(pic by Cynthia Wood)
Litquake, San Francisco’s Literary Festival kicked off its 2010 festival by honoring the original paperback bohemian, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (and City Lights Booksellers), with its Barbary Coast Award for his contribution to Bay Area Arts and letters on Saturday, October 2. Those lucky enough to get tickets to the sold out night at the Herbst Theater enjoyed an unforgettable and only-in-San Francisco style event that featured poets, writers, illustrators, beat-era survivors like Michael McClure, as well as musicians Patti Smith, Steve Earle and Tom Waits.
While Steve Earle gave a heartfelt thank you to Lawrence for allowing him and others of his generation to be born into a world that never had to exist without the poem Howl, both Patti and Tom performed. Smith began by tipping her hat to Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby, before segueing into her own composition, Wing, while Waits performed Ferlinghetti’s Coney Island of the Mind, sung while he played the piano, accompanied by the Marcus Shelby Quartet. In the green room prior, Smith and Waits reminisced about when they last saw each other, agreeing that indeed it might have been 1975. From left to right, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, and Steve Earle. Photo credit: Cynthia Wood Photography. More info at