Patti Smith Interview: I Will Always Live Like Peter Pan
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Patti Smith Interview: I Will Always Live Like Peter Pan

August 31, 2019

(instrumental music) (applauses) [Christian] Welcome to Louisiana, Patti. [Patti] Thank you. I’m really happy to be here. It’s beautiful here. Really special. [Christian] When you’re onstage you are considered as the godmother of punk, but when I read your books, it seems like I meet another Patti Smith. It’s like you were expressing two different sides of yourself in two different medias. [Patti] Well, there’s a lot more than two because, as Walt Whitman said we contain multitudes and that energy that people later called punk rock, an energy I’ve had since I was a child… I still have, I’ll have it my whole life, but I have many different energies, in many ways of expressing myself. So if I’m expressing myself, if I’m, you know, taking care of my children, if I’m washing clothes, I’m still the girl that can put her foot through the amplifier. You know, I’m the same person. [Christian] I would like to invite you to do a reading from ‘Woolgathering’. [Patti] Sure. (applauses) Actually, this little passage talks about the year 1957 I think I was about ten years old. And it’s the story of two important things: the birth of my little sister Kimberly, which I wrote the song Kimberly about, on ‘Horses’. and also about my dog, Bambi, who I… Now, it’s how many years from fifty-seven? (counting) Wow. Over fifty years ago. I still remember this dog with the most precious of loves. “In the summer of 1957, my youngest sibling Kimberly was born. She came ten years after me, and it was a surprise to everyone, including my mother. I remember my parents leaving for the hospital. There was a commercial for paper towels on TV from the Kimberly Clark company, and that’s what my mother named her. My mother said when she saw her face, she knew she had seen that face
before but she couldn’t place it. Then she realized that it was her own face. Kimberly looked exactly like my mother. Kimberly was a sunny child, although she
had severe asthma and a host of allergies. In our little house, we were
now eight: four children, my mother, my
father, my mother’s cat Mittens, and my dog Bambi. My mother loved her cat and I
loved my dog as myself. My dog Bambi was a good companion. Intelligent, quiet, and obedient. We had brought her with us when left Germantown to start a new life in southern New Jersey. My father used to go to the barber shop, when he had some extra change to get a haircut. His barber sometimes let me sit in the big chair and he trimmed my bangs, somehow they were never even. One day he brought a basket
of puppies into the barbershop. His miniature collie had made it with a
German Shepherd. That’s quite a match, right? (audience laugh) It’s like David and Goliath. All the pups were long-haired, except for the runt of the litter. She had the coat of a Shepherd, but the markings of a Collie. She really resembled a small deer. So sweet and vulnerable in the basket. And I called her Bambi. My father said we couldn’t afford to
have another dog. I said she could eat some of my food, but he also wondered about my mother. He worried because she was still grieving for her dog Sambo. A lively black Cocker Spaniel that was
killed on the railroad tracks while we were gathering coal. The coal would fall from the passing railroad cars. There were enough pieces that would fall to fill our pockets for the coal stove. Sambo never listened and ran in front of
the train. My mother was devastated by the loss, and my father didn’t think she would want another dog But Bambi was so meek and so loving, that he relented. After a small flutter of protests, and the fact that Mittens, the cat, took a liking to her, she was given entrance into our family. I had never wanted to leave the city Germantown, where we came from, was just a short trolley ride to Philadelphia, where there were lots of big libraries, with an infinite amount of books. But nonetheless, we moved to a little starter house in Woodbury Gardens, with a pig farm, and a swamp to the right, and an unkept field in an old barn across the road. It was a comfort having my dog in this unknown territory. We spent long hours together as I explored the small forest lining the edge of our neighborhood. I named all I saw Red Clay Mountain, Rainbow Creek, Punk Swamp. There was life everywhere. Mysterious and energetic. In time I came to cherish our surroundings. We led our Peter Pan existence. Bambi, my spirit dog, with the deep sad eyes. Kimberly was often ill. The doctor ordered the house to be stripped of every allergen, including our precious animals. She was allergic to the dog and cat. This was a terrible blow yet I was not without understanding. I had no resentment against the baby, or the doctor. We all knew it was our duty to help Kimberly, but the thought of giving up Mittens and Bambi was heartbreaking. I thought of running away with my dog, but where would we go? We could sleep in the fields, shrouded at night with the invisible cloth of the wool gatherers. I could hide in the forest, and build a hut in the trees, and live like one of the Lost Boys. But I knew I could never really run away and leave my siblings. I could never really leave Kimberly. Who would rock her to sleep when my parents were working? Who would watch her sleep making certain she did not hold her breath and leave us forever? The day was fast coming when the family offered to take Bambi. I vaguely knew one of them from school. The idea sickened me. In my heart I felt a possessiveness I had never experienced. I couldn’t bear of someone else having my dog. I got up quite early and I left the house with her. It was in my mind to take her to all the places we loved. We would take one last walk to Red Clay
Mountain, and stop by Rainbow Creek. I had a peanut butter sandwich wrapped in wax
paper, and some dog biscuits. I sat with Bambi at my feet, and surveyed my domain. Bambi would not eat her treats. She knows, I thought. She knows. I stopped trying to hide what was going to happen, and I told her everything, without words. I told her through my eyes and through my heart. She licked my face and, I knew she understood. Bambi rat rarely barked. There was only the silence of her sad deer eyes. Soon, it was time to go back home, but first I took her to Thomas’s Field, and we laid in the grass and looked up at the clouds. The sun was warm on my face, and I dozed, and Bambi slept with her head and — resting on my chest. I awoke, and I knew we had to hurry home. I could feel my mother searching me out. I ran across the fields, towards home. I ran, and it was just across the road, Bambi darted ahead of me. I called her. She stopped suddenly in the middle of the road. I called her again, but she stayed still, looking right into my eyes. Even from a distance, it was as if I could see my own reflection. I froze. I just stood there, as a firetruck came racing out of nowhere and struck her. The firemen stopped and got out. My father rushed from the house and scooped her up, laying her near the bushes. The sacred bushes of God. No one said anything. No one asked what happened. The fireman felt terrible for killing her, but I knew it wasn’t his fault. I knelt down and looked at my dog, she was still warm. There was not a mark on her, not even a drop of blood. It was as if she was sleeping, but she was dead. My mother was crying, my sister’s astonished blue eyes dominated her compassionate face. I got an old woolen blanket and wrapped her in it. My father buried her by the side of the house, and we said our prayers. (audience applauds) [Christian] Thank you very much. [Patti] You’re welcome. [Christian] You said you were living in a clan of Peter Pan when you were a child. What— Could you give some examples of what was that? [Patti] Well, as a child I cherished all my books. I loved The Little Women, and Pinocchio, and Alice in Wonderland… But Peter Pan was really my favourite. Because that was the atmosphere in the world that I most lived in. And really, I thought it was possible because it was in a book. That we didn’t have to grow up And when I was very small I decided I didn’t want to
grow up, that I would stay about ten or eleven, and that was good enough for me. And it was a big surprise for me, actually, I was heartbroken to find out that we didn’t have a choice. I thought we were just put on earth and then we could decide what happens in our life. And… But I’ve never let go of that feeling. You know, I’ve never really felt that I’ve grown up. [Christian] You described how your family had their daily prayers and praying seemed like an important part of your childhood life. I connect that somehow maybe to your poetry. [Patti] Well, you know, to me prayer is the essential, you know, that is… you know, this the essential way that we communicate with our loved ones and of course with our God. In my life, my last time I was in an organized religion was when I was twelve I left my religion, but I never left prayer. You can pray anywhere, you can pray, there’s beautiful cathedrals and churches everywhere, but at the seer, in a field, or when you’re falling asleep at night. You know, it’s a way to stay in contact, sometimes just with yourself, sometimes with a higher energy, and sometimes with our loved ones. And… prayer to me is just a natural part of being. [Christian] You had an early interest in poetry, do you see there’s a connection between your being brought up with praying and the interest for poetry? [Patti] Yes. I’ve never thought about that really, but that’s really a good thought, because many poems are like little prayers. My first book of poetry was called Silver Pennies, and it was all poems that had to do with elves, and fairies, and mysticism. And in that book I read Blake, I read Yates, and Vachel Lindsay. Many poets that have stayed with me in my life. And they… a lot of them were like little prayers. “Little Lamb who made thee, Dost thou know who made thee.” It’s quite like a prayer. And yes, that’s a nice thought. I think there is an absolute connection there. [Christian] You were also reading Arthur Rimbaud, the French poet, when you were sixteen. That’s quite an early age to discover French poetry. [Patti] Well, I discovered Rimbaud two ways. When I was fourteen, fifteen years old, I wanted to be an artist, and I was very skinny, and I loved Modigliani, and I loved his paintings, because well, they reminded me of the Sienese paintings but, you know, his models I could relate to. And I read a book about him, and he loved this poet, named Arthur Rimbaud. And I didn’t know who Arthur Rimbaud is but I thought, I have to read him if this painter liked him so much. And then I was in Philadelphia, and there was a secondhand bookstore outside of bus station. Books very cheap. And there was a book, and I saw it, and what attracted me was the boy the face on the
