For how much I enjoy and respect Patti Smith, I own far too little of her music. On CD, I have 1996’s Gone Again and 2000’s Gung Ho, and that’s it. I don’t even have Horses yet, which I realize is a major gap, particularly since the time leading into that album is so lovingly documented in one of my favorite books, her memoir Just Kids. Dream of Life is my first vinyl purchase from her discography.
When I bought Just Kids I was expecting something raw and deliberately dirty, titillating or even shocking, but nothing could have surprised me so much as Smith’s beautiful, lyrical writing voice, her style having clearly been influenced by the Romantic poets she references throughout the book. Just Kids is a chronicle of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, a controversial photographer whose homoerotic work would come to represent the opposition to the Moral Majority. Most of all, Just Kids is a portrait of a young woman struggling to achieve her dreams of artistry in the face of societal disdain and poverty. Read More We Try It!: Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”
It started like it always does–this week something random piqued my interest, I clicked over to Wikipedia, that informational dump that always leads to more things piquing my interest, and the next thing you know I’m looking at all the Robert Mapplethorpe pictures I can find (not just the nudes) and ordering Patti Smith’s autobiography Just Kids. Read More My Punk Renaissance