Singer-songwriter Patti Smith canceled her concert at the Hotel Chelsea after receiving backlash from some of the New York City landmark's long-time residents.Tenants had called her a sell-out to management in a fight that has gone on between the new owners and long-time tenants of one of New York's most illustrious--even infamous--hotels.
The hotel lobby had renowned artwork, mostly from Pop era, now gone during renovations. In its rooms, legendary punkster Sid Vicious's girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, was found stabbed to death in 1978. The hotel has been home to Bob Dylan, Charles Bukowski, Janis Joplin, Leanard Cohen, Iggy Pop and artist Larry Rivers, some of whose work had adorned the lobby walls.
Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey there. Allen Ginsberg was also a resident, as was Smith, herself, back in the day.
The hotel was known for its eccentricity, but when the hotel was sold to Joseph Chetrit in May, 2011, he sought to renovate it, which has prompted complaints from long-time residents.
Smith was slated to make her return to her former home Thursday evening but canceled after being criticized for 'selling out' to the hotel's controversial owners, the Chetrit group. The iconic songstress said that her future involvement is to help preserve the artistic cachet of the hotel and that she has done nothing to tarnish it.
In respect for the wishes of the Chelsea Hotel Tenants Association, I have canceled tonight's performance, Smith wrote in a statement. My motivation was solely to serve the tenants. If this serves them better, than I am satisfied.
Tenants have been engaged in a legal battle over the safety of a renovation project at the building. However, tenants were delighted to hear that Smith canceled the concert.