cover. I mean I was fifteen, sixteen years old and, Arthur Rimbaud is really cute. (laughs) So truthfully I was attracted by his
face, and then I picked up the book, and realized this was the poet that Modigliani liked. So that was very lucky that it just happened to be a very cute poet. So… So I fell in love with him, but not just his face, when I opened the book, his language. I couldn’t really understand it all because poetry is sometimes like a secret language, and sometimes takes a while to unlock. But I’ve never let that bother me. If I don’t understand a poem right away, but I’m seduced by its beauty, I just, uh, I just revel in the beauty of the language. So it took me a while to decipher Rimbaud, but I loved him right away. His words, and his face. (audience laughs) Well, until I discovered Bod Dylan. (audience laughs) (audience applauds) [Christian] You left rural south Jersey when you were about twenty years old, and went to New York City. And you described that you felt like a country mouse in the city. [Patti] Yes. [Christian] At that time. [Patti] Yeah. [Christian] New York City back then it’s quite different from what it is today. Could you describe the atmosphere that you met at that time? [Patti] Well, I mean, first of all for me it was fantastic, because there was no real culture where I was raised. There was no libraries, no bookstores, no art museums. There were fields, and pig farms. And, most of the culture was in my house because all my family were readers. So our house always had lots of books. But when you left my house there was, you know, nature, which is beautiful but, uh… no culture. So New York City was like a Mecca for culture. And, uh… But also it was interesting because the architecture was very dense, it was uh… you know, turn-of-the-century architecture. It was a gritty city. There was all kinds of life, you know, if you went to 42nd Street there were the sailors, and the prostitutes, and then there was a lot of places where you could get uh, voodo things, and the Spanish and Mexican talismans, and there were bookstores everywhere, you could live very cheaply. And it seemed just alive with also uh, creative energy. Because at that time, the city was economically oppressed, so a lot of young people were coming there, because they could live there very cheaply. So it was a very, it was a, in its.. I can’t say that it was deep poverty, but it was a poor city. So it was exciting. And I felt at home there. And I never felt afraid because there were people everywhere. People would say: ‘Oh it’s a dangerous city’, and I said: ‘Well no, there’s people everywhere, they’re out all night’. I was never afraid. Nothing bad ever happened to me there. So, it was a… It was like opening up Pandora’s Box, except only good came out of it. [Christian] Actually you arrived being an artist or feeling like an artist, and you said that rural south Jersey wasn’t so pro-artists, wasn’t so favorable for artists. [Patti] Well, I mean there was nothing to
do there was no, uh, there was no center. There was no cultural center, and there most of the people that I went to school with, you know, the boys were sent to Vietnam, or the girls became wives, or worked as hairdressers, and got there, or worked in factories. There wasn’t a whole lot of work. And truthfully, I went to New York City not to become an artist at first, I went to New York City to get a job. Because I lost my factory job in Philadelphia, there was no more work, a big shipyard closed, and like 30,000 jobs were lost, and there was no, uh… Work for a 20 year old girl with a partial education. So my first duty was to get a job because I had no money. There was no credit cards in those days, or uh… you know, if you didn’t have money in your pocket you didn’t eat. So, I needed work. And New York City had so many bookstores. I figured sooner or later one of them would hire me. Which they did. And I got bookstore jobs for the next seven years. So, it was a good place at that time to get a job. [Christian] Could you please tell us about your first encounters with Robert Mapplethorpe, who was not a famous photographer at that time? [Patti] No, he wasn’t famous anything. I mean, it’s very funny though because sometimes people read my book and they say: “Um, well, you drop all these names, you seem like you ran around with all these famous people.” I say, none of us were famous, even Allen Ginsberg wasn’t famous. I mean, there was a cult of people that
appreciated him, but none of most of the Beat poets… Gregory Corso never had any money, everybody was scrambling. Jim Carroll was just a kid. Uh, you know, it wasn’t, the the cult of celebrity was not so big then. Even rock stars that I met that lived in the Chelsea Hotel at the same time as us, they weren’t much different. But um, I met Robert by chance. uh, I met him going to Brooklyn looking for some friends, and my friends had moved, and they told me to go in a room and ask the boy in there if he knew where they went. And so I went in the room, and there was a boy sleeping, and I stood there and looked at him, and it was like looking at a shepherd boy, sleeping. Because he had all these masses of dark, curly hair. He was a slender boy, and just sleeping peacefully. And he woke up, and I was standing there. And he smiled at me. And from that moment it just seemed like we were destined to be friends, or destined to know each other. It’s just his smile was so totally welcoming. It held nothing back. I was just a stranger standing in front of him. And that was my first meeting with Robert. [Christian] The second meeting you had or encounter was in Tompkins Square Park. [Patti] No, that was the third. [Christian] Ah, okay. (laughs) The second was, uh, Robert also worked in a bookstore. He worked in a this bookstore named Brentano’s. He worked downtown, and I worked uptown in the same bookstore. And he had some kind of credit slip, and he wanted to buy something, and he came into my bookstore uptown, because they sold ethnic jewelry. And there was a Persian necklace there that I really loved. It wasn’t expensive and it wasn’t it was very simple, but it seemed mystical to me. And I really wanted it, but I didn’t have the money to buy it. And so Robert came in, and we said hello,
and he remembered me. And he was there for like an hour looking at every single thing, and then he pointed to the Persian necklace and said: “I want that”. And I couldn’t believe he picked it, because there were hundreds of things there, that he picked the one thing that I wanted. So I wrapped it up and gave it to him. And to this day I don’t know how I got the guts, or the balls to say this, but I said to him: “Don’t give it to any girl but me.” (laughs) (audience applause) And he said: “I won’t.” And he left. And then the next time I met him I was in a funny situation because a week had gone by working. In New York City you have to work two weeks before you get a paycheck. I didn’t know that. Because it wasn’t like that in New Jersey. And I was so hungry, and I worked for a week, stood in line for my paycheck and they said: “No, next week.” And I was really crying. I was so, so dissapointed. And then this guy asked me for dinner. If I wanted to go out for dinner. A strange guy, an older guy. Thirty years old. (laughs) But he was kind of square and… I was really nervous, I had never gone out with an older guy before. And my mother always said: “Don’t take anything from strangers because they always want something in return. Especially a guy.” So I’m thinking, oh, all right. But I was so hungry I decided to go. So he took me to eat, and I was nervous the whole time. And then we walked down to Tompkins Square Park which was the East Village, the grittiest of the parks and the coolest. And it’s where all the hippies slept and everything, and I was sitting there on a park bench with him, and he asked me to come up to his apartment and have a cocktail. (laughs) And I thought: “Oh, this is just what my mother told me about.” (laughs) So I was trying to figure out what to do and how to get out of this, and I was really nervous because I was, it just seemed like such a difficult situation. And all of the sudden I looked, and coming up the path was the boy, was Robert. And I didn’t even know his name actually, he was just The Boy. And I saw him, and I just impulsively ran up to him, and I said: “Um, do you remember me?” And he said: “Of course”. And I said: “Will
