12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas paper, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
To Patti Smith poems are like prayers. In an interview she said that she gave up on religion but never on prayer. Her song lyrics are like prayers, some literally so (as in Gloria). Some of her songs are introduced by a prayer and some prayers are directed at specific people. In her lyrics she talks to (and prays for) Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patty Hearst (and many others, her Rock and Roll Niggers). Patty Hearst is addressed introducing a cover of Hendrix's Hey Joe, Brian Jones is spoken to introducing Lou Reed's We're gonna have a real good time together. Collected on UbuWeb are some early recordings by Patti Smith, poetry readings basically with minimal accompaniment by her longtime collaborator Lenny Kaye. These recordings are the groundwork for a series of highly important and influential albums she produced in the late seventies and early eighties.