Patti Smith is considered a poet whose energy and vision found their voice in the most powerful medium of our culture â€” music. As one of the early pioneers of New York City's dynamic punk scene, Smith has been creating her unique blend of poetic rock and roll for over 35 years.
Created by pov on Dec 29, 2009
Last updated: 10/14/11 at 02:20 PM
Tags: patti smith music punk musician punk rock rock
Camera Solo is the first exhibition of Patti Smith's photography in the United States. It includes 70 photographs, one multimedia installation and one video work.
More info at the Wadsworth Atheneum website.
Patti Smith is named one of the 100 most interesting, influential people of 2011 in recognition of her National Book Award-winning book, "Just Kids."
Patti Smith is honored with the National Book Award for her book, "Just Kids" about her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe during the 1970s in New York City.
Image: Patti Smith with her book after receiving the award in New York City. Credit: Village Voice Sound of the City Blog. Photo by Nate "Igor" Smith. Read an interview with Smith »
In addition to recording, performing, art and writing, Smith remains strongly involved in social issues and continues to participate in various human rights organizations. Her last volume of poetry, Auguries of Innocence, was published in fall 2005 by Ecco, and her latest book Just Kids about her growth as an artist and her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe is due to be released on January 19, 2010.
Read an excerpt from the book on the Rolling Stone website.
Patti Smith reads a poem that she wrote for Andre Tarkovsky at the New York City Poetry Project as part of their New Year's Day Marathon.
From YouTube: In this new series, Graduate Center President Bill Kelly explores great minds that have shaped our cultural landscape. Over the course of the year, he will speak, one-on-one, with a diverse group of vital contemporary thinkers, artists, and visionaries who have indelibly impacted the fields in which they work. This debut evening features Patti Smith whose body of work encompasses poetry, fiction, essay, music, film, photography, and more. - CUNY
"Patti Smith first collaborated with Frank when he directed the video for her 1996 single â€śSummer Cannibals.â€ť As the evening progressed she shared many amusing anecdotes about the quiet shuffling man. She described humbly showing him her own photographs and the elation she felt when he told her, 'I see what youâ€™re doing.'"
Excerpt from Dylan, Etc. Blog:
Musician Patti Smith is interviewed by video blogger Zadi Diaz (www.epicfu.com) as part of PBS's coverage of the 2009 Television Critics Association Press Tour (Aug 1-2, 2009). Smith discuss the upcoming POV documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which premiered on POV on December 30, 2009.
On January 30, 2009, musician Patti Smith spoke at the Block Museum with film director Steven Sebring (Patti Smith: Dream of Life) and Chicago Sun-Times pop music critic Jim DeRogatis. Following their conversation Smith sang the song "My Blakean Year" and recited the lyrics to "People Have the Power." Video of these two performances can be seen below. (Each clip is 6:16 minutes; Adobe Flash Player required).
"Thirty years after she burst onto the scene with her 1975 album Horses, Patti Smith remains a vital artistic voice.
Mark Hagen chats to Patti about her writing, collaborating with Bruce Springsteen and what makes a really great song."
Steven Sebring's first documentary film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 and won the Audience Award for Cinematography.
"Patti Smith hosts music and conversation about Bob Dylan. His friends, early influences and collaborators discuss their close relationships with Dylan, the stories behind his greatest songs and other memorable moments of his career. Journalists and biographers add critical insights and provide historical contexts. A few of today's singer-songwriters also detail how Dylan's art influenced their own lives and careers. We also hear comments from Dylan, himself, from interviews recorded throughout the last 45 years."
In 2007, Patti Smith included a cover version, which incorporated a piece of her poetry, on her album of cover songs Twelve.
A new CD of cover songs entitled Twelve was released in spring 2007 on Columbia Records and was followed by an international tour. The track list includes covers of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," and R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," among others. Entertainment Weekly Review: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20037167,00.html Village Voice Review: http://www.villagevoice.com/2007-04-17/music/patti-s-long-gestating-covers-album/
On March 12, 2007, Patti Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Other inductees included R.E.M., Grandmaster Flash, The Ronettes and Van Halen.Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Patti SmithSpinner: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2007: Patti Smith
Smith receives the prestigious Women of Valor Award at the ROCKRGRL Music Conference on November 10, 2005 â€” exactly 30 years to the day after the release of Horses.
