While there was no shortage of surprises at last weekend’s Glastonbury Festival (Kanye West broke into “Bohemian Rhapsody”! Florence + the Machine covered “Times Like These” by the Foo Fighters!), Patti Smith, music icon and queen of our hearts, had a surprise guest who took the cake. Literally.
Leave it to the godmother of punk to bring out the Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday. Read that sentence again.
That’s right — Patti had the Tibetan spiritual leader ushered on stage for a crowd-sung rendition of “Happy Birthday” and even provided His Holiness with a cake covered in fruit. Hearts and souls and spirits and minds were warmed.
Flattered as ever, the Dalai Lama took the mic and thanked the crowd for the warm welcome.
He also told Patti and the other musicians that he admired their moxie:
His Holiness then left the crowd with a few valuable reminders: Treat each day as a new birthday, stay compassionate, and don’t take your friendships for granted — trust between two people is a valuable asset! Wisdom directly from the Dalai Lama.
It was far from the first time that Patti and the Dalai Lama had been in the same room. The two met in 1995 at a World Peace Conference, after Patti had written a poem in honor of the spiritual leader (Patti read a little poem for him at Glastonbury, too). Patti has also performed several times at the Tibet House Benefit, an annual concert that supports New York’s Tibet House and its activities to preserve and promote Tibetan culture. The Dalai Lama wasn’t just there on a whim: He had appeared earlier in the day at Glastonbury to speak about the “unthinkable” violence happening in Syria, Nigeria, and Iraq. Amongst other things he said,
He also took some time to say hello to some of the younger members of the crowd:
You can enjoy the incredible moment with Patti Smith and His Holiness in full, below.
[Images via Shutterstock and YouTube]