Long time readers are aware that I have a major thing for the Mother of Us All, a/k/a Patti Smith, so -- especially in the light of Friday's Weekend Listomania -- I thought this little artifact might be worth sharing (I know some of you have already seen it, but indulge me).
I interviewed Patti for Stereo Review back in August of '78, when she was touring the Easter album, and she said something to me in passing that made me raise an eyebrow.
"Y'know, the same girl that takes Jimi Hendrix as a master has learned a lot from Debby Boone this year.
"I really mean it. I've watched Debby Boone sing "You Light Up My Life" maybe fifteen, twenty times. Each time...perfect. Each time with total, focused, concentrated commitment to delivering that song. Which I think is real good.
"Now I ain't a Debby Boone fan, specifically, and I ain't gonna start wearing chiffon tent dresses tomorrow. But I did learn something by watching that. Especially considering the fact that I'm about to have a hit single. I've got to be able to deliver that song ["Because the Night"] with all the strength and integrity and clarity that I was able to deliver it with in the studio. And if Debby Boone can do it, I certainly can do it."
Call me naive, but I basically assumed she was kidding.
Guess what? She wasn't.