Patti Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith

Patti
Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith
1946

American Writer, Poet, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter and Visual Artist

Author Quotes

I had a lot of thinking to do about the direction I should be taking. I wondered if I was doing the right work. Was it all frivolity?

I know I'm a strong performer. I'm not an evolved musician.

I think I'm constantly in a state of adjustment.

I went to Glassboro State Teacher's College in New Jersey, which was about all I could afford because I put myself through school.

I'm not saying I wasn't flawed or amateurish. But you can never say I did anything to appease the music business.

It's not that I have compromised or anything, but it's always been important to me to take good care of myself and be a good example. I'm not much a role model in terms of hair care, though.

Music television is all about the media-oriented version of what it is to be a rock star; it's not about what Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix were about - which included great images, sure, but they had spiritual and political and revolutionary content, too.

No one would see what [Robert] had seen, no one would understand. He?d had it all his life, but in the past he tried to make up for it, as if it were his fault. He compensated for this with a sweet nature, seeking approval from his father, from his teachers, from his peers. He wasn?t certain whether he was a good or bad person? But he was certain of one thing. He was an artist. And for that he would never apologize.

Polaroid by its nature makes you frugal. You walk around with maybe two packs of film in your pocket. You have 20 shots, so each shot is a world.

Sometimes you're doing really well, then, after three or four years, everything inexplicably crashes like a house of cards and you have to rebuild it. It's not like you get to a point where you're all right for the rest of your life.

The people have the power to redeem the work of fools. Upon the meek the graces shower, it's decreed the people rule.

I had a really happy childhood - my siblings were great, my mother was very fanciful, and I loved to read. But there was always financial strife.

I learned a lot from Arthur Rimbaud. People talk about how he wanted to be a seer and do that through the derangement of the senses. What they forget was that he also advocated, sternly and austerely, that one must be able to go through all that - and then articulate it.

I thought it was funny that Robert was so concerned about the content of my work. He was worried that I wouldn?t be successful if my work was too provocative. He always wanted me to write a song that he could dance to. In the end I would point out that he was a bit like his father, wanting me to take a commercial path. But I had no interest, and I was always too crude.

I wish I could just project everything on the paper.

In 1974, when I started working with the material that became 'Horses,' a lot of our great voices had died. We'd lost Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, and people like Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

I've always believed in having a sense of balance and stealth.

My bowels are empty, excreting my soul. What more can I give you?

No, my work does not reflect my sexual preferences, it reflects the fact that I feel total freedom as an artist.

Pollution is a necessary result of the inability of man to reform and transform waste.

Sure I destroyed my guitar at every concert, but it was okay, because I'd always get a shiny new one the very next day.

The thing is, it's not uncool to worry about people who seem like they're going on the wrong path. There's nothing cool about being self-destructive.

I had no proof that I had the stuff to be an artist, though I hungered to be one.

I learned from him that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth.

I thought of something I learned from reading Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz. Crazy Horse believes that he will be victorious in battle, but if he stops to take spoils from the battlefield, he will be defeated. He tattoos lightning bolts on the ears of his horses so the sight of them will remind him of this as he rides. I tried to apply this lesson to the things at hand, careful not to take spoils that were not rightfully mine.

Author Picture
First Name
Patti
Last Name
Smith, fully Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith
Birth Date
1946
Bio

American Writer, Poet, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter and Visual Artist