When Patti Smith Joined U2 After 2015 Paris Terrorist Attacks

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Patti Smith U2 Paris Screen Cap

Patti Smith performing “People Have the Power” with U2 in Paris, Dec. 6, 2015

Author, poet and singer-songwriter Patti Smith wrote “People Have the Power” with her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5 and it was originally released on her 1988 album Dream Of Life. She was never a radio favorite – her one modest hit was a 1978 cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Because The Night” – and “People Have the Power” failed to chart.

U2 chose it as their entrance song during their iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour. When the band made their triumphant and emotional return to Paris on December 6, 2015, following that city’s terrorist attacks a few months’ earlier, Smith joined them on the AccorHotels Arena stage for a rousing version.

Watch Smith and U2 from the Paris show

The next evening, U2 invited Eagles of Death Metal for their Paris finale to perform the song together.

Watch the bands reprise “People Have The Power.” EODM also played their song “I Love You All the Time.”

EODM posted a message on their Facebook wall:

“We want to offer our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for everything our brothers in U2 did for us in the aftermath of the November 13 attacks. They reminded us that the bad guys never take a day off, and therefore we rock ’n rollers cannot either…and we never will. We are incredibly grateful to U2 for providing us the opportunity to return to Paris so quickly, and to share in the healing power of rock ‘n roll with so many of the beautiful people – nos amis – of this great city. Thank you to Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam, thank you to their wonderful management, thank you to France, and thank you to everyone in the world who continues to prove that love, joy, and music will always overcome terror and evil. We look forward to fighting the good fight on many more fronts very soon, especially when we pick up our tour in 2016.

See you again in February, Paris.”

Smith turns 77 on December 30, 2023. When she tours, tickets are available here and here.

Watch Smith’s music video for “People Have the Power”

Related: Smith sang Bob Dylans’ “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the 2016 Nobel Prize awards ceremony in Stockholm

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