With a performance to honor her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith slated for the end of this week in Central Park, Patti Smith made a trip just a couple of blocks downtown to Studio 6-B at 30 Rock for an appearance on The Tonight Show. Joined by her two children Jackson (guitar) and Jesse Paris (keys), as well as her longtime collaborator Tony Shanahan, and The Roots’ Questlove, the quintet powered through an energetic rendition Smith’s 1988 track “People Have The Power.” Check it out above.
Just before the performance, Questlove shared his excitement about sharing the stage with a legend, posting a photo from behind the kit during rehearsals to his Instagram, writing, “8 years here & still excited by the artists I get to play with. who hooo Patti Smith.”
“People Have The Power” was co-written with Smith’s late husband and was the lead single for her album Dream of Life, with a cover photo shot by Robert Mapplethorpe. Smith’s relationship with Mapplethorpe was documented in her 2010 award-winning memoir Just Kids, which was recently picked up for a film adaptation starring Girls‘ Zosia Mamet as Smith and Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith as Mapplethorpe, though details outside the casting are very scarce.