Patti Smith

Patti Smith


Patti Smith (born Patricia Lee Smith, 30.12.1946)
Patti Smith is an American singer, songwriter, poet and visual artist. She rose to fame as a part of the New York punk movement in the late 1970s. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Childhood: Patti Smith was born in Chicago, to Beverley (a jazz singer) and Grant (who worked at the Honeywell plant). She was then raised in Deptford Township, New Jersey and was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. However, she later rejected organised religion and on her cover of 'Gloria' (originally by Van Morrison), she starts with the line "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine."

Patti went to work in a factory, as the family was not an affluent one. Her time here was later immortalized in her debut single, 'Piss Factory'.

In 1967, Patti Smith moved to New York City, where she met the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Two years later she moved to Paris with her sister and started busking.

Music Career: When Patti Smith moved back to New York City, she started to hang out at venues such as Max's Kansas City and CBGB's where bands such as The Ramones, Blondie, Television and The Dead Boys all began their careers.

She collaborated with Mapplethorpe on a number of art projects, and starred in Jackie Curtis' play Femme Fatale with Wayne County. She also performed in Sam Shepard's Cowboy Mouth. She also contributed lyrics to Blue Oyster Cult.

In 1974, Patti Smith decided to get a band together. That band consisted initially just of herself and the guitarist Lenny Kaye, but they were later joined by Jay Dee Daugherty on drums and Ivan Kral on bass. Their debut single was a cover of Jimi Hendrix' 'Hey Joe', backed with 'Piss Factory'.

In 1975, having signed a deal with Arista Records, Patti Smith Group released their debut album, Horses. The album was produced by John Cale of Velvet Underground.

The second album, Radio Ethiopia was not as well received as its predecessor, but Smith still performs many of the songs from this album when she plays live.

Two more albums came, before the end of the 1970s: Easter and Wave. The former contained her biggest commercial hit, 'Because The Night', which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen.

After a hiatus from recording music, Patti Smith staged a comeback in 1988, with the release of Dream Of Life. The lead single from the album was 'People Have the Power'.

Patti Smith then took another extended break from recording, not returning to the limelight until 1996, when she recorded Gone Again. The album contained the track 'About A Boy', which was a tribute to the late Nirvana front-man, Kurt Cobain. Later that year, she collaborated with Michael Stipe of R.E.M. on the track 'E-Bow the Letter', off R.E.M's New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

The albums Peace and Noise and Gung Ho followed, with the tracks '1959' and 'Glitter In Their Eyes' being nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In 1996, a box set of her work was released, entitled The Patti Smith Masters. This was followed by Land (1975-2002), a two disc retrospective that also included a cover of 'When Doves Cry' by Prince. Also in 2002, a solo exhibition of Patti Smith's artwork was staged at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

In 2004, Patti Smith released a new album entitled Trampin'. The following year, she curated the Meltdown festival in London. She performed her debut album in its entirety, with Television's Tom Verlaine on guitar. She also gave a lecture on the works of Arthur Rimbaud and William Blake.

When she was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she performed a cover of 'Gimme Shelter' by the Rolling Stones. She has often cited Keith Richards as a huge influence, both on her music and on her image.

In 2008, a live album was released, which featured a collaboration between Patti Smith and Kevin Shields (formerly of My Bloody Valentine). The album was entitled The Coral Sea (also the name of a book of poetry by Smith).

A huge number of artists have cited Patti Smith as an influence on their music, including Shirley Manson of Garbage, Morrissey and Johnny Marr of The Smiths and Sonic Youth. The Canadian actress Ellen Page also has a dog named Patti, after Patti Smith.

Personal Life: After splitting from her long-term boyfriend Allen Lanier, Patti Smith married Fred 'Sonic' Smith of the Detroit band MC5. They have two sons, Jackson and Jesse. In 2009, Jackson married Meg White of The White Stripes.

Her husband Fred died in November 1994. Patti then had to deal with the death of her brother Todd and her keyboard player Richard Sohl.

Biography by

Ryan Gosling Thought Working With Patti Smith Was 'Incredible'

Ryan Gosling Patti Smith

Ryan Gosling has opened up about his 'unique experience' working alongside a variety of musicians on his latest film 'Song To Song', including the punk legend Patti Smith. Shot five years ago, much of the movie features scenes from actual live music festivals.

Song To SongRyan Gosling stars opposite Michael Fassbender in 'Song To Song'

Terrence Malick's music-based romantic drama was partly shot at Austin City Limits music festival in 2012, with a variety of musical guests making cameo appearances along the way. It was certainly a lot of fun for these actors to get to spend time with real rockstars.

