Great Punk Tracks: Penetration v. Patti Smith – Free Money
Patti Smith in New York in the 1970s (David Gehr)
While writing Bombed Out! I enjoyed rediscovering which gigs I’d been to, on what dates, and remembering small things about the bands or the evenings I’d been in Eric’s Club or elsewhere watching Punk and New Wave bands in Liverpool between 1978 and 1980.
Back then, I was a massive Penetration fan and in 1978 I’d been in touch with them before they came to play at Eric’s in Liverpool (I’d talked to Rob Blamire, their bass player, on the phone in their management’s office one day), and I’d previously seen them at Mountford Hall in 1978 too.
When they played a matinee performance at Eric’s, they let my friend and I hide out in their dressing room so we could see them again that night for free. We were too young and too broke to pay to get into clubs at the time.
One of my favourite Penetration tracks was ‘Free Money’, a Patti Smith cover which Penetration featured on their 1978 ‘Moving Targets’ album, although I also really liked Patti Smith’s version, which I heard well before Penetration’s cover, on her 1975 album ‘Horses’.
They are both fantastic version of the same song, of course, and I have added them both below.
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And the Patti Smith version: