To me Patti Smith has always been one of those 1970's artists that I was too young to experience myself. Over the years she has I've read articles about her and so on,but I've never listened to her music. Earlier this years she won the Polar Music Prize and again I read some articles about her and realized that she was quite an artist, not only doing singer song writing but also poetry and photos.
A couple of weeks later a friend told me that I had to read her book Just Kids about her early years in New York struggling to become an artist. I didn't matter that that I was a fan of her, it was just such an incredible story about giving your life to become an artist. Now having read the book I can only agree. It is an incredible story about her and her soul-mate Robert Mapplethorpe's years together in New York during the late 1960's and 1970's.
Like so many artist they really struggled for their art, but at the same time they were also part of a very special era in New York. They lived at Chelsea Hotel with artist like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Sam Shepard. They frequented clubs like Max's Kansas City and CBGB. They lived for their art and in the end they did become successful and world famous artist.
It's an easy book to read and you can tell Patti Smith has a way with word (otherwise she wouldn't be a singer song writer and poet). Very quickly you get into the world of New York circa 1973. A great story about an era that will never come back but gave the world a lot of very famous artists.