Photos and text by Robin McMillan
On Thursday evening, Lenny Kaye, longtime guitarist with Patti Smith, sang his own song — "World Book Night" — to reopen the refurbished Tompkins Square Library branch, express his love for books, and promote his own new work—"Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll."
In each chapter, the 76-year-old musician covers the "moments" as a witness and an ardent researcher. For the record, those "transformative moments" are: Memphis '54, New Orleans '57, Philadelphia '59, Liverpool '62, San Francisco '67, Detroit '69, New York '75, London '77, Los Angeles '84/Norway '93 (yes, Norway — think black metal), and Seattle 1991.
Kaye covered everything from his first performances with Smith — at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in 1971 — to listening to his friends play his favorite East Village clubs to his love for artistic change and progress.
The East Village in Music and Words" on Oct. 26, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Previously on EV Grieve: