Patti Smith

Patti Smith

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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

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"

Patti Smith and Ralph Fiennes - New York premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel at the Alice Tully Hall - Outside Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 26th February 2014

Patti Smith and Ralph Fiennes

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!

Bruce Springsteen Fans Are Crazy! Roads Closed, Camping In Queues & Thousands Spent For Cardiff Show

Bruce Springsteen Adele Pussy Riot Radiohead Madonna Patti Smith

We reckon 1D fans or Justin Bieber fans are rabid because they're mainly hormonal young girls but Bruce Springsteen appeals to a rather different demographic who have been mirroring the obsessive antics of the tweensters. 'The Boss' will perform tonight (23 July) to 29,000 fans at a sold out show, with some making absolutely sure they didn't miss out on a front row position in the standing area of the arena.

Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen: A True Guitar Hero.

BBC News spoke to Warrington fan Tony Tower who admitted he'd been camped outside Millenium Stadium for five days. Mr. Tower explained his need to be at the very front: "It's all about getting under the mic - it's better to be in the pit than out of it. It's the heart of the concert." He also admitted that he'd spent more than £1,300 on tickets to see his idol and that was all OK with his wife, saying "It's not about the cost - it's about the experience. My wife tells me I can afford it." Spoken like a true fan!

Continue reading: Bruce Springsteen Fans Are Crazy! Roads Closed, Camping In Queues & Thousands Spent For Cardiff Show

Yoko Ono's Meltdown Performers Include Boy George, Patti Smith And Thurston Moore

Yoko Ono Boy George Patti Smith Thurston Moore

Yoko Ono has announced the bulk of the names for her Meltdown Festival line-up to take place in London this year, with the former wife of John Lennon staying true to her vision to create a line-up based on concept and not going all out for big names for the sake of it.

Names announced for the event, which takes place at London’s Southbank Centre for a week and a half in June, include Patti Smith, Boy George, Siouxsie Sioux and Iggy and The Stooges. Back in November, upon the announcement that Ono would be taking on the curator’s role, she commented "I'm not pursuing big names for the sake of big names. I'm thinking along the lines of a concept, which is more refreshing. There will definitely be an element of feminism and the plight of women … [and] I am thinking of having one or two events where I ask men to say something strong about themselves too."

That’s certainly a concept she’s stuck too with the line-up announced so far. Alongside these more established names, Ono also has the likes of up and coming post-punk group Savages, as well as the likes of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, formerly of Sonic Youth, Peaches and comedian Reggie Watts. Ono herself will perform with the Plastic Ono Band. Additionally there will be various talks, panels and film screenings over the event. "It's not only a great honour to curate Meltdown in its 20th year," Ono said in a press release, according to The Guardian "it's also a lot of fun."

Continue reading: Yoko Ono's Meltdown Performers Include Boy George, Patti Smith And Thurston Moore

Grammys Week Tribute For Bruce Springsteen Features Neil Young, Mumford And Sons

Bruce Springsteen Elton John Mumford And Sons Jon Stewart Kenny Chesney Alabama Shakes Patti Smith Faith Hill Emmylou Harris Eddie Vedder Neil Young Tony Bennett Aretha Franklin Sir Paul McCartney Bono

All eyes will be on Bruce Springsteen during Grammy’s week, as the New Jersey rocker will be the recipient of the MusiCares Person of the Year award. To celebrate the honour, a Bruce Springsteen tribute concert will take place in Los Angeles on February 8, 2013, featuring some of the biggest names in rock and pop and hosted by Jon Stewart.

The event, which is already sold out, will feature musical highlights such as Elton John, Kenny Chesney and Mumford And Sons. A whole host of musicians of varying genres and eras have been included in the line-up. Patti Smith, with whom Bruce co-wrote the hit ‘Because The Night’ will be there, as will Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, as well as Alabama Shakes, Eddie Vedder and Neil Young. Proceeds for the concert will go to MusiCares, an organisation set up to provide support for struggling musicians in financial, medical and personal need.

The annual MusiCares Person of the Year award is attributed to a star whose artistic accomplishments are as worthy of merit as their philanthropic work. Previous winners of the award include Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney and Bono.

Patti Smith - Banga Album Review

Patti Smith's eleventh studio album Banga may be named after a dog, but it certainly isn't one. While the high priestess of punk poetry may still be a challenging proposition for the casual listener, her unique brand of literary grown up rock is rewarding nonetheless. At the age of 65, she serves up a thick soup of images drawn both from the front pages of the newspapers and the deep recesses of the history books.

Patti Smith - Banga Album review

It also seems that Patti's recent memoir Just Kids has reinvigorated her creative juices. Banga is her first album of original material since 2004's Trampin' (2007's Twelve was a covers record), however it bears many of the hallmarks of her earliest material, not least because Banga was released on the 36th anniversary of her debut Horses and was recorded in the same studio. Another parallel is that there's urgency to her performance which ultimately overcomes some of the problems of the dense and sprawling lyrical reference points. Musically, Banga is more focused than much of her more recent work, primarily because Lenny Kaye's guitars don't allow the tracks to become a pleasant backdrop for Patti's musings.

"Hey, wake up!" Patti says on opener 'Amerigo', as she re-imagines the 1492 discovery of the new world. It's a sign that much of the material here has a dreamlike quality. That includes the rose tinted nostalgia of 'April Fool' and the improvisational reflection of classical history throughout 'Constantine's Dream'. There's also a strong religious undercurrent with monks praying at the start of 'Fuji-san', and elsewhere talk of baptism and heaven. But Patti's lyrics don't ever feel heavy-handed; they're instead waiting to reveal their secrets with each subsequent listen.

Continue reading: Patti Smith - Banga Album Review

Video - Patti Smith And Neil Young Arrive For An Interview At Book Expo America

Punk rocker Patti Smith and country/rock artist Neil Young arrive at the New York Book Expo America to set up for Smith's interview with Young about his new book 'Waging Heavy Peace'. Smith finds her microphone is too loud after she tries talking to a member of the audience.

Both musicians are highly influential artists from different genres who bonded immediately during the interview according to Thrasher's Wheat. As well as discussing Young's first person narrative book of memoirs, they also discussed his latest album 'Americana'

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

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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;...