Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just Kids

I have always known who Patti Smith is.  I know that she is a musician, poet, artist, etc and recently in the past few years I've read that she is also a fashion icon and genius. So, I get it. Patti Smith is a fucking big deal. Even after knowing all of this, she never had appealed to me and I never had any real interest in exploring her life or her work. One morning ,just a few months ago, all of my thoughts and lack of feelings  towards her changed.  
I was lost and running late for something important. Frustrated, I turned up the radio and Patti Smith herself was giving an interview on NPR promoting her new memoir, "Just Kids". Patti eloquently informed me that she had written her book to tell the love story of her and her best friend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. They met at nineteen and from that point on she tells tales of them running around NYC, exploring and creating in the late 60's and 70's. Within those five minutes she had me hooked. I was completely intrigued and curious and I decided to finally give in to Patti .  So now I have started "Just Kids" and after reading this description inside the cover, I am looking forward to literary magic!
It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation. Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years. Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

 photos from Google Images

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