Continue reading: Ryan Gosling Thought Working With Patti Smith Was 'Incredible'

Song To Song Trailer

The music scene of Austin, Texas becomes tainted by lust and illict desires as two aspiring songwriters named Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling) become entwined in two overlapping love triangles with a major player in the music business named Cook (Michael Fassbender) - who encourages them to take their music careers further - and a charming waitress (Natalie Portman). As much as their lives are about making it in the industry and becoming world renowned successes, their lives get more complicated by disloyalty, temptation and infatuation with each other, pushing all of them ultimately further away. Can love last when betrayal lies at every corner?

Continue: Song To Song Trailer

Bob Dylan's Acceptance Speech Read At Nobel Prize Ceremony

Bob Dylan Patti Smith

A speech written by Bob Dylan was read by the United States Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji, at the Nobel Prize ceremony on Saturday night, after the singer was unable to attend.

Dylan, who was being honoured with the Nobel Prize for literature, missed the ceremony due to “pre-existing commitments”, but provided a lengthly speech where he said he never imagined he would one day receive the honour.

Bob DylanBob Dylan provided a speech for the Nobel Prize ceremony

Continue reading: Bob Dylan's Acceptance Speech Read At Nobel Prize Ceremony

Patti Smith To Honour Bob Dylan With Performance At Nobel Gala

Bob Dylan Patti Smith

Patti Smith is set to honour Bob Dylan at the forthcoming Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden by performing a cover of one of his famous songs. The folk artist isn't going to be attending the event himself, but Smith is determined to make it a super special occasion nonetheless.

Bob DylanBob Dylan won't appear at the Nobel Prize ceremony himself

The punk rock icon will play Dylan's 1963 song 'A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall', from his album 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan', at the Stockholm event on Saturday. She was initially asked back in September to perform live at the gala and planned to do one of her own songs alongside an orchestra, but decided to change tack when it was announced that Dylan had won the Nobel Literature Prize.

Continue reading: Patti Smith To Honour Bob Dylan With Performance At Nobel Gala

Patti Smith Cries As Fan Returns Stolen Items From Nearly 40 Years Ago

Patti Smith

Patti Smith has had items returned to her, nearly 40 years after they were stolen from her tour van. The singer was moved to tears as she was reunited with the items during a reading in support of her new memoir M Train at Illinois’ Dominican University.

Patti SmithPatti Smith has had her stolen items retuned 40 years later.

During the reading Smith as approached by a fan named Noreen Bender, who gave her a bag containing items believed to have been stolen from her tour van in 1979 following a local gig.

Continue reading: Patti Smith Cries As Fan Returns Stolen Items From Nearly 40 Years Ago

Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’ Memoir To Be Made Into Showtime Series

Patti Smith

Just Kids the award-winning 2010 memoir by singer Patti Smith is being turned into a limited television series by US channel Showtime, the network has announced. The book chronicles Smith’s relationship with artist and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, whom she lived with in New York from 1967 to 1974.

Patti SmithPatti Smith’s Just Kids is being adapted for the small screen by Showtime.

Smith herself will be scripting the series along with ‘Penny Dreadful’ creator John Logan who will also co-produce. In a statement announcing the adaptation Smith said, "A limited series on Showtime will allow us to explore the characters more deeply, enabling us to develop stories beyond the book and allow a measure of unorthodox presentation."

Continue reading: Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’ Memoir To Be Made Into Showtime Series

Station To Station Trailer

Doug Aitken is a multimedia artist who takes an in-depth look at society's art today; with the likes of music, dance and physical artwork in mind. On his exploration, he takes a 4,000 mile trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (that's New York to San Francisco) picking up a variety of artists along the way and making stops to witness some incredible 'happenings' throughout the country. He gets the chance to speak to musicians in their droves, all eager to open up about their experiences and interpretations of their art. The trip takes place over 24 days and features such spectacles as Beck being joined by a gospel choir in the enormous Mojave desert; an expanse which spans California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. 'Station To Station' is an artistic documentary roadtrip with a difference. Directed by Doug Aitken ('The Source'), it includes appearances from some 43 musicians and artists including Beck, Jackson Browne, Thurston Moore, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples, Cat Power, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Dan Deacon, Cold Cave and many, many more. The movie is set to be released in cinemas on June 26th 2015, after which the Station to Station: A 30-Day Happening event will kick off.

David Bowie Reckons Lou Reed's Metallica Collaboration 'Lulu' Was His "Masterpiece"

David Bowie Lou Reed Metallica Patti Smith

Never one to back away from a controversial opinion, David Bowie has pretty much a unique opinion on Lou Reed’s career. Believe it or not, he reckons that the late singer’s greatest musical work was his recent collaboration project with Metallica.

Lulu, released in 2011 with the metal legends, was one of the former Velvet Underground singer’s final projects before his death in 2013. It was almost universally panned by critics and listeners who were baffled by its complexity and lyrical themes. While not as challenging as Reed’s notorious 1975 album Metal Machine Music (seriously, don’t even bother with that one), it was instantly overlooked.

