Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye Surprised NYC Early Voters, Busking ‘People Have the Power’ on a Street Corner

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

A group of New Yorkers out for early voting earlier this week received a rousing pep talk in the form of an unexpected rendition of “People Have the Power,” the classic 1988 song from Patti Smith, performed by the legendary singer/songwriter/activist and her longtime colleague, guitarist Lenny Kaye.

As the video shows, Smith removed her face covering briefly to sing the song, keeping distance from those around her. Some of the crowd chips in and helps Smith song the song, which makes for a pretty excellent scene:


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to wrestle the world from fools #pattismith #lennykaye #peoplehavethepower #kurimanzutto #TITAN #damianortega #breezucker #useyourvoice #vote

A post shared by Zoe Leonard (@zoe_leonard_studio) on

More, via Brooklyn Vegan:

The video was shot by Zoe Leonard and reposted by the Joy to the Polls campaign, which also commissioned tons of musicians to make playlists to listen to while you wait on line to vote. Joy to the Polls wrote:

Singing to voters in the streets is so punk! We love @thisispattismith bringing people power to the polls with this impromptu performance in NYC earlier this week.

You don’t have to be the Godmother of Punk to surprise and delight voters in long voting lines! How are you bringing #JoyToThePolls on Tuesday? Check out the link in our bio for a toolkit for artists and performers.

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