The 30th anniversary re-issue of Horses, entitled Horses/Horses was released in fall 2005 and was heralded as one of the most poignant re-issues in recording industry history. It included a digital remaster on one disk and a live disk that was recorded on June 25, 2005 at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Meltdown Festival in London in summer 2005, which Smith curated. The musicians on the live recording include Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty, Tony Shanahan, Tom Verlaine and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. View images from the London concert taken by filmmaker Steven Sebring: http://www.flickr.com/photos/77493975@N00/4228544375/
On June 10, 2005, the Minister of Culture for the French Republic awarded Smith the grade of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest grade awarded to artists who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts throughout the world. Photo: Patti in concert. London, UK. 2005. Credit: Steven Sebring
On October 20, 2002, Smith was signed to Columbia Records. In spring 2004, her first Columbia recording, Trampin', was released. Among its tracks is the 12-minute epic "Radio Baghdad," which was featured prominently in Patti Smith: Dream of Life.
Pitchform Review: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/7276-trampin/
Pop Matters Review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/smithpatti-trampin/
In the past few years, Smith has participated in events at several literary foundations, including the Hermann Hesse Foundation in Montagnola, Switzerland; Virginia Woolf's Monk's House in East Sussex, England; and the Casa-Museo Federico Garcia Lorca in Granada, Spain.
In 2003, she was the recipient of the Torino Poetry Award and the Premio Tenco, both in Italy. Photo: Patti and her guitar. Chelsea Hotel, New York, NY. 1996. Credit: Steven Sebring
Patti Smith is the author of Witt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea and Patti Smith Complete, a catalog of lyrics, photographs, illustrations, original artwork and reflections. Smith's drawings have been exhibited at the Robert Miller Gallery in New York, the Museum Eki in Kyoto, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Cartier Foundation in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In September 2002, Strange Messenger, an exhibit of drawings, newly created silkscreens of the remains of the World Trade Center and black-and-white Polaroid photographs printed in silver gelatin process, opened at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. In 2003, the exhibit toured the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia; the Parco Museum in Tokyo, Japan; the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany; the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, Italy; and the Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Smith's photographs were exhibited at the Palazzo Fontana di Trevi in Rome, Italy in June 2005. During 2006, her art show traveled to Glasgow, Scotland and Sligo, Ireland, and it continues to build as it travels around the world.
In November 2000, she participated in the launching of a William Blake exhibit at London's Tate Gallery with a performance with Oliver Ray at St. James Cathedral. She worked with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with its William Blake program in June 2001 and returned to work with the museum in 2005 in conjunction with its Diane Arbus exhibit. In 2009, Patti Smith performed at the Morgan Library in conjunction with their exhibit, William Blake's World: "A New Heaven Is Begun."
With Gung Ho in 2000, her eighth album on Arista Records (produced by Gil Norton), Smith continued the process of merging tradition with the moment. As she had for previous albums, she drew on the inspiration of spiritual and political leaders and events, as well as heralding the efforts of the common man. Gung Ho explored those who â€” as the title phrase implies â€” entered into service with enthusiastic hearts, from Mother Teresa, who exemplified charity, to resilient Vietnamese patriot Ho Chi Minh. "Glitter in Their Eyes" from Gung Ho, written by Smith and Oliver Ray was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001.
In 1999, Smith read at the Whitney and Guggenheim Museums with fellow poet Gregory Corso.
By 1997, Smith's new band was formed with Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty, Oliver Ray and Tony Shanahan. The group recorded Peace and Noise, which incorporated a blend of the spoken and sung in Smith's trademark incantatory style and reflected the feel and inner play of a working group. Smith and the band toured and participated in benefit work, including fundraisers for the Neil Young Bridge School, Jewel Heart and the Tibet House Foundation. The song "1959" from Peace and Noise, written by Smith and Shanahan, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998.
