|(c) Norman Sheeff, via|
Earlier this week I finished Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids and cannot recommend it more. A memoir of Smith's early years in New York as as emerging artist herself and as a companion and muse of the artist Robert Mapplethorpe, it is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and illuminating read. There are so many amazing cultural phenomena and historical circumstances that Smith & Mapplethorpe were a part of -- the Hotel Chelsea, Max's Kansas City, Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studio, CBGB -- that it just took my breath away. But more than anything I enjoyed reading about the deep devotion and commitment Smith & Mapplethorpe had for each other.
Also, while I am semi-familiar with various women musicians of the late-1960s and early 1970s, it was fascinating to learn about the evolution of Smith's art and her experience as a woman in the often male-dominated art world. I don't want to say much more ... just read it and love it. Lastly, download Smith's seminal album Horses - I had never heard it before. OMG!
Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe, NYC 1977