you pretend you’re my boyfriend?” And he said: “Yes.” So I took him over to the guy, And I said: “Uh, this is my boyfriend. He’s really mad.” (laughs) And I said: “So I have to go.” And the guy was like looking at me like I was crazy. And I grabbed Robert’s hand, and I said: ‘Run!’ (laughs) So Robert and I ran, you know, ran away, and then finally we sat on a stoop, and I said: “Oh, thank you. You saved my life.” (laughs) And then I said, well I said: “I guess we should exchange names. My name is Patty.” And he said: “My name is Bob.” And I said: “Bob… You don’t really seem like a Bob. Can I call you Robert?” And he said: “Sure.” So, I call him Robert. And then after time, everybody called him Robert. (applauses) [Christian] But Just Kids begins with Robert dying, and it gives the story of your relationship, a light of intensity. It’s a story of love, but it’s also a story of loss. [Patti] Well, I think it’s also a story of an
unconditional friendship. I think really love and loss are the… It’s framed in that, but the heart of it is what true friendship is all about. I mean Robert, you know, was my boyfriend, and it was heartbreaking for both of us to go through the transition of going from being so intimate to being friends. And naturally this would break up most couples, and uh, But Robert and I had something so much deeper than, you know, things like well sex and things like that. Which all of these things are
important. You know, living together, um, you know, being true to one another and being physically intimate. They’re all beautiful things, But the thing that we had transcended everything, and that was that we bonded through our work, and both of us felt magnified by the other. Both of us completed our self-confidence, and our belief in ourselves as an artists through the other. And it was so strong that, I mean, I still feel it today. If I falter, if I feel lacking in confidence, I can access that part of him that believes in me, and I feel stronger. And there was no reason to give that up. There was no reason to give up, you know, other things that we shared like our common laughter. Because we laughed a lot. And really, had he lived, I know that we would have worked, and collaborated, and laughed till the end of our lives. Because we were only a month apart, and I always thought we’d know each other forever. And of course we do in a certain way, but I never imagined that he would die so young. But I cherish that thing that we nourished and that we saved, you know, if we couldn’t save our, you know, relationship as a couple, we saved something more precious. And, uh, so I think that is at the heart of the book. [Christian] What strikes me when reading it it’s your ability to communicate the love and compassion that was in your relationship. It’s so strong, it resonates even after you put down the book. Even years after, it really resonates. It’s
incredible. [Patti] Well, I still feel it. It’s like my dog, you know. I wrote that piece not long ago and just reading, it almost made me cry. I still love my dog as much as I did when I was eleven. I still, you know, what we had was true love, me and my dog. And what Robert and I have is also true. You know, it’s a… You know, so… It would have to have, it would have to resonate, or because it does resonate. (applauses) [Christian] In your book you say that Robert was the one asking you to write your story. Why do you think he wanted you to write your story? [Patti] Well, I think that one, I was the only one that could write it. There weren’t many people that knew Robert when he was so young. I met Robert when we were twenty. And we live such a secluded life and I think I probably, in some ways, well, I knew his young self better than anyone. And he knew also that he could trust me. Robert really liked my writing. He knew that I would, you know, do well by him, and he wanted to be remembered. He was only forty two years old. He was just, he was still evolving as an artist, he had all kinds of work to do. He didn’t want to die. He wasn’t… He did not go gently. And uh… So I think, you know, truthfully, he
wanted to be remembered, and I also think he was proud of our connection. And uh… So it took me a long time to write, but I promised I would. I did. [Christian] How long did it take you to write the book? [Patti] Well, he asked me in March of 1989, and it came out in 2010. (laughs) And it went through two publishers, and… But a lot of things happened in my life that made it difficult to write. First just grieving for him, and then, the loss of my pianist, my husband, my brother, my mother, my father. I suffered so much loss. And also raising my young children, that I didn’t have the emotional energy to write it. And I kept shelving it. I’d write it and put it back, and write it and put it back. And then sometimes I’d throw it away and start it over. And uh… But finally, you know, I got to a point where I felt around 2008 or ’09 that, if I didn’t get it done then I’d never do it. And I had a lot of responsibility. How I would, you know, portray other people, both living and dead. I wanted to make sure I was fair toward everyone. And also, you know, was able to provide an atmosphere of the city. There’s a lot of responsibility. I think people write memoirs or autobiographies really overly concerned with themselves. And uh… And don’t realize how they impact other people’s lives by writing about them. Sometimes really vindictively. A memoir should not be a format to seek revenge on people. Because you’re writing to give the people something inspiring, something interesting, something that, you know, will… Hopefully they can identify with or that will take them someplace new. It shouldn’t be a format for personal grievances. Books are too precious for that. (audience applauds) [Christian] You write in the beginning of Woolgathering that the writing process took you out of melancholy. What did the the writing process of Just Kids do to you? [Patti] It nearly killed me. That’s what it did. (laughs) It was not an easy book to write. Um… It was difficult, uh… Well, it was difficult technically, it was difficult in many ways, I wasn’t really comfortable talking
about, you know, myself, especially when I started becoming successful. I felt a little uncomfortable about how I had to really think about how to talk about that without seeming conceited or something, or self-preoccupied. So there was a lot of challenges in that book. And it was also painful, sometimes sad. But the one thing I did like is sometimes it made me laugh out loud, because what things that Robert and I did, some of them were really funny. Our arguments, because we argued all the
time about the stupidest stuff, And uh… Well, I don’t even think this is, I don’t
know if this is in the book or not, but Robert around 1970 started designing his
own clothes, and they were getting pretty… Flamboyant. And he designed these, like, chaps, like cowboys wear, you know, where they’re around here, and he had like a codpiece, you know, here in gold lamé, these pants. And we’re in a café, and we’re on our way to a poetry reading, and Robert is wearing gold lamé chaps and a codpiece. And I used to like to have honey in my tea, but they never served it in restaurants, they would only have sugar, so I would carry honey in a little bag. So I pulled out the honey and I put it on the table, and I’m putting the honey in the tea, and Robert said: “Patty, don’t, why do you have to bring honey to a restaurant?” and he said: “You’re drawing attention to yourself.” (laughs) (applauses) I just, I don’t even think I said, I just looked at him, you know, he’s like sitting there with like four necklaces, bandanas, a big thing of keys, and gold lamé pants, for a poetry reading. I said: “Yeah, I’m just you know, you know me, I’m just uh… (laughs) A real exhibitionist.” (laughs) But I mean, there were more playful little bickerings or arguments, but these things… That was the part of the book that I enjoyed just, you know, some things would just, you know, I can still laugh, I can still cry thinking of other things, but there’s was always a lot of laughter, which is important in life and important in any relationship. I always think my mother and father, who fought all the time, we were pretty poor when I was young, they fought about money, they fought about… I mean they were always fighting, but I never saw another couple laugh as much as those two. They would tell, retell and tell stories about the 30s, and World War II stories, but from the funniest angles and just be on the floor laughing. And I think it saved their marriage. It wasn’t the kids, it was the laughter. (laughs) (audience applauds) [Christian] In Just Kids there’s a description of your first performance at Slang Mark’s Church, February the 10th, 1971. [Patti] Yeah, it was Bertolt Brecht’s birthday. [Christian] Right. (laughs) But that was your first poetry reading. [Patti] Yes, it was, um… It was Robert who helped me get it. Robert always thought I should have poetry readings, he really liked to hear me read my poems, and he always wanted me to sing and read poetry. And he got me, he got a poet, Gerard Malanga, who was part of the Warhol’s Factory, to let me open him and read for like eighteen minutes. And I really wanted it to be special, mostly because I was really good friends with Gregory Corso, and he – I would go to poetry readings with Gregory, and if the poetry readings were boring, which they were always boring, but I mean, there was a lot of really boring poetry readings. And Gregory would go: “Meh, no blood, no blood. Meh. Shitty. You’re killin’ poetry.” (laughs) I would sit next to him, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, if I do a poet reading it’d better be good because Gregory will heckle me the whole time.” So I was seeing Sam Sheppard at the time. Sam Sheppard and I were doing a play together that we wrote called Cowboy Mouth, and I said to Sam: “I really want my poetry reading to have something special.” And he said: “Well, why don’t you get a guitar player and maybe sing a little or something?” And so I had met Lenny Kaye, and he was working at