Patti Smith comes under fire for planned Hotel Chelsea gig

The punk icon will play a show at her former address tomorrow

Patti Smith has come under fire from residents of New York’s iconic Hotel Chelsea because of her plans to play a show at the landmark address tomorrow (January 12).

According to a report in NY Daily News longterm residents of the hotel have accused Smith of selling out by playing the gig, which is due to talk place in the hotel’s ballroom.

All of the hotel’s residents have been invited to the private performance, including the 30 or so that are being evicted by the hotel’s new owner, Joseph Chetrit. Her gig at the hotel that she has twice called home is being seen by some as a sign that she is backing the new owners and their controversial revamp of the hotel and the eviction of permanent residents.

Resident and author of Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living With Artists and Outlaws in New York’s Rebel Mecca, Ed Hamilton has said: “As a Patti Smith fan, I’m disappointed that she would support the developers who are destroying the Chelsea Hotel for future generations.” He continued: “Will a nice, stirring rendition of ‘People Have the Power’ make the tenants feel better about the ongoing destruction of the hotel and the eviction of permanent residents? I seriously doubt it.”

Patti Smith twice lived at the Hotel Chelsea, first in the 1960s with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and then in the late 1990s after her husband, Fred (Sonic) Smith of MC5 passed away.

Other famous former residents include Janis Joplin, Iggy Pop, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. Nancy Spungen – girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols – was found stabbed to death at the hotel in 1978.