Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pathway To Paris: Rocking San Francisco's Global Climate Summit With Patti Smith, Bob Weir, Flea, Eric Burdon and Friends

Last night's Pathway To Paris concert, a cultural response to San Francisco's Global Climate Summit, presented a variety of musicians and activists in a quick-pased show which lasted nearly 4 hours.

Hearing from activists was inspiring, especially the three teen-agers who started Zero Hour. Two were 17 and one was only 16. They reminded me of the Parkland kids and they give me hope for this country,

Many in the audience came to see Bob Weir or Patti Smith and they were not disappointed.

Bob Weir brought out legendary Ramblin' Jack Elliot for "Friend Of The Devil":

Bob sang "The Other One),  his tribute to Neal Cassady (Beat generation inspiration & driver of the Further bus with Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, as immortalized in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test):

Escaping through the lily fields, I came across an empty space 
It trembled and exploded, left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began
There was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus to never ever land...

The evening began with a musical performance from the two Pathway To Paris co-founders, Jesse Paris Smith (Patti's daughter) on the piano, and Rebecca Foon on cello.

We soon learned that tonight would have been the 70th birthday of Fred "Sonic" Smith, guitarist extraordinaire for Detroit's MC5, the 1960's era explosive revolutionary rock band, late husband of Patti, and late father of Jesse and Jackson.

Both Patti and Jesse seemed very emotional about the anniversary, understandably so, and perhaps this only added to the intensity of the evening.

Patti joked that she was playing with TWO bass players - Flea on bass and Tony on piano.

Their version of "Pissing In A River" was one for the ages:

Patti went on to sing her classic "Because The Night":

At the end, the entire ensemble returned to help out on a song that Fred inspired, Patti's "People Have The Power":

It was nice to see one of the evening's MC's was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. He plays Jaime Lannister on HBO's Game Of Thrones, which has wrapped filming its series finale (although we won't see it until next year). He joked that he was now out of a job since Game is over. He's quite serious; however, about his role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNDP. I still don't understand why he had to push Bran out the window like that. That was rather rude.

Flea, the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, did a solo set which was really interesting. He created a bass loop, then played trumpet over that. His energy was infectious, which is one of the best types of infection.

Eric Burdon, classic singer for The Animals and (sometimes) War, did a great, short set of a Leadbelly cover ("In The Pines" AKA "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"), followed by Memphis Slim's "Mother Earth".

I enjoyed some of the lesser well-known artists too, such as Tenzin Choegyal (a Tibetan singer based in Australia), Imany, and Suluit as well, and having short speeches and videos from activists like 350's Bill McKibbon, simply brought home the message of why we were all there.

By the way, they are doing it all over again this Sunday in L.A.:

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