a record store. And I said: “I think that guy, Lenny, plays guitar.” So I went and visited Lenny and said: “You play guitar, right?” and he said: “Yeah.” And I said: “Want to play with me at St. Mark’s? You know, and do some sonic stuff a couple of songs, and then, can you do a car crash? Can you make your guitar sound like a car crash?” (laughs) He’s: “No problem.” (laughs) The big finale was about a boy in a stock car race that likes smashes against the wall. So I wanted there to be a… You know, sort of like feedback, and car crash sounds. And, so he said: “Sure”, and so, you know, we put together eighteen minutes, and we did our poetry reading, which began with, um, what is now Gloria. The beginning of Gloria used to be a poem called Oath, that began: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine. Melting in a pot of thieves, wild card up my sleeve, thick heart of stone, my sins my own.” And, so it began like that, and went straight into the car crash. And uh, it was a… Some people loved it and herald it as a new thing, and other people thought I should be arrested for desecrating the church. Which is not all that unfamiliar now, is it? But in any event, Lenny and I wheathered that, wheathered all kinds of storms, and we’re still together, forty years later. (applauses) [Christian] Actually, you mentioned somewhere that your first song or your first poem, maybe it was your first song, was Fire of Unknown Origin. [Patti] Yes [Christian] That was part of the performance
at that time at St. Mark’s Church. [Patti] Yeah. [Christian] 1971, with Lenny. I would ask you please read it so we can have the atmosphere. I’m not sure whether Lenny can do the… [Patti] Well, Lenny and I haven’t done this for a very long time, but I’m sure we could figure it out but… (audience applauses) [Patti] Lenny, come on up. Uh, this poem actually I wrote in memory of Jim Morrison, and uh… (audience applauses) Well, we haven’t done it in the some years, so if we fuck it up, it’s your fault. (laughs) [Christian] I take the blame. [Patti] This is scary. (laughs) (Lenny plays) [Patti] (singing) A fire of unknown origin took my baby away. Fire of unknown origin took my baby away. Swept her up and off my wavelength. Swallowed her up like the ocean in a fire, thick and gray. Death comes sweeping through the hallway like a ladies’ dress. Death comes riding down the highway in its Sunday best. Death comes driving, death comes creeping, death comes, I can’t do nothing. Death goes, there must be something that remains. ’cause the fire of unknown origin made me sick and crazy. A fire of unknown origin took my baby away. (audience applauds) [Christian] Beautiful. [Patti] Thanks, Lenny. [Christian] Thank you, Lennny. (audience applauds) [Christian] Thank you. [Patti] You’re welcome. (laughs) [Christian] In Just Kids you mentioned somewhere that you knew you wanted to be an artist, but you also say you wanted your work to matter. [Patti] Since I was a child I wanted to be a writer. And then, I discovered art, I saw art in person in a museum when I was about twelve, and wanted to be a painter. But when I say artist I mean them all. You know, not necessarily a painter, you know, whatever creative expression I choose. Or one chooses. People that have a really, a real true calling. So it’s not simply just expressing oneself, which is beautiful, but something more than that, something that sometimes you have to sacrifices deeply for. And I really, uh… I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to produce work that, you know, would be enduring, work that would inspire other people. When I read Pinocchio, or you know, I read Murakami, or Roberto Bolaño, or… You know, the Songs of Solomon… Anything that is given to us. It makes me want to give something in return for all the… I mean, I’m a real bookworm. All the pleasure in my life, I would say at least, I’ve spent over half my life reading. And uh… So to give back something. You know, something worthy to be in that canon, something that would give some people equal joy. [Christian] I’ve noticed that you wrote about Andy Warhol saying you felt little for the can and didn’t like the soup. (laughs) That you preferred an artist not mirroring the world but transforming it. [Patti] Yes. Well, when I was young I truthfully didn’t have an affection for Andy Warhol, as a human being I thought that he was not a very generous or kind person. His work really didn’t speak to me. Robert loved Andy Warhol though, and Robert believed he was a genius. And so I didn’t dismiss him because I knew Robert knew things, you know, I trusted in Robert’s instinct. And uh… But when I was young he just… His work just didn’t speak to me. Uh… At this time in my life I found, I’ve really gotten to appreciate what a genius he was. And I find if I’m in a museum and looking at contemporary art, I’ll just, I’m not so drawn to contemporary art, and I’ll suddenly see something across a room and I think: “That’s strong.”
And I go over in it’s Andy’s. And the last works he did, or some
of the last works he did before he died, his Last Supper body of work, I thought was genius, was quite moving. So I’ve learned to appreciate Andy’s genius. I think part of it is I didn’t have to deal with him as a human being, I could just look at his work. And really, it’s important, you know, to… You know, especially I look at our times, we’re so celebrity-driven, and we expect, you know, one loves an actor, or loves the work somebody does, and then you expect them to live up to your your expectations, or want to know about their personal life. In the end, the best thing any artist, or any actor, or people that do work, that the only thing they owe us is their work. And if they do good work their personal life should be their own. And it’s just that I kept colliding with Andy, you know, we all, we all lived around the same area. But, he’s a great artist. The reason I wrote that too is, well, it was how I really felt, you know. When I wrote that about Andy’s work, I wrote it as a young, in the mind of a young person. Because I’ve evolved to other places where I deeply, deeply appreciate him. He’s you know, with Picasso, you know, they’re two of the most important artists of the 20th century. So I understand his importance. [Christian] But what I think is important in the quotation about an artist are the mirroring or transforming, I think you are… What you do is you are transforming instead of mirroring what you see. It’s two different conceptions of how to be an artist. [Patti] Well, I feel more drawn to the
transformative in art itself. I’m not so drawn to non-fiction. And uh… But you know, I also appreciate more and more someone that has the ability to mirror our times. I think that it’s important that people do that, it’s just I’m not really that style of person. And uh… But you know, we need everybody. We need all kinds of points of view. And I learned this lesson when September 11th happened. Where I lived in New York City I could see the towers from my stoop, and I watched them come down. And uh… And then I went, you know, I didn’t live far from there so I went and looked at the remains of one of the towers, the South Tower, and it was an extraordinary… It was like a piece of sculpture, it looked like the Tower of Babel. And I started to thinking a lot about Andy then. I really missed Andy as an artist then because he would have known what to do as an artist, not to transform but to document this extraordinary thing that happened. I’m not talking about the pain, or the loss of life, or the political resonance, I just mean the physical event and these buildings. And I know that he would have done a body of work. And that it would have been extraordinary. And no one was doing it, so I had a little studio, so I had some pictures, made some pictures and made silk screens and did a body of work of silk screens, only to satisfy my need or longing to have someone do that. Because in my whole lifetime Andy what would have done it. And I even did some of the some of the images in silver to resonate Andy’s silver hair and the silver pillows in his factory. And I only bring that up not to speak about my body of work but to speak of how much I missed having an artist there who could reflect and animate what had happened. Even though I’m not that style of artist, I recognized the importance of that type of artist. But when I was young I was really judgmental. (laughs) [Christian] Just Kids is about many people, many friends, you write about you and Robert being surrounded by people all the time, and I think we heard from ‘Woolgathering’, you are surrounded by your siblings and your spirit dog Bambi. [Patti] Yes. [Christian] And in your recent album Banga, it’s Amy Winehouse and Maria Schneider. [Patti] Yeah. I don’t know why but it’s always been like that. The first poem that was ever published that I wrote was in uh… I was about fourteen years old I think, and it was poem dedicated to Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker died in 1959, and my father used to listen to Charlie Parker’s music and called him the bird. That was his nickname. So I wrote a poem called Bird is Free. You know, just probably a corny teenage poem, but it was the first real poem I wrote, was to in remembrance’s to someone that passed. It’s just part of what I do. I can’t say why I just do it. I didn’t plan to write a song about Amy Winehouse. And, you know, she lost her life, you know, while we were working on the record, and I just wrote her a little song. Maria Schneider I had known in the 70s and felt very sad when she died because she wasn’t that old, she was younger than me. And I wrote one for Maria. But on the other hand, there’s also a song, Nine, which was written for Johnny Depp’s birthday, and he’s very much alive. (laughs) (audience applauds) [Christian] You call it your talismanic nature, right? [Patti] What? [Christian] You call it your talismanic nature. [Patti] I suppose. One of them is one of my natures. [Christian] I would like you to read one a little from Just Kids. You talked about Robert, and actually, I would like, here at the end of the conversation, you to read the foreword. [Patti] Okay. [Patti] I was asleep when he died. I had called the hospital to say one more good night, but he had gone under beneath layers of morphine. I held the receiver and listened to his labored breathing through the phone, knowing that I would never hear him again. Later, I quietly straightened my things: my notebook and fountain pen, the cobalt inkwell that had been his, my
