The original punk poet laureate, Patti Smith appeared on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon recently and delivered this sparse, tender cover of Neil Young’s, “After the Gold Rush” from his 1970 album of the same name.
Smith opened the performance with a short poem, ruminating on the destructiveness of chaos, before ending on a hopeful note: “Yet I still keep thinking that/Something wonderful is about to happen/Maybe tomorrow/A tomorrow following a whole succession of tomorrows.”
Patti Smith | “After the Gold Rush” [Live on Fallon]
Musician, Tony Shanahan accompanied Smith on keys for the delicate performance of the Young classic. Their stripped-back rendition captures a sense of tension and urgency as Smith sings, “Look at mother nature on the run” it’s impossible to ignore how much more relevant the words are now, fifty years on from the song's initial release.
During her appearance on The Tonight Show, Smith also sat down for an hilarious interview with host Jimmy Fallon, in which she discussed her new book, Year of the Monkey, and being a jerk to Bob Dylan the first time she met him.
Patti Smith | Interview with Jimmy Fallon
Smith recalled that Dylan appeared backstage during one of her shows in 1974 asking, “He says, ‘Hey are there any poets in here?’ And I said, ‘I hate poetry!’ I acted like such a jerk. I don’t know what came over me. Like Sixteen Candles, when you like the boy, but you don’t want the boy to know you like them.”
Listen to After The Goldrush by Neil Young on Spotify:
Listen to After The Goldrush on Apple Music: