Okay, I admit I’m about forty years too late. Wow, forty years just tells you how old I am, but either way, I finally have come to the promised land. I have seen the light. I am now a disciple of the Godmother of Punk, Patti Smith.
Seriously, how did I miss this? I loved everything from the era. From Robert Mapplethorpe, to Lou Reed, to The Ramones…I just never ‘got’ Patti Smith. I think I was a tinge superficial…(who me? ). Yeah.
Her unkept androgyny kind of freaked me out when I was 17, but when I read the reviews of her book about her life with Mapplethorpe, titled, Just Kids, set in the pre-punk era of New York City, I was really intrigued.
I have not been disappointed. Besides her obvious talents as a poet, artist and singer, she’s a genuinely nice, cool person. People just gravitated to her authenticity. The woman romanced Sam Shepard, Mapplethorpe, (who was gay for godsakes!), Jim Carroll, writer of the Basketball Diaries, among other things, Allan Lanier, a founder of Blue Oyster Cult and Fred Sonic Smith from MC5, whom she married and had two children with.
At the height of her fame, she packed up her stuff and moved to Detroit with her husband and proceeded to raise her kids, create art, write poems and generally live an amazing life.
Proof that she is a wise, wonderful woman? Here she is dispensing advice to young people.
“You don’t do your work and say, ‘I only want the cool people to read it’, you want everyone to be transported and inspired by it.”
This is my current favorite song. Horses.