Persian cup, my purple heart, a tray of baby teeth. I slowly ascended the stairs counting them. Fourteen of them. One after another. I drew the blanket over the baby in her crib. I kissed my son as he slept, then laid down beside my husband, and I said my prayers. He is still alive I remember whispering, and then I slept. I awoke early, and as I descended the stairs, I knew that he was dead. All was still safe the sound of the television that had been left on in the night. An arts channel was on, an opera was playing. I was drawn to the screen as Tosca declared, with power and sorrow, her passion for the painter Cavaradossi. It was a cold March morning, and I put on my sweater. I raised the blinds and brightness entered the study. I smoothed the heavy linen draping my chair and chose a book of paintings by Redon, opening to the image of the head of a woman floating in a small sea, closed eyes, a universe not scored contained beneath her pale lids. The phone rang, and I rose to answer. It was Robert’s youngest brother Edward, he told me that he had given Robert one last kiss for me, as he had promised. I stood motionless, frozen. Then slowly, as in a dream returned to my chair. At that moment, Tosca began the great Aria: Vissi D’Art. I have lived for love, I have lived for art. I closed my eyes and folded my hands. Providence determined how I would say goodbye. (audience applauds) [Christian] In 2010 you won the National Book Award, and I saw on YouTube, from the award, you having tears in your eyes describing how you worked at Scribner’s bookstore dreaming about one day writing your own book. [Patti] Well, when I work I worked in bookstores for years, and my best job was at Scribner’s bookstore, and every year when the National Book Award happened, all the winners of the National Book Award, they would order a lot of copies, and then I had to wrap them in blue paper and put a little silver seal on it, and I hated this job. (laughs) Because I was a really bad wrapper.
I mean… You know, everything would look all crooked and gets hairs in the scotch tape. But when I would pick up this books they would all have this gold seal on them. Because you would have to put, I would get like a big roll of seals from the National Book Foundation. And it would say “Winner of the National Book Award” And I thought that was so cool. And I use to daydream about writing a book and I’d win the National Book Award, and then somebody else would have to wrap them. (laughs) [Christian] And now you’re admired by many young people not least many young artists and writers here at the festival who find inspiration in your book and in your life story. How do you feel about that? [Patti] I find it… it’s inspiring It’s really… I never… I mean my main goal was first to finish the book as I promised Robert, and then give Robert to the people. Because no one knew anything about Robert except the end of his life, and I… You know, there was more Robert than you know, someone who broke new boundaries and died of AIDS. There is a holistic person. And I wanted people to know him as a human being. And that was my great hope and I thought “Well, maybe it’ll be a little cult book and some people will read it.” And so many people have read it and talked to me about it. And it makes me so happy. One, because you know, it’s so nice for Robert. But it’s inspiring, it makes me want to write more books. It’s… You know a writer or any artist can’t expect to be embraced by the people. You know, I’ve done records where it seemed like no one listened to them. You write poetry books that maybe, you know, fifty people read. And you just keep doing your work because you have to, because it’s your calling. But it’s beautiful to be embraced by the people. Some people have said to me: “Well, you know, don’t you think that kind of success spoils one as an artist or, you know, if you are a punk rocker you don’t want to have a hit record.” And I say “Fuck you”, you know. It’s just like… One does their work for the people, and the more people you can touch the more wonderful it is. You don’t do your work and say “I only want the cool people to read it.” You want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired by it. But i’m equally inspired because, truthfully, I never thought I would write another book of non-fiction, or another memoir. But so many people have asked me to write one that now I’m working on one because, you know, Robert asked for that one, and the people have asked for another, so… So I’m working. (audience applauds) [Christian] You made it all the way to here from rural south Jersey. [Patti] Yes. [Christian] Is there some advice that you could give to a young artist who have a long journey in front of him or her? [Patti] Work hard and be true to yourself, and… You know and don’t forget your… the most important goal is to do good work. When I was really young William Burroughs told me, and I was really struggling, we never had any money and William, the advice that William gave me was: “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises. Don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned with doing good work, and make the right choices, and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually, you know, that name will be its own currency.” And I remember when he told me that and I said: “Yeah, but, William, my name is Smith, you know…” (laughs) [Patti] Just joking. (laughs) But I… But that’s… He gave me that advice and it was a beautiful advice and i tried to follow it. To be an artist, actually to be a human being in these times is all difficult. You have to go through life hopefully, you know, trying to stay healthy, you know, being as happy as you can, and pursuing, you know, doing what you want. If what you want is to have children, if what you want is to be a baker, if what you want is to live out in the woods or try to save the environment, or maybe what you want is to write scripts for detective shows. It doesn’t really matter. You know, what matters is to be… is to know what you want and pursue it And understand that is going to be hard. Because life is really difficult. You’re going to loose people you love, you’re going to suffer heartbreak, sometimes you’ll be sick, sometimes you’ll have really bad toothache, sometimes you’ll be hungry. But on the other hand you’ll have the most beautiful experiences. Sometimes just the sky, sometimes you know, a piece of work that you do that feels so wonderful, or you find somebody to love, or your children, or… There is beautiful things in life so when you’re suffering just you know, it’s part of the package. You know, you look at it, we’re born and we also have to die. We know that. So it makes sense that we are going to be really happy and things are going to be really fucked up too. Just… just ride with it. You know, it’s like a rollercoaster ride. It’s never going to be perfect. It’s going to have perfect moments and then rough spots but it’s all worth it. Believe me. I think it is. (audience applauds) [Christian] One last question, your children Jessie and Jackson, they are the same age more or less as you and Robert in Just Kids. What are your reflections on the world they are meeting today as opposed to the one you’re describing in Just Kids? [Patti] I think our world is… You know, I’m sure that each generation, you know, could say that their time was the best and the worst of times. But I think that right now we’re something different that I’ve never seen. You can say the best in the worst of times, but also we are in a transitional time. Something very unique to the history of mankind because of technology. Everything is shifted at a very rapid pace. And there is a lot of challenges. And uh… But I just think also it’s a pioneering time because there’s no other time in history like right now. And that’s what makes it unique. It’s not unique because we have, you know like Renaissance style artists, it’s unique because the people, it is a time of the people. Because technology has really democratized self-expression. Instead of a handful of people making their own records or writing their own songs, everybody can write them. Everyone can post a poem on the internet and have people read it. Everyone has access, and access that they never had before. There is possibilities for global striking. There is possibilities for bringing down these corporations and governments who think they rule the world because we can unite as one people through technology. We are all still figuring it out. And what power we actually have. But the people still do have the power more than ever. And I think right now, we are going through this painful sort of like adolescence. Again, what do we do with this technology? What do we do with our world? Who are we? But it also makes it exciting. Your know all the young people right now, the new generations they’re pioneers in the new time. So… Just… I say stay strong, Try to stay… Have fun but stay clean, stay healthy, because you know, you’ve got a lot of challenges ahead and be happy. (audience applauds) [Christian] Thank you very much. [Patti] Thank you for coming.


