Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

Patti Smith Blames Crew For Stage Plunge in ’77

Punk icon Patti Smith blames stage-hands for the infamous 1977 accident which left her in traction with a broken back, insisting they failed to leave enough room for her to perform.

The singer took a tumble and plunged 15 feet (4.5 metres) into the orchestra pit during a gig supporting Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band in Tampa, Florida.

The incident left her with a fractured spine and broken vertebrae in her neck and required months of physiotherapy to enable Smith to recover – and she blames members of Seger’s road crew for leaving her too little space on stage to perform.

Smith tells Uncut magazine, “There’ve been many rumours… ‘Oh, she was stoned.’ It wasn’t like that. I was being careful on the stage because there wasn’t as much room or light. I didn’t whirl around as much as usual, but when I hit the monitor with my foot, it was half hanging over the lip of the stage.

“We needed more space and light, and we didn’t get it, and I had an accident. Those are the practical aspects of it. It p**sed me off, and it wasn’t very friendly, but it’s nothing I’m gonna sue anybody over.”

Smith also reveals she still suffers complications from the horrific accident 35 years on, adding, “I still suffer from it. My neck… I still get discomfort, spinal discomfort. It’s nothing I can’t live with.”

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