Group. We always strive
for growth, and to do something
new, to try not to be stale."
Kral interrupts: "There are good
tracks, good ideas. I like the basic
sound. The sound is different
because of our producer, Todd Run-
"TODD'S GREAT-super talen-
ted, an excellent arranger,"
Daugherty added.
"After the tight conceptualization
of Easter we wanted an album with
a little more breathing space to it,"
Kaye notes. "We wanted, in a sense,
a more experimental album."
I point out that the new songs seem
slower than the older tunes, and
Lenny cringes.
"They are a little slower, it's hard
to say. I'm a little too close to the
record right now to be able to see it.,
I'd say there are slower ones, but
then 'Frederic' is a kind of upbeat,
dance kind of thing."
HE CONTINUES: "A song like
'Frederic,' that's a song that's to me
is a hit. I could hear that on top 40
radio. I'd better hear it on top 40
radio. And it's a disco song, you
know, anathema ! On the other hand,
it's a cool song. I like it, you know. I
think it moves ass, it's a good beat,
it's got great singing, it's got great
lyrics; it's not like a piece of
bullshit. It's about three minutes on
the album, but we're thinking of re-
recording it. We're going to put it out
the way it is on the record, but we
might do another version of it for
about 10 minutes."
All of us talked a great deal about
the New Waves, about selling-out,
and about survival, and Kaye of-
fered this scenario:
"Over the next three or five years
all of the breakthroughs will have
become totally assimilated into rock
'n' roll, so that what seemed radical
and New Wave now or a year ago
will seem very common and conser-
vative, and then about 1985 another
new wave will have formed that will
try to throw over such old farts as
the Clash and the Patti Smith Group,
and more power to them!
"We know there's going to come a
time where we're going to want to
put down the torch. It's like we were
there to pick up the torch when it
was our turn; we want the kids of the
future to keep rock 'n' roll going."




March 6 = April 6



TICKETS $ 6.50,5 550, 4.50

An exhibition produced by the
California Historical Society,
describing the experience of
Japanese Americans during World
War 11. Included are many
photographs by Dorothea Lange.
Opening Reception: March 16,
9:30 p.m. Symposium at 7:30 p.m.
Speakers: Professor Harry H. L.
Kitano, Ph.D. and California
Congressman Norman Y. M ineta.
Tuesday thru Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Tickets on saleTuesday April 3
At The Michigan Union Box Office (11:30-5:30 M-F) and on Wednesday, April
4 at Schoolkids' Records and both Discount Records in Ann Arbor and Huckle-
berry Party Store and Where House Records in Ypsilanti. For information:
763-2071. Eclipse Jazz .opergtes under the auspices of the Office of Major




And I'll give you a jelly bean
Liu Ten-Hai of Peking, China, shows conductor Arthur Fiedler his "pipa," a
stringed instrument he will use playing with the Boston Symphony orchestra
during his American visit.
2nd Annual
LumberjAck Conelave
Palmer Field
Competitions, Demonstrations, Prizes


Sponsored by:
UAC Special Events
Engineering Council
N.R. Club /

Rain Date: April 8


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