There are some people you just assume they’re great. You give them for granted. In part because you’ve heard so many people who just worship them, in part because you never really thought about actually look into what they’ve done.
Some of them are nothing more than spoofs. They mostly live on what people think of them, doing nothing to support it, neither to disprove it.
Others, instead, are actually worth the ticket. Patti Smith is definitely worth it.
She is one of those artist I’m ashamed to say I gave for granted. I knew who she is – approximately – and I knew a couple of her songs. I honestly thought that was all.
Then my book-Guru came up and gave me this book, ‘Just Kids’, with the usual premise: “Read it! You’re going to love it!”
And of course, I did love it.
It’s a memoir book, where she tells about her arrival in New York and her encounter with Robert Mapplethorpe.
Those were hard days, the two of them sharing a room at the Chelsea Hotel and struggling in times of such poverty.
Now, I’m not here to write down Patti’s life again. But it did fascinate me the courage she displayed in leaving her quiet, normal, catholic background, to plunge into the Big City and find her way.
Then, of course, it’s the 70s we’re talking about. A time when you walk in the hall of the Chelsea Hotel and you just run into people like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, William S. Burroughs or many of the Andy Warhol’s Factory Girls.
It was a hard time and it was a magic time. It was that time when anything could happen, if you just let it happen.
Some might say it’s because it was a different era, where internet still more like a governmental instrument, phones still only worked on landlines and the word globalization was yet to be invented.
That might be true, but that doesn’t mean that this time can’t be just as magic.
I’d like to leave you with a video. It’s Patti Smith in Louisiana, giving Advice to the Young.
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