Robert Burke Warren and Grasshopper play the Smiths

My book event with the Golden Notebook in Woodstock this past weekend (held at Oriole 9 on Tinker Street) was greatly enhanced by the appearance of my friends Robert Burke Warren, and Grasshopper (from Mercury Rev), who kindly came together  – and for the first time – to perform three Smiths songs. Accordingly, the sections of A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths that I chose to read were those that covered the writing, recording and release of the songs in question, each of them a bona fide Smiths classic. I’m happy to share the relevant clips, with enormous gratitude to Robert and Grasshopper for their part in the evening’s success.

For ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want,’ Robert and Grasshopper decided to follow a new arrangement, as performed by Johnny Marr just a week earlier on Irish radio.

I preceded the performance of ‘How Soon Is Now?’ by reading from the lengthy section in the book about the book’s complicated recording process. I was left wondering how the hell Grasshopper and Robert would pull it off with one acoustic and one electric guitar. They did it.

The performances started with ‘This Charming Man.’ Unfortunately, we missed the opening section so I have featured this last. If you follow through the YouTube playlist for the book you will find clips of me talking about this song and reading also from the introduction.

Grasshopper and Robert appeared to have enjoyed the occasion so much that they’ve agreed to reprise it for another Hudson Valley book event, this one at the new Two Boots Bard College over in Rhinebeck, on Friday February 1. Mark your calendars.

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October 2021