You can go home again.

Patti Smith's Horses album hit me like a ton of bricks, oh about thirty years ago. As a teen I was a little bit poetic, a little bit rock'n'roll, and her shaman/poet/dervish shtick played really well with me. I have a cool aunt who had seen Patti doing poetry/music coffeehouse gigs with Lenny Kaye and she slipped me a copy of the album soon after it came out. Many was the night I awoke with my headphones still on, with the runout groove of one side or the other of Horses going "shhhhclickshhhhclickshhhhclick."

So now it's thirty years later, and Patti Smith is sixty for chrissakes, and she's gotten most of her original band back together to perform Horses in concert. Richard Sohl is dead, and his place has been taken by Tony Shanahan. Ivan Kral's spot was taken by Flea, and Tom Verlaine has been added as second guitarist.

I saw the show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and it was like having a reunion with myself. It's impossible to tell you how she and her band were on Dec 1 2005, because for me it was all wrapped up with the time when, and the night that, and the year of . . . . I really enjoyed the show though, and the friend I brought, who had never seen her, had a very good time too.

One period detail that was kind of eerie: there was an idiot sitting right behind me, singing the wrong lyrics, acting wasted, etc., just as I'm sure he had in 1977. There was always one, and he seems to have lived to tell about it.

Another memorable Patti Smith show took place almost exactly ten years ago. I went to see her return to performance as an opening act on Bob Dylan's tour in December 1995 at the Beacon Theater. My strategy was to see Patti and split: I had no expectations for Bob Dylan. Patti Smith was her usual anarchic self, and I felt very glad of her comeback onto the scene after years of domestic quietude. But Bob Dylan made an instant convert of me and I've been listening to him closely ever since.

I know it's ridiculous for a music geek like me to discover Bob fucking Dylan this late in the game, but let me tell you: in December 1995 at least, he was chopping down mountains with the back of his hand and they were landing straight on top of me.