Patti Smith has canceled a private show she was going to perform for residents Thursday night at the Chelsea Hotel, according to Sam Himmelstein, a lawyer for the hotel’s tenants’ association.
Mr. Himmelstein said Ms. Smith called him Thursday night to inform him of her decision.
Ms. Smith had announced earlier this week that she had planned to play a private show for residents on Thursday, triggering suspicions among them that she was performing at the behest of the new owner, the Chetrit Group, which is feuding with the tenants.
On Wednesday, Ms. Smith had defended her decision, saying the concert was her idea and that the hotel’s preservation as a haven for artists was of paramount concern to her.
But on Thursday, she apparently had a change of heart.
In a statement, Ms. Smith said, “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, then I am satisfied.”
Mr. Himmelstein said, “She said she did it with the best intentions, that she has no relationship with the owner but she is friends with the architect, Gene Kaufman, who is overseeing the renovation.”
Several tenants had called on Ms. Smith to cancel the show, while others said they would not attend.
“The Chelsea Hotel Tenants Association respectfully declines the invitation of Patti Smith and the Chelsea Hotel management for this evening’s concert. We consider the timing to be unfortunate both due to the publicity,” Zoe Pappas, the association president, wrote in a statement earlier Thursday, “and our legal situation.”
The hotel, which was once home to Ms. Smith, among many other luminaries – including Dylan Thomas, Charles Bukowski and Arthur Miller — has been closed to guests since last summer, though roughly 100 residents remain.
In December the tenants’ association filed a lawsuit against the new owners, decrying airborne dust and silica caused by renovations. They also said the landlord had increased eviction attempts.
Messages left with a spokeswoman for the Chetrit Group were not immediately returned.
“At least she is leaving with a little bit of her integrity intact,” Ed Hamilton, who writes the Living With Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog, said of Ms. Smith. “We just hope we don’t have to fight Bob Dylan next week.”