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Patti Smith

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:09 pm
by Ian M
Patti Smith is reading her own autobiography, Just Kids on Book of the Week this week. Interesting evocation of early 70's NY and the scene then.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qftk

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:28 am
by Des
Has anyone else heard any of this? Dreadful.

We were all ardests, wriders and poets.
He said are you an ardest? I said maybe.
He was wearing perfect sunglasses and black t-shirt. He was like the guy in Don't Look Back. He was an ardest and a wrider. A poet blah blah.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:06 am
by Adam Blake
Thanks for posting, Ian.

Very fond of Patti Smith, even though she hasn't made a decent record in a long time, as a live performer she always gives it all she's got and she was one of the few American artists and performers to have the guts to stand up publicly and denounce Bush.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4UX6UNdLUM

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:26 pm
by Des
Dreadful.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:11 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Mixed feelings. I first encountered her as a journalist on Creem clearly coming from a Beat perspective and hence quite intriguing.

Horses was something quite special at the time. I still like Redondo Beach and Free Money, but was never really moved by anything else she did since.

As for Adam's comment about giving a good show, well I saw her in Manchester around 1996, the fact that Tom Verlaine was playing with her was a big draw but it was really so-so. Despite being an interesting character again there wasn't much there musically I thought. She even got her teenage son up on stage. "He's gonna play something he likes" - guess what - 'Smoke on the Water'. Seriously.

That whole late beat/punk NY scene in retrospect looks a bit thin now. I'd say only a couple of Smith songs, the first Television LP, one or two Richard Hell songs and the Mapplethorpe pics only stand up (literally in some cases). They appear to me now as a rather thin third generation after the original Beats and the Warhol/Velvets scene. So I'm not particularly moved to check out her autobiography.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:41 pm
by Adam Blake
Hugh Weldon wrote:That whole late beat/punk NY scene in retrospect looks a bit thin now. I'd say only a couple of Smith songs, the first Television LP, one or two Richard Hell songs and the Mapplethorpe pics only stand up (literally in some cases). They appear to me now as a rather thin third generation after the original Beats and the Warhol/Velvets scene. So I'm not particularly moved to check out her autobiography.


What about the first Ramones album? Or does that not count?

I know what you mean, Hugh. But I think the original Beats were massively over-rated. Apart from Ginsberg they seem like a bunch of misogynistic mummy's boys from this remove, who rather missed the point about Black culture (Charlie Parker made all that fabulous music IN SPITE of, not BECAUSE OF his abominably dysfunctional lifestyle).

I loved Patti Smith's guts in doing what she did when she did it and some of her poetry reflected this courage ("Gloria", "Piss Factory", "Birdland","Free Money"). "Piss Factory" and "Horses" meant far too much to me a a teenager for me to ever really be objective about her but, no, I won't be reading her autobiography either! (By the way, the London date on that 1996 tour was fabulous.)

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:49 pm
by john poole
I've only heard a couple of episiodes so far, but I certainly didn't think they were "dreadful". I'm going to catch up with the others before they disappear from the i=Player (and I'll borrow the book if / when it turns up in the library).

I anticipate though that the opposing view will be more than adequately represented in tomorrow's "Feedback".

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:50 pm
by AndyM
She has always been maddeningly inconsistent, but her first album was uttterly revolutionary. Well, if you were 16 when it was released (that would be me then) and you'd never heard a woman sound remotely like that before. It changed how I saw the world, which is a stupidly grandiose thing to say, but also quite Patti-Smith-esque.....

I have never been as disappointed by any record ever as I was by her overblown second album 'Radio Ethiopia'. Then we had 'Because the Night' when your friends started saying 'oh so she *can* sing' and you had to pretend you liked it even though it meant she was consorting with Bruce sodding Springsteen. (And I did quite like it, though I've always loathed him.)

The best thing she's done for years was that covers album a couple of years ago - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' re-done as bluegrassy, lovely stuff.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:27 pm
by Des
john poole wrote:I anticipate though that the opposing view will be more than adequately represented in tomorrow's "Feedback".


I certainly hope so. Bring back The History of Dumbing Down in 100 Objects.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:40 pm
by Adam Blake
Yes to all that, Andy!

But even "Radio Ethiopia" had "Poppies" on it which inflicted my entire spine with the elements of a voluptionist disease ("it was rilly great, man") and the way she says "bottomless pit" still gives me chills - and "Pumping My Heart" positively rawwrked. (I just listened to it again and it still does.)

"Easter" was pretty grim: "Rock and Roll Nigger" was virtually unforgiveable then, unspeakable now - but "Ghost Dance" is lovely. Springsteen can go forth, be fruitful and multiply elsewhere even then and as now...

"Wave" had "Dancing Barefoot" on it which has a great poem over the end section and I liked the title track too. I realise this is an unpopular choice.

"Dream Of Life" has a gorgeous lullaby as its last track (I forget the title).

"Gone Again" was her best since "Horses" but by then she was all but forgotten except by her fans.

But "Peace and Noise" was awful almost beyond reckoning.

"Gung Ho" didn't do much to redress the balance. I seem to remember it had a couple of semi-listenable tracks on it but...

I must admit I gave up on Patti then. Regretfully, most regretfully. But I will always love her self-indulgent soul and I don't care who knows it. And when I heard her giving George W Bush what for in that snippet I posted above, well... my heart filled up all over again.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:47 pm
by AndyM
I think if Horses got you at a certain point in your life you're prepared to forgive everything else.

Though if she duets with Susan Boyle I might have to rethink.

Actually......Susan Boyle doing 'Rock'n'Roll Nigger'........

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:55 pm
by Adam Blake
If Susan Boyle were to declaim on live television that she hadn't fucked much with the past but that she had fucked plenty with the future I for one would join her fan club.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:59 pm
by AndyM
I like a lot of the things I hear about her - running amok in the 'executive lounge' at Heathrow & all that. Just a shame she has to spoil it all by singing.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:27 pm
by NormanD
I did see her last year wailing along with Ornette Coleman and The Master Musicians of Joujouka. She performed a poem I couldn't quite catch, The Joujoukas played their one tune, and Ornette bopped, just another harmolodic day. They may or may not have been all there together. Gibber gibber hey.

Re: Patti Smith

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:53 pm
by Papa M
AndyM wrote:I like a lot of the things I hear about her - running amok in the 'executive lounge' at Heathrow & all that. Just a shame she has to spoil it all by singing.


You're talking about Susan Boyle here are you?