I Had to Come to Paris


I found in Paris that 60’s spirit that once in the U.S has since dissipated.   The energy that infused a generation of young people, and not so young, who believed it was important to make your voice heard.  To object to actions taken by one’s government or powerful people believed to be harmful or immoral.  Who also believed it was possible to change the course of history.  It was a time when most of the anger was channeled into expressions of intention, hope and belief.


It was the Salle Pleyel.  This concert hall, visited many times by us, hosts some of the finest classical music by many of the most celebrated musicians in the world.  Tonight, and it was a rare occasion:  Patti Smith and Philip Glass (just visible at the very left edge of the picture)  in an homage to Allen Ginsberg.  It was packed.  The program was in English with French supertitles and one couldn’t buy a ticket anywhere.  They had been sold out for many weeks. 


Patti recited Ginsberg’s poetry to piano accompaniment by Philip Glass, while images of Ginsberg and his friends were projected behind her.  Obviously dear old friends, they shared a love for each other, for Ginsberg and for other storied members of the Beat Generation.


Patti and her small group of musicians ended the evening singing Power to the People and urging the fevered audience to it’s feet and toward the front while singing with her.   The feeling of love, passionate commitment, solidarity, hope and belief in the future was thrilling.  It brought tears of joy.


Check out Paris Imperfect site, www.parisimperfect.wordpress.com for another view.

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