Being given the keys to a city is the sort of celebrity gesture that proves difficult to know what it exactly entails, but Patti Smith is soon to find out, and in New York City no less.
In a press conference, Mayor Bill De Blasio handed over the keys and remarked: “She has done so much to light the way, and she has done it here in New York City.”
The Mayor continued to call Smith’s iconic punk record, Horses, from 1975, “in the entire history of rock and roll”. Later adding, that her track ‘Ghost Dance’ stills proves gripping to this day.
In typically poetic fashion, Smith quipped in philosophical style, “I wish I could give New York City the key to me,” when accepting the award.
She later added: “I know that we don’t work to gather accolades, but I’m the kind of person that if I get one, I really love it.” And what finer accolade to accept than a free pass to roam the city that has forever proved to be your artistic muse?
With Horses, Smith ensured that the CBGB movement had sensibilities to go along with the invigorating revolution of punk, and as a result, the Illinois born star has forever been linked to the Big Apple. This award recognises that creative kinship in style.