The pope and the godmother of punk

From the Independent in the U.K.:

Patti Smith has been invited by Pope Francis to perform at the Vatican’s annual Christmas concert, the Holy See has announced.

The rock legend, known as the ‘Godmother of Punk’, is one of 18 acts due to play at Rome’s Conciliation Auditorium on 13 December. The concert will be broadcast live on television.

We should have a right wing meltdown any minute now. Google “Patti Smith” and “Gloria lyrics.” The first line tells you all you need to know.

I saw Patti Smith in Brussels around 2004, part of the 150th anniversary of the birth of French poet Arthur Rimbeau. She said he was a major influence on her work. The seats were in the second row, stage left. Although Patti Smith is the godmother of punk, the show was relatively calm. Amplified acoustic guitars instead of screaming electric one. She was near 60 then, still skinny as a rail and still extremely emotive.

Went something like this:

The Vatican is very special at Christmas time. I took my wife and son during one Christmas break while we were living in Europe. They celebrated Mass in the afternoon while I walked around St. Peter’s and looked at the amazing artwork. Take a virtual tour here.

The invitation is a fascinating move by Pope Francis. Seems like everything he does these days pisses off the conservatives in the Catholic hierarchy. Inviting Patti Smith to the Christmas concert isn’t going to put him in their good graces, but fortunately, he doesn’t seem to care.