There is only one Patti Smith and she is performing back-to-back shows at Royal Oak Music Theatre

Staff Pick


  • Ben Houdijk /

The pen is mightier than the sword could not be more true than when speaking about punk poet Patti Smith who, for nearly 50 years, has harnessed her words for protest, unity, and mostly, love.

Smith, a Chicago native raised in New Jersey, married Detroit musician Fred “Sonic” Smith in 1980 after a chance meeting at Lafayette Coney Island. The two would move to St. Clair Shores, where the “Because the Night” singer lived until Fred’s death in 1994 (she relocated to New York City soon after). Earlier this year, the honorary Detroiter, now 72, announced the release of her latest memoir, Year of the Monkey — a follow-up t0 2017’s novella Devotion.

This will mark Smith’s third memoir following 2015’s M Train and the award-winning Just Kids, which details her relationship with the late Robert Mapplethorpe. Before Year of the Monkey hits shelves on Sept. 24, Smith will pay a visit to the Royal Oak Music Theatre — making her first metro Detroit appearance since 2018, when Smith performed a special Valentine’s Day set in support of Devotion at the Detroit Film Theatre.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, and Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre; 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980; Tickets are $45.

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