Lou ReedLou Reed's best work was his Metallica collaboration Lulu', according to David Bowie

Continue reading: David Bowie Reckons Lou Reed's Metallica Collaboration 'Lulu' Was His "Masterpiece"

The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!

Primavera Sound Festival Ride The Strokes Black Keys The Replacements Antony and the Johnsons James Blake Richie Hawtin Simian Mobile Disco Alt-J Patti Smith Belle And Sebastian Damien Rice Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Perfume Genius The New Pornographers Julian Casablancas Interpol Underworld Caribou Foxygen The Eels Babes In Toyland Sleater-Kinney Albert Hammond Jr

Fans and hopeful attendees of Barcelona's Primavera Sound were delighted to discover that the preview app they downloaded was a video game displaying the full line-up for the festival's fifteenth anniversary.

Primavera Sound 2015 logo

Already announced were Friday and Saturday's headliners Ride and The Strokes, and now they've been joined by a host of other equally incredible artists. Thursday sees The Black Keys leading the bill alongside The Replacements, who are hitting Spanish stages for the first time and Antony and the Johnsons, who've been doing plenty since their last Barcelona gig. Bringing some variation to Thursday proceedings are electronic virtuosos James Blake, Richie Hawtin and Simian Mobile Disco.

Continue reading: The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!

Andrea Riseborough and Patti Smith - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards which were held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 15th January 2015

Andrea Riseborough and Patti Smith
Andrea Riseborough
Andrea Riseborough
Andrea Riseborough and Patti Smith
Andrea Riseborough and Patti Smith
Andrea Riseborough

Patti Smith and Fred Sonic Smith - The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) presents 'To the Rescue! New York' to celebrate The HSUS' 60th anniversary and to benefit its Animal Rescue Team as they work to save animals across the nation at Cipriani 42nd. - Manhattan, New York, United States - Friday 21st November 2014

Patti Smith and Fred Sonic Smith

John McEnroe and Patti Smith - American Museum of Natural History's 2013 Museum Gala at American Museum of Natural History - New York City, United States - Thursday 21st November 2013

John Mcenroe and Patti Smith

The CBGB Music And Film Festival Is Back For 2013 Bigger And Better Than Ever Before!

CBGB Festival Ramones The Misfits Patti Smith Blondie Joan Jett

Almost like the SXSW Festival of New York, the CBGB Festival will return this year with an impressive 700 artists in 150 venues across the state, plus 40 movie premieres from October 9th - 13th. 

The CBGB Festival made its debut last year, taking the name from the renowned music club in Manhattan founded by Hilly Kristal in 1973. The club was largely thought to be the origin of indie and punk rock in America and played host to some of the most influential artists of all time such as Ramones, Misfits, the Patti Smith Group, The Cramps, Blondie, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Talking Heads and many, many more.

All well as some no doubt stunning artists, both legendary and newly emerging, there will be a wide selection of film's making their premieres at the event, with The Landmark Sunshine Theater serving as the main film festival hub. As well as screenings from Danny Garcia's 'Looking For Johnny' about the guitar player Johnny Thunders, and Tony D'Annunzio's 'Louder Than Love - The Grande Ballroom Story', 'CBGB' the movie will make its opening night debut. Directed by Randall Miller, the film stars Alan Rickman as club founder Hilly Kristal who embarks on a major musical journey to bring to attention the most innovative bands of the age. It also features Malin Akerman as Blondie's Debbie Harry, Kyle Gallner as Lou Reed and Mickey Sumner as Patti Smith.

Continue reading: The CBGB Music And Film Festival Is Back For 2013 Bigger And Better Than Ever Before!

Patti Smith and Jesse Smith - Clive Davis 2013 Pre-Grammy Gala Los Angeles California USA Saturday 9th February 2013

Patti Smith and Jesse Smith

Patti Smith Thursday 24th March 2011 Metropolitan Opera gala premiere of 'Rossini's Le Comte Ory' - Inside Arrivals New York City, USA

Patti Smith
Patti Smith
Patti Smith

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

Patti Smith

Date of birth

30th December, 1946








Patti Smith Movies

Song To Song Trailer

Song To Song Trailer

The music scene of Austin, Texas becomes tainted by lust and illict desires as two...

Station To Station Trailer

Station To Station Trailer

Doug Aitken is a multimedia artist who takes an in-depth look at society's art today;...

Patti Smith: Dream of Life Movie Review

Patti Smith: Dream of Life Movie Review

The music of Patti Smith slaps you in the face with its energy, audacity, and...

Benjamin Smoke Movie Review

Benjamin Smoke Movie Review

Who is Benjamin Smoke? Well, there's no such person, as it turns out....

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