Patti Smith has scrapped a scheduled show at the Chelsea Hotel, which was supposed to take place on Thursday night, January 12. Her move to hold the concert and invite the residents to the show has raised suspicion that it's a ploy by the hotel's new owners, the Chetrit Group, who are feuding with the tenants.
The hotel has been closed to guests since last summer, but around 100 tenants stay put. They have been involved in legal battle with the Chetrits over the safety of a renovation to the building, complaining about decrying airborne dust and silica caused by renovations. The owner have tried to evict some residents.
In a statement issued after the concert cancellation, Patti insisted she's not associated to the Chetrit Group. "In respect for the wishes of the Chelsea Hotel Tenants Association I have canceled tonight's performance. My motivation was solely to serve the tenants. If this serves them better, than I am satisfied," she explained.
She elaborated, "My current involvement with the Hotel Chelsea began some months ago when I heard rumors that the hotel would be leveled. I was devastated and entered in a dialogue with the architect, through a mutual friend."
She concluded, "My small performance for the tenants was my own idea. My hope is that we might have a nice evening and the opportunity to communicate directly. I am an independent person, not owned or directed by anyone."
"My allegiance is to the Hotel itself, and I have done nothing to tarnish it. It is very difficult for me to embrace change, but my great hope is to witness the Hotel Chelsea find a strong and positive place in the twenty-first century."