Back on Dec. 19, visitors to New York City’s Museum of Modern Art witnessed a surprise “walk-in concert” by R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and friend/collaborator Patti Smith as part of the museum’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of French political activist and writer Jean Genet.
As you can see in the video above (via Consequence of Sound), Stipe — almost inaudibly strumming an acoustic guitar — opens with a cover of David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie” (the title is a pun on the author’s name) before Smith proceeds to “improvise” a 20-minute retelling of Genet’s biography, “from his mother’s pregnancy to his deathbed.”
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