Patti Smith weeps as stolen items returned

Patti Smith was moved to tears this week when she was handed a bag of items which were stolen from her in 1979.

The Guardian reports the singer-songwriter was giving a reading in support of her memoir M Train (Shakespeare Today) at Dominican University, Illinois, when she was approached by Noreen Bender who handed over the missing belongings.

Items in the bag included a Keith Richards t-shirt, a top she wore on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1978, and a piece of cloth given to her by brother and road manager Todd Smith, who died in 1994.

Bender told the Chicago Tribune that she received the items from a male friend of her then flatmate.

She says: “I knew I had to get it back to her. It’s not for a stranger.”

An event attendee posts on a music forum: “Patti pulls out these items of clothing and talks about them and then gets to the bottom of the bag. Here was a bandana that her beloved late brother had worn and then given to her, and she starts to weep. Before long, half the audience was crying with her.”

The stolen bag is thought to have been onboard Smith’s equipment truck which was stolen in Illinois in June 1979.

M Train (Shakespeare Today) is out now via Bloomsbury Publishing.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.