  • Reply E ī h w a z August 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Takk !!

  • Reply keekoxoxo September 15, 2013 at 6:33 am


  • Reply finn6861 October 2, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Patti Smith-a Wise Woman.Keep writing Patti-You still have alot left to say.

  • Reply Miros Hawryluk October 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    WiSDOM… BEAUTY…LOYALTY. t/y Patti ;(((…

  • Reply Soozi inCa November 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Patti looks great.  Living like Peter Pan has worked for her.  A very nice interview.

  • Reply Swamp Lady January 5, 2014 at 4:34 am

    So few people could just sit there and talk to a crowd of people the way she does it. Its magical to just watch online.

  • Reply Helen Freud March 28, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    really superb stuff

  • Reply Vince Marino April 7, 2014 at 3:57 am

    She really is a very special person

  • Reply Pratnamac April 10, 2014 at 5:05 am

    nice point of view about life and technology at the end of the video,
    but she lacks a kind of spiritiuality that wonder you "why are you here?"
    anyhow she's a great singer…

  • Reply Prudence Puddleduck May 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Riveting and wonderful! To bad about the noisy baby! People should know to take fussy children out of venues like this..

  • Reply Abigail Rudner May 20, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    This brilliant artist is still my inspiration. I love you Patti…

  • Reply seguinot June 1, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Brava! True artist!

  • Reply Tevfik Sonder July 4, 2014 at 11:52 am

    God bless! 

  • Reply endeneux July 23, 2014 at 3:10 am

    The beautiful reading about her dog, touched me deep inside.

  • Reply Lawrence Abbott August 16, 2014 at 8:47 am

    shes so much like a child, haha, as she said! but I can sense how spiritually developed she is, makes me feel so great. There's such an amazing beauty that glows from her.

