Musician and poet Patti Smith is under attack after agreeing to perform at New York's fabled Chelsea Hotel on Thursday (12Jan12) for developers trying to evict longtime residents.
The punk icon will hit the hotel's ballroom for a private performance staged by new owner Joseph Chetrit as a way of ending months of strife between him and the people who have called the place home for years.
Chetrit has invited tenants, including some he is in the process of evicting, to the concert, but many have attacked him for hosting the gig - and Smith for agreeing to perform.
Longtime resident Ed Hamilton, the author of Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living With Artists and Outlaws in New York’s Rebel Mecca, tells the New York Daily News, "As a Patti Smith fan, I’m disappointed that she would support the developers who are destroying the Chelsea Hotel for future generations.
"Will a nice, stirring rendition of (Smith song) People Have the Power make the tenants feel better about the ongoing destruction of the hotel and the eviction of permanent residents? I seriously doubt it."
Hamilton has called on Smith, who was once a resident of the hotel, to cancel the concert, adding, "If she hasn’t been in some way deceived, we know there’s no way in hell Patti would give a concert."
But Arthur Nash, another author who lives at the Chelsea, believes Smith might be a big part of the hotel's future.
He tells the Daily News that Smith recently visited her old suite on the second floor and he believes the room will become a museum at the new Chelsea Hotel.
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