Really beautiful, understated, and poetically written biography of Patti Smith, focusing on her memories of Robert Mapplethorpe. Instead of choosing to write about her rise to fame, it serves as a backdrop to very salient moments in her life. I read a professional review that suggested she started threads and then never picked them back up, would write about a necklace for paragraphs but barely spend more than a few lines on famous people she met along the way. For me, her writing, storytelling ability, was an art itself. It allowed me to picture myself in the Chelsea with her and Robert, living along side them as they figured out their environment.
People who follow their parents' well trodden path, while transitioning from "just kids" to adults, as they navigate the world, have a blueprint to guide their way. They simply do what was modeled for them, while modifying a few things here and there. But people like Patti and Robert had to transition from 'just kids" to adults making their own path. This is the story of how they met countless novel circumstances in the world of art, poetry, rock and roll, poverty, the punk scene, the drug scene, and so on. They held onto each other as they found ways of navigating such an incredible and unusual existence.
I love this book and I love that Patti narrates. Something special about curling up with my Chilli cat as a favorite rock star poet tells me stories of her life and the loves of her life. I was not bored. Loved it! Thank you Patti <3
Just the other day we watched Patti Smith perform Requiem at her return to Horses show. She ended with a long list of lost heroes. It was Bowie’s 69th Birthday that night. He was not on her list. As I ran through the pre-dawn this morning, a huge eaglish head over Father Hill, Venus winking out brightly as I turned, I gave Bowie that Love planet, and added him silently to her list.
Re-listening to this book quite simply broke my heart again. Just as it built me anew, as any good Bildungsroman will do, it cleaved in me that which is most profound: the art egg that is, Phoenix-like, forever waiting to be laid and broken open, over and over at the behest of what is best in us. The maker smithies herself, the metal gets harder, sharper with each burning. These words, formed in stories and told as pristine history in her masterly truck driver mouthed voice; this is the clarion call I'm so happy to return to, particularly in this time of trenchant mortality in the art-meets-rock world.
Thank you, Patti Smith. As you said of your guitar, this book too, "Is the only weapon you'll ever need."
Absolutely stunning. Patti Smith writes beautifully and poetically in a way that is all her own. This book will break your heart and renew your faith in creative struggle.
It took me some time to get used to her speaking- sort of monotone. But it ended up being so perfect for this story. Even happy moments, I only pictured barely there smiles. But it wasn't a sad story. It was one of love, loyalty, and friendship. I rarely write reviews. I can't say enough about this book. It's wonderful. Touching.
This is my first patti smith book, but not the last. Her words and voice are so beautiful. Being a fan of her music inspired listening to this book, but I feel like I didn't know anything about her till now. This book shares and creates such an amazing image of her life you can just picture it all. Just finished and just cried.