  • Reply Jake bartoromo September 3, 2014 at 12:46 am

    So when is she moving to Detroit?

  • Reply FinalCurve October 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm


  • Reply Melissa Cryder December 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Oh sister, my dog mama!  What a beautiful reading. 

  • Reply Fernando Albuquerque January 10, 2015 at 12:22 am

    One of the most important persons to inspire my life

  • Reply Fernando Albuquerque January 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Love her

  • Reply joziah longo January 10, 2015 at 1:08 am

    wow Patti. So many frequencies. 

  • Reply Georgette Thompson January 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Anytime someone is confident and secure in their thoughts, insightful by their nature, someone will almost always claim they're "pretentious" or "full of themselves". I love Patti's way of expression. Rock on Patti.

  • Reply st aidan March 24, 2015 at 5:55 am

    "… Lead simple lives
    Live simple lives, children, and do everything in moderation. When you eat, drink, sleep, rest and relax, ensure that it is done in moderation. Once your physical needs are met, you should not continue to seek more, as it saps your spirit. Penance, My children, is vital to your becoming closer to Me. By this, I mean personal sacrifice. Fasting is just one example of penance. I preached the importance of penance during My time on Earth. So too did My precious prophet, Saint John the Baptist.
    I, by fasting for 40 days, did so to show you an example. It is only by fasting, children, that you will help drive out the evil one..
    Your loving Saviour
Jesus Christ. "
    – See more at:


  • Reply ainura bazekenova March 27, 2015 at 11:21 am

    wonderful interview. thanks a lot.

  • Reply Milky Rhøbember May 29, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    8:38 to speak without words <3

  • Reply Geoff Norwai June 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    This whole interview is essential

  • Reply Sid Ahmed khadraoui August 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    thanks for existing Louisiana channel and democratizing art and culture (y)

  • Reply Sharon Blackwell August 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    The beautiful reading about her dog and sister was so touching…made me cry…

  • Reply bgfd1 October 15, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Loved this. She is true inspiration . Very funny, very moving. A gifted writer.

  • Reply Frank Feldman October 17, 2015 at 4:05 am

    I thought Joey Ramone had passed away?

  • Reply musicminded64 December 10, 2015 at 8:04 am

    <3 Bambi

  • Reply lalala6751 January 31, 2016 at 1:43 am

    WOW talk about inspiring!!!  She has this way of offering new perspectives and insights (on pretty much everything) that are so uplifting and wonderful.  She had me both laughing and crying but mostly just listening intently to everything she was saying.  Awesome interview!

  • Reply tall32guy February 28, 2016 at 5:28 am

    It's called Louisiana Literature Festival but it's in Denmark? Ummm Ok. LOL

  • Reply tall32guy February 28, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I love the way Patti reads! It's so great! It is mesmerizing to listen to her. 🙂

  • Reply Richard Smith March 26, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I remember that Pig Farm from the late 60's early 70's it stunk to high heaven

  • Reply Deborah Kelly May 2, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Love Patti. Redefine value. Redefine woman. Redefine art.

  • Reply Susan Wills May 25, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Was this greatly edited? No response from the crowd! And then canned laughter!

  • Reply Adam Lewis June 6, 2016 at 8:06 am

    the opening story about Bambi has me in tears

  • Reply Sharon Sheehy June 21, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Patti is so natural love to be her friend x

  • Reply Sophia Strobel-Schmidt July 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    is the interviewer german or danish?

  • Reply Beauty-Makeup Hustler August 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Patti comes across so grounded and unpretentious,, it's so refreshing !
    Such an inspiring woman, really enjoyed the interview 👍

  • Reply Cecilia September 26, 2016 at 1:20 am

    This interview is so precious. Patti Smith is a legend. Thank you so much for uploading this for everyone to watch!

  • Reply Sara Bridgman October 30, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    This Sara friend of Mary Francis and many last of my forever in in my heart Bonny Boots given to me by my mother maybes week before my mother died suddenly she named her Bonny Boots because I always called my mothe r. Boots Bonnie Boots. Bonny had to be put down last winter and I felt so sadly and alone I was numb in grief but at night I could feel her close around my neck and is two felt safe and warm and still do amoung many other dogs deep sewn into my heart when you were talking about Bambi tear formed in my eyes I could go on and on about deep love and dogs. Also one a different wave my most favorite book was Peter Pan and on night me and next door neighbor reinacted Peter Pan. Pusstoe(Pussywillow played Peter Pan and I Wendy. We went to my smaller brothers room and he really believed we were Wendy and Peter Pan a told him we could take him the lost brother's under ground house but we had no Pixar dust but we would blind full him and walk there with him. His eyes were saucers when we got there a Pusstoe 's brothers and sisters were the lost brothers underneath a giantic fallen tree. Every thing went find until Ben saw the wrappings of a camp fire marchmello box

  • Reply Sara Bridgman October 30, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Read Peter pan

  • Reply MsPopeyeolive December 15, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Fuck yeah!

  • Reply POD1054 January 3, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Yes, Patti, so many people have read it. I live in Dublin, Ireland and I have been mesmerized by Just Kids over the past few weeks reading it. I once visited an exhibition of Robert's in Paris, and loved it. And 'Because the Night' is probably the only song of yours that I have known. Looking forward to checking out all your work now. Congrats and keep up the good work!

  • Reply Devin Gray January 31, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    God Mother of punk? Ok When do I get to meet the God Father…Iggy Pop. Right?…….So now were going back to 1957, before I was born? Ok how about James Dean. Oh, yea he's dead. So is George Washington. Born on Feb.22nd. The beatniks-San Francisco? If your going to bring up Sambo, I'm eating somewhere else….

  • Reply Devin Gray January 31, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    They got to be friends. Right? Iggy Pop & Patti Smith. I've never meant them, but I kinda like me some Bob Dylan. Well they tell me I was born in Washington D.C. But I really can't remember. Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, what does it matter? We all matter.

  • Reply Devin Gray January 31, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    The Pope declaired thatt Dogs go to heavan. Yea, because it was Kurt V. only friends. Slaughterhouse 5.

  • Reply Nniet Brovdi G V February 4, 2017 at 6:33 pm


  • Reply Rafaello Garcia March 15, 2017 at 12:41 am

    I love her!!!

  • Reply Rafaello Garcia March 15, 2017 at 1:04 am


  • Reply keykiyox April 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

    One beautiful human being.

  • Reply Sara Bridgman June 22, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Patti , I am crying for you and BAMBI this very second. so Godly sad i can not tell you how much this BAMBI hit me so hard I am so very sorry for you little patti and I know ,for I know about this for BAMBI is within your heart forever and in saying so there is a never never land and you and bambi are lying in a beautiful meadow near the lost boys under ground home. Captain hook can't touch you for you both for you and Bambi have much acorn hearts of gold. In fact Patti I wrote a story about Bambi and I call you Patti blue mittens in the story. I am so truly moved Patti. GOD"S DOG BLESSINGS TO YOU FROM SARA who talks with her many spirit dogs all the time ,I have a different tune for each beloved dog spirit even Bambi of whom I never meet as a child but I wished you lived near me with your angel BAMBI. sara a dog being love is for you only

  • Reply Nissa Nancy July 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm


  • Reply SnazzyBoxx August 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I just love Patti, she is so calming to watch. I see bits of her myself, especially the Peter Pan part. Shes so inspirational, deep, wise, funny, intelligent, and sweet but still a badass poet/singer songwriter/author/artist ! there'll never be another Patti Smith !!!

