New Jersey, summer, late 1970s: heat wave, gas shortages, tube tops, soccer shorts, Pel?, Bjorn Borg, teenage awkwardness. I'm stuck in the back of my grandmother's VW hatchback with my two brothers. Literally stuck: the backs of my thighs are glued to the seat with sweat. We stop at the A&P for groceries but I don't want to go in, don't care about the air conditioning or helping out, would rather sit in the sweltering heat of the parking lot with the windows down and the crackly old Blaupunkt radio playing WPLJ. And then it comes on: the song that made Patti Smith famous and the one with which Italians identify her. ‘Because the Night' is about passion, pain and poetry, a gift for anyone with a teenage soul. And a quintessential summer song. Speaking of summer songs, Patti Smith usually performs somewhere in Tuscany during the season, and this year is no exception: on July 26, she'll be near Arezzo for the OrientOccidente festival (www.orientoccidente.net). But if you can't make it, don't fret. There are lots more summer songs and festivals coming our way.