Video of the Day: Patti Smith's Tribute to Harry Smith


In a similar vein to this morning’s story about (relatively) overlooked punk and No Wave types from the CBGB vein, we were pleased to see this video appear on the web. It’s from a show that Patti Smith did last year in LA, wherein she paid an extended tribute to another often overlooked New York cultural figure — filmmaker and ethnomusicologist Harry Smith. By all accounts, Smith was a fascinating figure — he was an authority on folk music, and his exhaustive Anthology of American Folk Music catalyzed the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. He was also an abstract painter, an experimental filmmaker, and a dabbler in the occult. Patti knew him from her days at the Chelsea Hotel, where he was also a resident, and where he died in 1991 — he figures prominently in her memoir, Just Kids. The video goes for over half an hour, and is well worth watching.

[via Dangerous Minds]