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Patti Smith has stolen possessions returned after 36 years

The icon burst into tears after a fan interrupted her reading with the long lost items

Things got a bit emosh for Patti Smith this weekend, when a bag of possessions that had been stolen from her 36 years before was finally returned.

The icon, who was at Dominican University to discuss her new memoir M Train, burst into tears when a fan interrupted her reading to give her the bag of items – which included a bandana that had been given to the singer by her late brother. 

“A woman stood up and told Patti that she had a bag of clothes that belonged to her 40 years ago and would like to return it,” one witness wrote. “Smith (and everybody) looked totally confused, but asked the person to come up to the stage and hand her the bag. Patti looked inside and just froze.” 

“Turns out that 40 years ago the band’s truck was stolen in Chicago, all their equipment/clothes/personal things ... basically everything they owned. These clothes among them. So Patti pulls out these items of clothing and talks about them (the shirt she wore on the Rolling Stone cover, the Keith Richards T-Shirt you’ve seen her wear in a hundred photos) 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.”


According to reports in Chicago Tribune, the fan – also known as Doreen Bender – claimed that the items had been given to her by a friend who worked for U-Haul at the time. It was thought that they were taken during the Ryder truck theft in June 1979, where over $40000 worth of musical equipment was stolen while Smith was playing at Chicago's Aragon.

“I just thought, 'Oh my god, these are her clothes and they still have sweat on them,'” Bender told the Tribune.

“The feeling of making your hero happy, it was a moment. It was the highlight of my life.”