Friday, April 30, 2010


Patti Smith, American artist and punk poet emeritus, talks about her life, her music and the importance of speaking out. Young rock and rollers may not know about Patti, or dismiss her as some old granny who doesn't have a clue, but she invented many of their tricks and they should respect their elders. Once a firebrand rocking CBGB's proto-punk scene on the Bowery with a feral rock band, writing incendiary poems and hanging with Robert Mappelthorpe and Sam Shepard on the Lower East Side, Patti is now recognized as one of the founders of punk rock. She's practically respectable. Has she lost her edge? What do you think?

“I do things that make people upset. My political views or my humanist views have caused me a lot of censorship, but I don’t have a problem with that,” Smith says. “What I would have more of a problem with is, if I had to look back on my life and say, ‘Yeah I compromised here’ and ‘yeah I did this so I could get that’–once you start doing that it’s like a house of cards, it all falls apart.”

Patti Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe back in the day

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