Music video collaboration between Patti Smith & photographer / filmmaker legend Robert Frank. Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvBJMWxbfCk
In the summer of 1996, with the help of old and new friends, Smith released Gone Again (produced by Malcolm Burn and Lenny Kaye), a highly acclaimed meditation on passage and mortality. To promote the album, she opened on tour for Bob Dylan, which marked her re-emergence as a performer. In 1996, Smith met photographer Steven Sebring for a photo shoot and agreed to give him unprecedented access to the tour, which subsequently led to their collaboration on the film Patti Smith: Dream of Life.
Patti contributed a cover of old Nina Simone song, "Don't Smoke in Bed," to the compilation "Ain't Nothing But a She Thing" in 1995.
Patti Smith's husband died suddenly of a heart attack in 1994. He was 45 years old. He was a musician and a member of the musical group MC5.
In 1988, they recorded Dream of Life (produced by Fred "Sonic" Smith and Jimmy Iovine). The album included the classic anthem "People Have the Power," which the two wrote while she did the dinner dishes. It combined his White Panther polemics with her revolutionary spirit. It also marked Patti Smith's final collaboration with three of her closest companions, all of whom met with untimely deaths: Robert Mapplethorpe, who photographed her for the cover; Richard Sohl, who provided all of the keyboards; and her husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, who composed the music.
Jesse Smith is the second child of Patti and Fred Smith. When Jesse was nine, Patti Smith left Detroit and moved to New York City.
Patti and Fred Smith's son Jackson was born in 1982. He is featured prominently in Dream of Life in various stages of his youth during the decade that the filming was done. Jackson Smith married White Stripes drummer Meg White in May 2009, in Nashville, TN.
From YouTube: "The American Broadcasting Company used to have a show back in the 80s called "Kids Are People Too" that had some surprising guests. Patti appeared on it with Joe Brooks and sang his song "You Light Up My Life."
Shortly after releasing her third album, Wave, Smith married Fred Smith and spent the next 9 years raising a family.
In October 1979, Smith retired from the public eye and moved to Detroit with Fred "Sonic" Smith. In 1980, they married, and they went on to have two children and write songs together with no regret for the self-imposed exile from show business.
This YouTube video features footage of Patti Smith and her band performing "Because the Night" on RockAmerica, a music video subscription service for professional disc jockeys based in New York City before the advent of MTV.
The first single released from the Patti Smith Group's fourth album was entitled "Frederick," about Patti Smith's soon-to-be husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith. The second single was a track called "Dancing Barefoot," which has been covered by numerous artists, including U2.
Patti Smith's most commercially successful album rose to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 List and #5 on the UK charts in 1978. "Easter" contains the single "Because the Night" co-written with Bruce Springsteen.
"'Easter' makes good on Patti Smith's biggest boastâ€”that she is one of the great figures of Seventies rock & roll." - Rolling Stone
While performing at a Florida coliseum, Patti danced off the stage and fell 15 feet into the orchestra pit below. She broke several vertebrae in her neck and spent several months convalescing. As her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bio notes, "a lengthy period of recuperation sidelined her during the breakthrough year for punk rock and the do-it-yourself aesthetic she helped promulgate." Picture: Patti Smith performing on stage in Central Park in 1976. Photo by Bob Gruen.
The Patti Smith Group released "Radio Ethiopia" as a follow-up to the critically aclaimed "Horses."
From YouTube: Live Concert footage of Patti Smith performing Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes."
From YouTube: Patti Smith's cover of Them's "Gloria."
In 1975, Patti Smith was awarded the Academie Charles Cros, Grand Prix du Disque Award in France for the recording of Horses.
Smith was signed by Clive Davis to his fledgling Arista label and recorded four albums: Horses (produced by John Cale), Radio Ethiopia (produced by Jack Douglas), Easter (produced by Jimmy Iovine), which included her top twenty hit "Because the Night," co-written with Bruce Springsteen, and Wave (produced by Todd Rundgren).
The trio helped to open up a restricted music scene that centered on the club CBGB in New York City. After recruiting guitarist Ivan Kral, they played CBGB for eight weeks in the spring of 1975, and then they added drummer Jay Dee Daugherty to the group.
Continuing to write and perform her poetry around New York, including at the legendary Max's Kansas City, Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye combined their collective and varied musical roots and her improvised poetry. Their independent single release Hey Joe/Piss Factory featured Tom Verlaine.