The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 12, 1979-Page 7
Patti in person leads DSOstars
By MIKE TAYLOR
Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith,
Detroit's leading hard rock visionaries,
have decided that it's time for the kids
to start going to see the Detroit Sym-
"I would like to see a lot more young
people attending their concerts," Fred
said at a Detroit press conference Wed-
nesday. "I think the Detroit Symphony
is perhaps one of the greatest or-
chestras in America, if not the greatest.
The maestro, Antal Dorati, is a very
wonderful, charismatic person."
PATTI ADDS, "Dorati is such an in-
spiring guy. He's inspired the Sym-
phony to produce music that's majestic
and graceful, and he also inspires the
people. He's pretty much directly res-
ponsible for inspiring us to do this
"This thing" is a pair of concerts Pat-
ti and Fred are putting on next week to
benefit Dorati and the DSO. The shows,
which will play at the R.O.C. Center at
U-M Dearborn May 17 and the Punch &
Judy Theatre in Grosse Pointe May 18
will headline the Patti Smith Group and
Sonic's Rendezvous Band and feature
local groups like Flirt, the Mutants,
R.U.R., A*Moms, Vantage Point,
Focus, and ... the Rembrandt String
The press conference was held at the
Lindell AC Bar on the corner of
Michigan Avenue and Cass, a hangout
of Tiger fans and Tigers alike. Patti and
Fred, who share an apartment on Jef-
ferson Avenue, sat in a dark corner and
talked to reporters one by one under the
watchful eyes of old Tigers' photographs
on the walls.
"THE DETROIT Symphony isn't sup-
ported by the city of Detroit-it's not a
government agency," Fred explained.
"If people don't do things for it, then it
A cynic might suspect that the benefit
concerts are just a ploy to sell more
copies of the Patti Smith Group's new
Wave, or to boost Sonic's Rendezvous
Band's career, but the two certainly
When Patti says things like "When I
was a little kid my favorite records
were Madame Butterfly and 'The Girl
Can't Help It' and then lists Edith Piaf,
Maria Callas, and Little Richard as her
great inspirations, one laughs, but also
THREE YEARS ago, Smith engaged
in a monologue during a concert:
"Giuseppe Verdi was my big hero
because Giuseppe Verdi was born in a
bell. I think that's great. Can you
imagine if someone in our generation
was born in a bell? I wonder where
Jimi Hendrix was born. If you were
born in a bell, the first things you'd
have heard before you heard your
mama singing "be my baby, be my
baby" would've been DING DONG
DING DONG DING.. .
Fred, who played guitar for the
legendary MC5 before founding Sonic's
Rendezvous Band a few years ago,
remembers listening to "jazz and
classical music - John Coltrane, Eric
Dolphy, people like that" on the way to
"MUSIC MUST be approached in the
broadest terms possible," he says.
"Whenever you hear a symphony
playing, it's part of history. It's
basically music that was written and
performed before recording equipment
was ever dreamed of."
Patti smiles, and says, "Jackson
Pollack loved Michangelo, you know."
Asked what was in store for her band,
Patti replied, "I think we'll be opening
up, expanding in other directions. I'm
working on my piano playing, and Fred
said something about teaching me
saxophone one of these days."
AS FOR SONIC'S Rendezvous Band,
Fred said, "We're going to go into the
studios sometime very soon and do
some more recordings. We have a new
song called 'A Clock With No Hands'
which may be the new single."
Fred and Patti promise "diversity"
at the benefit concerts, which will cost
$10 at U-M Dearborn and $10 and $15 at
the Punch & Judy. "A*Moms and
R.U.R: are New Wave, Vantage Point
and Focus are jazz, and the Rembrandt
String Quartet is classical," Fred said.
In addition, he noted, "A speaker from
the Detroit Symphony is going to speak
See PATTI, Page 8 Patti Smith