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Published: 2012/01/03

Michael Stipe Joins Patti Smith For Her Final Bowery NYE Show

Patti Smith and her band played their final New Year’s Eve show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night. During her New Year’s show, Smith invited out another noted musician who ended his old standby—now former R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe—to sing on “Wichita Lineman.”

The punk-poet has headlined the New York room every New Year’s for 14 years. Her New Year’s run also coincides with her December 30th birthday. During her December 31 show, Smith let her longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye break the news to their fans from the stage. An article in The New York Times explains, “For 14 years, the three-pack of shows by Patti Smith and Her Band in the final week of December has proved to be a reliably exhilarating way to usher out the old and ring in the new. If it’s not the Allmans at the Beacon Theater, it’s in the same area code. It’s cozy: the smallish Ballroom accommodates fewer than 600. It’s egalitarian: tickets are general admission, mostly standing room and reasonably priced. And it’s personal: the shows always include one on Dec. 30, to celebrate Ms. Smith’s birthday (she turned 65 on Friday). After the last show — an excellent night, with many special touches, including Michael Stipe singing “Wichita Lineman” — Lenny Kaye, Ms. Smith’s lead guitarist and general rock subversive, confirmed that the band would still perform, but at some other location. ‘It’s just time to move on,’ he said.”

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