Tuesday JTO and I had lunch out in Strasbourg which made a nice change. After it we found a bar in central Strasbourg that was open for a wuick drink before turning up in the room above Librarie Kleber where Patti Smith was due for a book signing as a result of the publication of the French version of her book about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe Just Kids.
The place became very full before her entry and then a great cheer greeted her entry. She was interviewed in French and sometimes needed the services of the translator to make sure she had understood the French before replying. After her reply the translator then repeated in French what Patti had said in English. It was interesting hearing her talk about her early times and being with Robert Mapplethorpe and in the middle she gave an impromptue rendition of ‘The People have the Power’ which I only managed to film the second part of.
After there was a signing and I took along my copy of Horses which now has the autograph of Patti Smith on it. Most people had bought the book although there were some like me who took other objects, a chap behind me took his guitar which Patti would not sign.
Earlier tickets had been offered to those who wanted them for the civic reception to welcome Patti to Strasbourg so we took them, A short walk to the Hotel de Ville where it wasn’t the Mayor of Strasbourg but one of his deputies who welcomed the poet and singer to the city.
She was presented with a medal and a sculpture before she signed the visitors book, on a page which had been prepared for her. As is usual at receptions it was only after the words that we were able to fall on the food and champagne which was provided by the council. The food was good quality sandwhiches and other nibbles and the champagne was quality stuff too.
Patti Smith then left to go theCite de la Musique et de la danse on the tram. When we arrived there we saw a big queue to get in and after a while someone came out to tell us that the hall was full up and that we would not get in. After a great afternoon in the company of Patti Smith it was a shame to miss the final part of the day, but it was still a great time.
I think if there was any lesson it was that it would have been better not to go to the Civic Reception if we had wanted to get into the concert in the evening.