Patti Smith was a poet, a punk prophet, a feminist icon, a living work of art and the first woman rock-outsider to come from the New York underground and become a star. From her confused and religious upbringing to her early days as a poet, punk and rock 'n' roller, Patti Smith redefined the role of artist, writer and female performer. This major biography will rightly place Patti Smith as a central figure in late twentieth century popular culture. Cited by musicians young and old as a major influence, Patti Smith is as fascinating an individual as she is a great artist. From a religious childhood in South Jersey she escaped to New York swearing she would become famous. Acting as muse first to Richard Mapplethorpe and then Sam Shepherd, Patti began her career as a performance poet and rock writer. She soon became the first punk rockstar mixing her distinct voice and poetry with rock and roll music. Yet in 1979 she gave it all up to live with her husband in quiet, suburban Detroit until he died an alcoholic in 1994. As well as placing Patti Smith at the centre of the New York underground that included, amongst others, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Blondie, Jim Carrol and William Burroughs, Victor Bockris's biography investigates the private world behind the celebrity -- the confused childhood, the piss factory, torturous relationship with men, the secretive retreat to Detroit and the slow and historic comeback in 1995 as Patti returns to her rightful place as a central character and icon of 20th century popular culture and the queen of the New York Underground.
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If anyone in rock & roll has lived a life that divides neatly into chapters, it's godmother of punk Patti Smith. In her own words, a "gawky and homely... real nervous and sickly" little girl, she nevertheless grew up with a commanding sense of destiny. A bout with scarlet fever when she was 7 years old brought on hallucinations, which fired her already varicolored imagination. Raised a Jehovah's Witness, she broke with the faith in part because it didn't accommodate an aesthetic that embraced everyone from John Coltrane to Maria Callas, from Louisa May Alcott to Jean-Paul Sartre. Venturing to New York, she found acceptance first as a poet and then as a rock singer, drawing upon rock icons (Bob Dylan, Brian Jones, and Jim Morrison among them) to create a riveting unisexual persona all her own.
From there, we witness Smith's inevitable rise and fall (in her case it's literal--she was nearly killed when she tumbled offstage during a 1977 performance). Victor Bockris and Roberta Bayley do an admirable job of tying the disparate phases of Smith's life into a cohesive whole, contrasting the '70s punk priestess in full flower with the curiously subservient suburban Detroit housewife she became following her 1980 marriage to hard-drinking former MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith and the middle-aged survivor who returned to the studio and stage in the 1990s. Smith kept company with some of the pillars of late-20th-century pop culture--Robert Mapplethorpe was her roommate, Sam Shepard was her lover, and William Burroughs was one of her many champions. But what's most striking is how she's been able to simultaneously borrow and build upon the work of the artists in her universe, growing in stature while elevating all that stirred her passion. --Steven StolderAbout the Author:
Victor Bockris is the foremost chronicler of the New York Underground. In 1972, he published Patti Smith's first book of poems Seventh Heaven at Telegraph Books. He is the acclaimed biographer of Muhammad Ali, Blondie, The Velvet Underground, Keith Richards, Lou Reed and is the author of With William Burroughs (1997) and The Life and Death of Andy Warhol (1998).
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Descripción Fourth Estate Ltd, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1857026764