Patti Smith was given the Key to New York City by outgoing Mayor Bill De Blasio at a press conference on Monday (12/27). "She has done so much to light the way, and she has done it here in New York City," De Blasio said of the ceremonial award, going on to call Horses one of the greatest albums "in the entire history of rock and roll" and that "Ghost Dance" "grips me to this day."
Patti said, "I wish I could give New York City the key to me."
After giving her the key, De Blasio also presented Patti and guitarist Lenny Kaye with a cupcake in celebration of their 75th birthdays this this (Lenny's is today; Patti's is Thursday). "I know that we don't work to gather accolades," Patti said, "but I'm the kind of person that if I get one, I really love it." Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye was also on hand for the event and after the birthday wishes, they played 1978's "Ghost Dance," which De Blasio said "the first time I heard it it gripped me" and "to this hour moves me."
You can watch the whole De Blasio new conference with Patti Smith below and forward to 40 minutes in to watch "Ghost Dance."
De Blasio, who is in his last week as mayor, also recently gave Keys to the City -- which resembles the old key City Hall's backdoor but doesn't actually unlock anything -- to filmmaker Spike Lee and Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Patti was supposed to have played birthday shows in Brooklyn and Port Chester this week but they have been postponed due to the breakout of the Omicron variant.