Happy Birthday Patti Smith!
I’m not sure when it was that I first began to fall in love with Patti Smith. Maybe it was when I heard that her live shows were such driving hard rock and roll and she would spit on the stage whenever it felt right. Not out of spite, just out of “spit”. Or that her music came out of poetry, which came out of living in the East Village., which came out of being an artist. She was totally cool in my mind. A bohemian artist who found rock and roll as her medium of the time.
I finally got to see her live in 1975 when she played The Boarding House in San Francisco. She was only a year into performing on the road to support her first release. It wasn’t until I learned later that this was one of earlier shows in her career.
Today Patti continues to record, continues to perform, write, recite, film, photo document her life, everything. She began as an artist looking for her medium and today still experiments with new ways to express herself. She. to me., is what living your life as an artist is about. I cannot recommend enough her book. “Just Kids”, which is by far the best book I have read that describes the process of becoming an artist. I recommend it not just because it’s a good read, but because it’s about living a life that is driven by a passion inside of you. A passion to celebrate, to create, to explore, to live out loud what drives you and bring it to the rest of us. The life of an artist, lived as an artist, as we all wish, we could live our own. And we can.
Her life is a gift to us and today I say thank you Patti Smith