Unreal. She still uncoils like a teenager, self-conscious at first but brave (as in, willing to make a mistake), and once the music starts, once she cuts loose with that full-throated blade, that measured roar of the Goddess, man it’s like she’s doing it anywhere, in a dank basement, someone’s backyard, an old man’s bar with only one sad drunk paying attention, or playing a three minute radio-friendly in front of fifty million people on national television at the Ed fucking Sullivan Theatre, and somehow, it all seems not at all “unreal,” but “true.”
That’s perhaps one percent of one percent right. It will have to do.
* The title of this post, “Heroine | Witch | Girl | Crone,” alludes to one of my favorite Patti Smith anecdotes. Forget where I read it. SPIN or RS, about ten years ago. Anyway, Patti’s getting some silly award, and the presenter giving the award is Bono. His speech is typical Bono-BS: “Thank you Patti Smith, Sister, Wife, Daughter, Mother,” etc. And Patti comes back with, “FUCK YOU BONO, I ain’t your sister, I’m not your mother, I had a brother and HE WASN’T YOU, COCKSUCKER,” etc.
When Bono was asked what he thought of Patti’s violent reaction, he said, “Well, there you go. She never lets you down.”