Thursday, February 09, 2012
I've seen Patti Smith perform a couple of times. One time was her tour sometime after her husband, Fred Sonic, had passed away and she was in mourning...but encouraged to perform and write. It was a painful empathetic show and I remember feeling really sad for her. Smiths performance was so emotional and perhaps cathartic. Oddly, I did not think about that she had also lost not only her husband but a few years earlier one of her best friends, artist Robert Mapplethorpe.
I was very excited to read Smith's memoirs of her first years in New York City with her boyfriend Robert Mapplethorpe called Just Kids. I read the book like a vampire almost all in one sitting. One day before work I thought gee I'm going to finish reading this last bit at a coffee shop. I found a diner style place called the Lincoln Restaurant which seemed a bit like the kinds of places Smith described her and Mapplethorpe scraping their bits of money together for a grilled cheese and coffee. What a mistake. The whole time I was reading the book it was very bittersweet. After all, you know how it ends. It's also bittersweet because Smith's recollections are so perfect a description of what it is like to be a young obsessed artist. I was always thinking about how much my friends like Mister Anchovy, or Paul Jones or Susan Murray or Mac Dunlop and I would love going for a donut or coffee or drinks..and we always talked about movies, or music or art we had seen or were struggling with. Just Kids is the best example of what it is like to live, and work, as an artist. And it captures a time period often only spent as young people. With the kind of passion, obsession and philosophical pursuits most people put behind them as they get older.
Anyways...it was a mistake finishing the book at a diner. Sure I knew how it ended and I thought no big deal. But I had the big loud sobbing ugly cry. I had to get up and get napkins from other tables. I took a pic above of my pile of tissues. Fortunately you can't see all the snot...I was a total wreck and I had to go to work with huge puffy eyes...and I almost kept crying the rest of the night.
Stagg took over the book and he plans on reading it a couple of times. You simply can not put it down...and he leaves me notes like "Patti left her mark @ St. Marks-n now Robert is take'n Poloriodz-hello 'society, hello leather'n studs...hey babe take a walk on the wild side"
It's difficult to explain but the following songs are part of my dna. They are in my blood. I've burned out several vinyl versions of "Dancing Barefoot" and I wasn't even able to watch the videos below because I started crying again! Which makes me laugh. Special bonus videos below featuring Johnny Depp. Eddie Vedder, U2 and BRUCE! Good thing I've seen them before because i can't watch them right now ha ha...
Jason you have to read this! Furtheron...you have to read this!
Thanks for the gift of this book from Tuffy P and Mister Anchovy! xxxxooo