Patti Smith looks under the covers

Patti Smith says she was first attracted to several of the dozen cover songs that make up her latest disc, ”Twelve,” because they have both a social and spiritual component. But it becomes evident even during a brief phone conversation from New York that the veteran musician and newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (she was inducted in March) is uncovering other reasons for recording the songs by Hendrix, Dylan, Kurt Cobain, Neil Young, Paul Simon and Jim Morrison, among others. For example, Smith suggests another link between such seemingly well-known but disparate material as ”Within You Without You,” George Harrison’s spiritual, sitar-driven
meditation on the Beatles’ ”Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and the Rolling Stones’ incendiary warning of an apocalypse-in-the-offing, ”Gimme Shelter.”


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