  • Reply Crimson Wolf August 6, 2017 at 6:09 am

    I saw her on her first 2 lp tours. I bought her first 3 lps. Her band
    was great but HER?? Wretched hippie junky. Phony punk poseur. Rich
    arty-farty limousine liberal. Waste of time and money. Don't know what I
    was thinking. Drugs of the times probably influenced me along with peer
    pressure. She sucked live and her albums stink. Her self importance and
    name dropping make me puke. Also, she can't write a song for shit.
    "Poet"??? "Artist"??? Aargh. Oh, the POMPOSITY!!!

  • Reply Sara Bridgman August 26, 2017 at 10:19 pm


  • Reply Deborah Louise: Artist September 30, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Patti's mother, Beverly, and my mother, Judy were very close friends. They hung around together with another woman from the area, named Ruth Smith. I was born and raised in South Jersey and grew up across the tracks from where Patti's family moved to. I didn't meet her until I went to see her perform in the 70's at a club in Philadelphia with my mom, her mom, & Ruth. She sang songs from her Horses album that night. We went to her dressing room after her performance and visited with her. She has a very beautiful heart~

  • Reply renz abong October 4, 2017 at 3:23 am

    i love this interview so so much

  • Reply Sara Bridgman October 29, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Yester day after my walking my injured love Holi.  Holi  has shark sharp bull terrier spy eyes.I realized I was napping that in my mind i was given a sight  something very  different, a source in ones life's surprizes begame my eyes.I could walk in side of me the vedio being given my part ,go back to land scape i have never seen.the o of who, my guide, thru a country i have never ever and patti shared a backwards crown and shoes sap green with silver buckle to be Captain Patti Lee smith sailed though the 7 deadly secret seas(only called deadly for the sake of convience) of never ever known ,sara lee(not you Patti lee, for you are the captain of this fine ship me maty. I once crossed sea's lost twisted sister some from bitter torment in Lee Krasner sea of a wind at times angry woman twisted sisters a te waves curl them away .  my dark sharpness come about unaware as me spider in the garden.  STOP carry on with non fiction person, . A partiular paticularcular  tall figure,  lines  very much like lmichealangello's famous statue of ''david'' In her  partiular ,I thought she might have desided to have me as her daughter. She gave me her sparkliy stripper little nauty and then she handed to me her old pockrt book.At home i open and found her face declaringher She was once a male cop in new orleans. continued at your convience. never i , can feel about myspelling ain't worth thje taxing it does for migrains pop out of top hat and the cat jumped out of the refrigcherater      .My Greetings are directly towards truth and I never ever am i going to have someon.stop sara, sorry i should not blabber,death with out silence.sort of

  • Reply Noe Berengena November 25, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Patti was initially accurate in her early assessment of Warhol. She has become kinder in her more recent estimation of his artistic contribution to our culture. I agree with her that a great artist should not mirror the culture around them but should provide a means of transcending it. Warhol was overly consumed with the world of celebrities and was intent on becoming one. (Read his diaries and you will see very clearly his limited ability to envision a greater perspective.)

  • Reply dani dana December 10, 2017 at 10:55 am

    what a story!! tears in my eyes who never had a puppy

  • Reply TheJukeboxhero15 December 18, 2017 at 1:11 am


  • Reply TheJukeboxhero15 December 18, 2017 at 1:13 am


  • Reply TheJukeboxhero15 December 22, 2017 at 12:33 am

    john lennon in drag

  • Reply Sara Bridgman March 18, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    When , I think of you and Bambi l find myself almost in tears for to have your dog given away, to me it leads me into dark memmories of my dogs .The way Bonnie Boots licked my hand just before they gave her her last shot.When very small my friend was a black lab., who was sent to Michcigan to give my aging grand mother company,but he ran away from northern Mich. My sadness still haunts me at 67.I I still think he may show himself at my door and we'll sleep together in the terrace he always was my feeling get so sad .I pretended to my self that Earnest will come home again after since 1954.Once my dog jumped out of the car where we were dineing on my Birthday when a farmer from Hunington called and told my mother that he found Ajax and we al;l got into a car to pick up Ajax a very small smooth haired fox terrier

  • Reply _chary May 18, 2018 at 12:37 am

    Man i just love Patti

  • Reply Michael Marcal June 18, 2018 at 12:15 am

    I love Patti. And I've listened to many accounts about her writing – poems, memoirs – all important and very interesting. Why does no one ask her about her musical performances?

  • Reply Harmony Freeborn June 21, 2018 at 4:06 am

    i met u when i was 5. thanks patti for all your love

  • Reply Harmony Freeborn June 21, 2018 at 4:07 am

    I am like a far cousin. Aunty Thelma was married to your uncle . or something like that

  • Reply Harmony Freeborn June 21, 2018 at 4:13 am

    now i know where my hair comes from

  • Reply marajadefire77 June 22, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Beautiful and heartbreaking.

  • Reply Debra Shateri July 29, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Oh Dear God, she speaks like a wise and golden angel. If we could follow her advice, none of us would ever be "depressed" again.

  • Reply Verónica Sánchez September 23, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Podrían agregar subtitulos en español?

  • Reply Nico Szczesny October 29, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    she's such a badass genuine bombshell. now that is a role model

  • Reply West texas Wills April 18, 2019 at 8:52 am

    God i love patti Smith there will never be another like her

  • Reply Daniel Iván: Libros para Morir April 24, 2019 at 1:51 am

    What a beautiful and insightful conversation. She is pure energy.

  • Reply guido perucca June 8, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Love her.

  • Reply James Feeney June 24, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Patti is such a warm soul!

  • Reply Martin Piñeyro June 28, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    She' ll come to Uruguay this summer for the first time!!!!👏👏👏👏

  • Reply The Glamazon Club August 4, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    She's like Shakespeare's Sister ….. her work's a lifetime of great lines

  • Reply The Glamazon Club August 4, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    She had a girly crush on Bob Dylan has she still ?? more than ever probably !! 16:42 –16:44

  • Reply The Glamazon Club August 10, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    revel in the beauty of the language : U can see why she had a girly crush on Dylan : back then He didn't even need The Look

  • Reply Samantha Murdock August 14, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Oh my God I love all of our girls just alittle bit more …now…our puppy girls mommy and daddy will always love you…and we miss you Sammy,Misty Ginger Winnie …God

  • Reply Chris Kst August 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I love this interview.
    Patti Smith is brilliant as always.
    Christian Lund's Danish accent is really cute… ❤

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